East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association House
205 Conestoga Rd, Malvern Pa
Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Planning Commission:
Mike Richter, Chairman, Matt Rogers, Vice Chairman, Daniel Ghosh, Andy Motel, Andre von Hoyer, Dan Walker, and Bill Westhafer. Michael Churchill was absent.
Dan Wright, P.E., Thomas Comitta, and Wendy McLean, Esq.
Linda Csete, Beth Martin, Lisa Gardner, and Michael Allen.

Call to Order:

7:02 p.m.


On April 28th there was a Zoom meeting that presented the plans for maintenance, management, and ownership of the Devault Rails to Trails project.

Mrs. Csete stated that the current road work at Yellow Springs Road and Route 29 is utility related and not part of the signal upgrade project.

Approval of Minutes


Mr. Richter moved to approve the minutes of April 12, 2022, and Mr. Rogers seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Presentation –

Laboratory Use and Fire Codes

Resident Ms. Courtney Walker provided details on protocols and general safety related to an increase in biotech and laboratory uses within Charlestown Township.

East Whiteland Township Act 537 Special Study

Mr. McGrory, counsel for East Whiteland Township, stated that the review for the Pennoni Assoc., Inc. Act 537 Special Study on the Transfer of the Sanitary Sewage System, was just a formality. The only thing changing was the name. East Whiteland is stepping out of the group due to cost. Using the Act 537 study as the vehicle is cheaper and much quicker than litigation.

This procedure requires two actions by the Charlestown Planning Commission:

  1. Completion of Component 4A
  2. Recommendation for the Board to adopt a resolution approving the Special Study.

To accommodate East Whiteland’s request, Mr. Wright said the Supervisors held an informational session yesterday with their solicitor and the Valley Forge Sewer Authority (VFSA) representatives and solicitor. Mr. Wright voiced two shared concerns about the potential impact of the sale of East Whiteland’s system to Aqua PA for Charlestown property owners (besides the increase in rates):

  1. Charlestown Township, in addition to commercial and institutional establishments referenced as being in Devault, requests amending the narrative to update the description of potential future use. There are several existing residential developments within the service area of the Lee Boulevard Pump Station such as Spring Oak and Pickering Grant developments. In addition, there is residential and commercial development contemplated as part of the Township’s Traditional Neighborhood District (TND) located in Devault. These are also a part of the Lee Boulevard service area.
  2. Charlestown Township questions whether, under the treatment plant agreement, Aqua could be a “member” of the VFSA Joint Board, which is an intergovernmental body.

Then Mr. Wright asked for additional comments, or to forward comments to him up to the May 25th deadline. He will then provide them to the solicitor to incorporate into Charlestown’s response. Mr. McGrory said that capital improvements usually run ahead of need due to an incentive program. He didn’t think the two comments by Mr. Wright were applicable to the Act 537 discussion tonight. Mr. Faulkner of Pennoni Associates agreed with Mr. Wrights comments. It was stated that the treatment plant was not being sold, only the conveyance and collection system.

Mr. Richter moved to:

Mr. Rogers seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Preliminary/Final Plans

Kathy Greene-Christopher Marks Minor Subdivision, Howell Road

Mr. Greg Adelman Esq., and Mr. Brynn Schaffer, P.E., of Carta Engineering, proposed a 3-lot subdivision of a 9 acre parcel on Howell Road. Planning Commission solicitor Ms. McLean began with a statement reminding the audience that they were to avoid commenting on prior approvals and that the applicants were entitled to the review process going forward and will be using current ordinance regulations.

Mr. Comitta stated that tonight’s main issues were tree replacement calculations and Conditional Use. The tree replacement has already been solved since there are enough new trees shown on the plan to satisfy prior plan numbers.

Mr. Adelman portrayed a map for the Conditional Use. The minor subdivision depicted three homes and used a common driveway. If access to a barn was included it could be considered four lots, then as the zoning ordinance states, it becomes a street. Once it becomes a street it must meet requirements for paving and curbing etc. In addition, once a driveway is over 1000’ long it becomes a street.

Mr. Schaffer showed the existing gravel lane (with no prior Conditional Use) used to plan the driveway that ended in a spur for homes 2 and 3. This route caused minimal disturbance. The next steps would be obtaining approval from the Township and the County. However, to obtain Conditional Use approval from the Board, the applicant’s team would need to provide evidence of this layout having the “least impact” in steep slope.

