Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of September 17, 2007

The second business meeting for September was held September 17, 2007 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Mike Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Jim McErlane, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, Gary Bender, Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, and those on the attached list were present.

Mr. Kuhn called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.


Mr. Kuhn announced that this morning, he and Open Space Director Aliena Gerhard met with Fran Rupert of the DCNR, and Kim Burgess and Bill Gladden from the County to tour four properties that are under consideration for open space preservation.

Citizens’ Forum for Non-Agenda Items - None


Minutes of Sept. 4, 2007 Meeting

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the September 4, 2007 meeting, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business – None

New Business

Presentation – TND Graphic Design Standards

Mr. Allen introduced Jim Wentling to present his background in TND Planning. Mr. Allen explained that the Planning Commission is looking into the process that will be needed after the TND ordinance is adopted by the Board of Supervisors, and suggests forming a TND review committee to facilitate planning between the developer and the township on TND projects. The committee would need a consulting architect, and Mr. Comitta had recommended they consider Mr. Wentling.

Mr. Allen explained that in the TND ordinance, basic design guidelines are included, but the next step is for the applicant to develop the more specific design manual itself.

Mr. Wentling said he’s been a registered architect for 27 years, and his 9-member firm has worked on residential projects from Massachusetts to Georgia and as far west as Iowa. They do a fair amount of TND work, but also do conventional projects. He said he’s consulted for homebuilders in the past that were working under a set of design guidelines. He said he’s available to act as consultant to the Township, and his role in the proposed committee would be to review the design manual submitted by the developer and provide feedback

Mr. Kuhn asked for confirmation that the architect would first review the Township’s design guidelines, then the developer’s more specific guidelines, and provide comments. The committee would have the final say. Mr. Allen agreed that this would be the process. He said the Planning Commission could fulfill this role but felt they weren’t the right people, as you need individuals who are more familiar with the functionality and availability of materials and how they work out in the real world. The subcommittee will act as an interface to determine if the developer’s manual meets the intention of the ordinance. They would settle the details up front, with a recommendation on the manual by the Planning Commission and final approval by the Board of Supervisors. In the next step, the detailed drawings are submitted with the building permit application. The committee would get involved again if there were changes needed. Mr. Motel said they were expecting the committee to meet twice a month, and to consist of five members, including one supervisor, one or two planning commissioners, the consulting architect, possibly Tom Comitta, and a representative of the community.

Mr. Willig suggested that the process be written up so it’s clear who is responsible for each step.

Mr. McErlane asked for a description of the exhibits included with the proposed TND ordinance, and Mr. Comitta described them as follows:

Exhibit A – General Design Principles
Exhibit B – Manual of Written and Graphic Design Guidelines
Exhibit C – Development Strategy Plan – showing all 5 TND districts

Mr. Comitta said Exhibit D would include Perry Morgan’s sketches that are being prepared for the October 9th Planning Commission meeting. Preliminary sketches will be shown to the Board this evening. They tie into Areas 1 and 2 of the TND District, and Mr. Allen said that they aren’t specific in all details but provide an idea of what the Township wants. Mr. Motel added they received feedback from one of the developers at the September 11th Planning Commission meeting, who viewed the inclusion of these sketches favorably, saying that it provides them with good feedback on what the Township is looking for.

Prior to a presentation by Perry Morgan of his TND Area 1 & 2 sketches, Mr. Comitta distributed information on LEED and energy efficient building, known as BLUER.

Mr. Morgan showed the following sketches:

