Mike Richter, Chairman, Matt Rogers, Vice Chairman, Daniel Ghosh, Andy Motel (arrived at 8:20 p.m.), Dan Walker,
and Bill Westhafer. Michael Churchill and Andre von Hoyer II, were absent.
Thomas Comitta and Wendy McLean, Esq.
Beth Martin, Tim Hubbard, and Michael Allen.
Call to Order:
Mr. Richter welcomed Daniel Ghosh as the new Alternate to the Planning Commission.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Walker moved to approve the minutes of January 11, 2022, and Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. Richter
called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
General Planning Items
Tree Preservation Ordinance Revisions
Members of the Environmental Advisory Commission Mr. Pete Goodman, and Ms. Carol Armstrong were present
to join the review of the proposed amendments. Mr. Comitta discussed SALDO vs a draft Tree Ordinance he circulated with
comments (dated February 8th). This draft stemmed from an audit by the CCPC and subsequent fall 2021 PC meetings.
During the meetings, the PC tried to find a method to prevent clear-cutting as ordinance relief (how to monitor or police).
- Mr. Kuhn reminded those present that it concerns private property, and that 40% of Township land is protected.
- Ms. Armstrong’s stance was to include looking into the long-term view by learning from the past and considering
goals such as air quality or tree cover. She wondered if 40% was enough.
- Mr. Allen reminded everyone that trees are added during development.
- Ms. McLean said that the MPC has no authority over private property.
- Timbering is permitted in every municipality; townships can’t force a landowner to harvest at a cost.
- Forestry exclusions.
- Mr. Philips emailed his response to the draft and it was distributed.
- Ms. McLean would like to see a longer list of street trees to leave flexibility for designers. She reminded everyone
that the list just says “Street Trees” and that many listed are not good for lining a street (and many marked for
removal from the list shouldn’t be removed). For example, the Shagbark Hickory would be best in a backyard (not lining
a street). Nursery availability and growing conditions also are a factor.
- Ms. Armstrong reminded all to put a noxious tree list in the draft so it is easily referenced.
- Mr. Comitta and Mr. Wright met to form a checklist but also suggested a sub-committee Zoom meeting with members
from the EAC and the PC to arrive at a solution.
Mr. Comitta will email the sub-committee members with date and time suggestions for the Zoom: Mr.
Wright, Ms. McLean, Mr. Goodman, Ms. Armstrong, and Mr. Walker
Fire Code Requirements
Fire Marshal Tim Hubbard was present for a review of fire code requirements. He distributed Charlestown
Hazmat Ordinance Information dated 02/08/2022. If the PC wants to pursue an amendment, further discussion would need
to happen with the BOS regarding short-term definition updates, updates of safe quantity/amounts, and classifications.
- This is for commercial instances only, not residential.
- Reports are filed annually by the businesses mainly for fire safety but reports also included biological references.
These will be updated.
- He reviewed the forms companies file for hazardous materials in the Township. These forms are also completed for
construction instances so emergency services can keep track.
- Some local townships, such as Limerick, have annual inspections at companies, not random, as in Charlestown.
- Surrounding township emergency services focus on the specific locations of the hazardous material in the buildings,
the quantity, and the safety factor of the material.
- The FDA is in control, it passes information to the state, the state contacts the county, the county contacts
the township, and if necessary, the Dept of Emergency Services is contacted.
Mr. Allen wanted tighter controls on what businesses are doing with what materials, due to current
events. Mr. Hubbard and Ms. McLean discussed flask handling and storage being managed at a company level and also by
state and federal regulations. Labs are certified by federal authorities. Knowledge of what is in a lab may come with
a level of responsibility and the FDA should be the entity with responsibility per Ms. McLean. If there is a problem,
it is passed down thru the levels previously mentioned. Mr. Hubbard said emergency services takes these notifications
Set Meeting Time
The Planning Commission discussed changing their start time from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The meetings
will now begin at 7 p.m. until further notice.
Any documents referred to in the minutes are available to the public upon request to the Township
There being no further business, Mr. Richter adjourned the meeting at 8:41 p.m. The next meeting will
be held on March 8th at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School.