Mr. Schaffer described the sediment sock on lot #1 as being about 3-4 feet high and a construction sequence that first placed erosion controls and devices in place, and the home being the final construction piece.

Mr. Allen suggested having garages face each other and moving the driveway to the east. The driveway now becomes longer than 1000’ but Members thought this would be a SALDO waiver they would support. Mr. Westhafer said it would improve disturbance from headlights too. Mr. Adelman said it would also require an adjustment to the stormwater facilities. Mr. Allen then suggested a pull-off for the long driveway. This change also moves the driveway away from a neighbor’s lot line.

Mr. Walker asked why the lower lot’s portion of the drive is in steep slopes, and Mr. Schaffer said it was necessary to make room for the stormwater facilities but was only a 3-4% slope. Relocating the facilities would encroach on the building envelope. Mr. Wright commented that the stormwater facilities must be underground unless certain criteria are met.

Discussion continued regarding underground stormwater facilities, rerouting the driveway, and using an infiltration bed vs. a driveway over the facilities.

Mr. Comitta discussed outlining mitigation for the Board. He suggested root stabilizing plants on the side slopes of the driveway due to erosion and close attention to grading. He stated that 25% of the stumps remain from deforestation. What is the landscape plan for this zone? Mr. Schaffer answered socks, controlled construction entrances with mud scrapes, swales with vegetive additions, dams, and standard perimeter controls.

Reps diverged to discuss Best Management Practices not dealing with the Conditional Use. They mentioned a bypass drain discharging at the current Howell Road location, and as required, it mimics the natural drainage pattern for the area. A drainage area of approximately 55 acres drains to the area where the proposed driveway meets Howell Road. Although the engineers for the Greene-Marks subdivision do not propose collecting all the water in the drainage area, they must better control current drainage from the applicant’s 9-acre parcel better than it is now per County requirements. All controls will be reviewed by the Township and the County. An undersized 12” pipe discharging to Howell Road will be resized.

Mr. Richter told the audience the reps will be returning with a revision to tonight’s plan and new review letters to satisfy. All comments made tonight by the audience are to reflect this change.

Mr. Wright’s review letter dated 5/3/22 was addressed by Members as follows:

Comment #21 regarding a 20-foot-wide horse/walking trail on page 1

Comment #3 regarding zoning on page 2

Comment #24 regarding stormwater on page 6

Mr. Westhafer suggested more controls that are less likely to plug. Discussion followed on trench drains and alternatives vs disturbance, directions to the swale, inlet basins and size, locations of pipes vs. driveways, sheet flow, ties to inlets, and point sources.

Reps told Ms. Green that there would be even less water coming onto her property than before the property behind her was cleared. They designed basins that were from 50% to double what was needed for that project. They included extra levels of control to decrease the energy and flow coming in her direction.

Mr. Wright finished with these points:

  1. The reps did a good job at stormwater management. Their numbers reflect changes above and beyond tough County guidelines.
  2. The NPDES permit will regulate surface water but not direct it to the stream.
  3. These control measures will allow for scrutiny and evaluation of any adverse impacts.
  4. Many people are working together to control 55 acres of stormwater and introduce the stormwater to Howell Road in an almost negligible manner.

Mr. Comitta finished with a thank you to the reps for the progress they have made, and he is encouraged by the alternative plan. He suggested a “Greening Committee” that would consider the usage of vegetation, what species and exact placement to get the most out of the landscape plan for the neighbors. He named a few suggestions for the committee.

Other comments included:

A Hedgerow Lane resident asked what recourse the neighbors have if these controls don’t work as promised. Mr. Wright offered to talk with her later.

Ms. Patricia Ahlqvist asked if two homes, or even one home, would be better for the stormwater and impervious figures. Three homes can comply so that is what they are requesting.

Mr. Comitta suggested being a good neighbor and getting a dumpster and loading the debris currently littering the property.

Ms. Green will provide a repair estimate to Mr. Adelman for the arena. She asked about the timing of the wood chip berm and Mr. Wright spoke with her after the meeting was adjourned.

The Carta reps plan on returning in July.

Tree Protection Ordinance

This item was removed from the agenda.


There being no further business, Mr. Richter adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m. The next meeting will be held on June 14, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary
sheet, 5/10/2022