  1. Exhibit D, shows Whitehorse Road as a boulevard divided by a grass strip, with two lanes in each direction and angled parking along the sides. He said parallel parking could also be done. The road is flanked with retail on both sides with second floor offices. Total retail is 70,000 square feet, with 50,000 square feet of office space.
  2. The building on the south side of Whitehorse is built into the grade to act as a retaining wall, with two stories in front and one in back, along with parking. The building blocks the view of the cars from the road.
  3. Architectural Sketch #1 shows that the buildings have two “fronts” with parking in the rear.
  4. Architectural Sketch #2 shows the building proposed for the corner of Morehall Road and Whitehorse Road
  5. Overall sketch of Devault, showing a cut-through road that links Whitehorse Road to Route 29. Roads in the Spring Oaks area (Area #1) meander so as to discourage cut through traffic. He noted that the proposed TND is different from many others in that in Devault there is already an existing framework of roads to work from.
  6. Top View Sketch #1 shows the landscaping and roofs of the buildings shown in Architectural Sketch #1. It shows the main street feel and the character of the buildings, which are small in scale. One building could be used by an anchor store at 12,000 square feet.
  7. Top View Sketch #2 shows the top of the corner building, which wraps the corner in an “L” shape, and keeps in character with Charlestown.
  8. Top View Sketch #3
  9. Top View Sketch #4
  10. Architectural Sketch #3 showing the commercial area where the Post Office is presently located.
  11. Architectural Sketch #4 shows the municipal complex area and recreation area, with its buffer to the wetlands that are adjacent to Route 29.
  12. Sketch shows the buffer of the live-work unit area that provides a buffer from Devault Foods.
  13. Architectural sketch shows the single family live-work units that can have retail or office below with residential above. He said these could also be attached units. Parking for the units is in the back.
  14. Top view of Devault Village
  15. Sketch of the municipal area and recreation building. He said there can be a parking area nearby to link to the trail system.

Mr. Morgan said the sketches feature sidewalks on both sides of the street, front porches, trails, and a lot of green space. Because of the undulating topography, many areas are naturally buffered from one another. Although the Fillippo parcel adjacent to Spring Oaks is close to the proposed Turnpike Slip Ramp, it’s 65 feet above it and from the ground won’t be visually intrusive. Attempts were made to create shared parking areas between uses to minimize asphalt.

Sue Staas asked if the homes in Spring Oaks would be single family homes. Mr. Morgan said it will contain a variety of singles, townhomes and duplexes. Some will have alleys; some garages will be attached while others will be detached. There won’t be a lot of any one type. The townhouses and duplexes will be positioned toward the inside of the site.

Charlestown Park – Army Corps of Engineers Right of Entry Agreement

Mr. Kuhn moved to ratify the execution of the Right of Entry Agreement for the Army Corps of Engineers to allow access to Charlestown Park for the abandonment of their Monitoring Well #MW-4, which will be filled in and capped. Mr. Willig asked if it was advisable that this abandonment take place, and Mr. Kuhn said yes, that this was the solicitors’ opinion. The agreement includes a sentence that the process will be in accordance with Chester County Health Department regulations. Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Traditional Neighborhood Development Ordinance

Mr. McErlane opened the hearing for the TND ordinance and the proceedings were recorded by Tom Corcoran, Court Reporter. There was no testimony this evening. The hearing was continued to October 15, 2007, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Altemose Curative Amendment Application

Mr. McErlane opened the hearing for the Altemose Curative Amendment application, and the proceedings were recorded by Tom Corcoran, court reporter. Mr. Ryan continued cross-examination of Township Planner Tom Comitta. Mr. Tupitza also crossed, as he wished to incorporate Mr. Comitta’s testimony into the hearing for Robal Associates. The Altemose and Robal applications being essentially similar in nature, he wished to do so to be expeditious. Following cross, Mr. Ryan indicated he would incorporate Mr. Tupitza’s cross examination questions into the Altemose record as well.

Mr. Ryan and Mr. Bender moved all exhibits into evidence.

Mr. McErlane indicated that the hearing was now closed, subject to the receipt of either findings of fact or a brief by Mr. Ryan within 30 days, and a response by Mr. Bender within the following 30 days.

Robal Curative Amendment Application

Mr. McErlane opened the hearing for the Robal Curative Amendment application, and the proceedings were recorded by Tom Corcoran, court reporter. There was no testimony.

The hearing was continued to October 15, 2007 at 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Other Business

Small Equipment Rental

Mr. Hogan indicated that employee Mark Cabot has been using his own lawnmower and other small equipment when performing work for the township, and that he should be compensated. The Treasurer suggested he provide an hourly rental charge, which Mr. Hogan suggested be $5.00 per hour. The Board members were in agreement, provided that any maintenance or replacement of the equipment would be Mr. Cabot’s responsibility.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 P.M. The next meeting is scheduled for October 1, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Administrator
sheet, 9/17/2007