Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of December 3, 2007

The first business meeting for December was held December 3, 2007 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Mike Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Charlie Philips, Mark Thompson, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, Aliena Gerhard, 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.


Mrs. Gerhard announced that the Township was awarded a $150,000 grant for an easement acquisition on the Reed property from the DCNR. The DCNR also awarded $500,000 to the French & Pickering Creeks Land Trust for an easement on the Desfor farm.

Citizens’ Forum for Non-Agenda Items

 – No matters were brought forward.


Minutes of November 19, 2007 Meeting

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2007 meeting, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report November 1 - 30, 2007

Mr. Willig moved to approve the November Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Operating Fund Dec. 3, 2007

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Dec. 3, 2007 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. Mr. Philips asked why there were different providers for various local & long distance phone service, internet, and voice mail. The Secretary responded this gradually happened over the years as more services were added. She’d like to switch to Verizon for internet service once it becomes available for the office location, and would start bundling services at that time. Mr. Philips asked about the costs for paving Green Lane Road, and the Secretary confirmed the project came in under the budgeted amount. Mr. Kuhn called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Open Space Fund Dec. 3, 2007

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Dec. 3, 2007 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – State (Liquid Fuel Tax) Fund Dec. 3, 2007

Mr. Willig moved to approve the Dec. 3, 2007 State Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.


Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the November monthly reports and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. Mr. Philips asked for the status of removing equipment and other items being stored at the Brightside Farm, and Mr. Kuhn said a letter has been drafted informing the farmer that these items must be moved by the first of the year and will be sent out shortly.

Several other issues at the Brightside Farm were discussed. Mr. Willig said there have been incidents of people running their dogs in the fields. He suggested gating the two “boulevard” roads to prevent parking there, and posting signs listing rules similar to those at the Pickering Preserve. Rules would include hours from sun up to sun down, dogs to be kept on leashes and to be kept on the trails, no hunting, and parking in designated areas only. The Board asked Mr. Alston to close off the boulevards.

Farm Manager Alix Coleman said there has been a problem with a resident of Deerfield walking several large dogs and not picking up after them. The Secretary offered to send a letter if Ms. Coleman provides the name or address of the individual.

Ms. Coleman said no progress has been made on the roof replacement for the manure pit. Mr. Kuhn said he spoke to contractor Mike Comasky, who is looking into pricing for the preferred roofing material. Mr. Comasky also wants to check the roof again for deterioration. Mr. Kuhn said he doesn’t see this project as a priority, and Mr. Philips agreed, stating concerns over the budget.

Mr. Kuhn called the vote, and all were in favor.

Old Business

Aquetong Farm

Mr. Philips said he recently sent a letter to the owner of the Aquetong Farm in regard to a sign installed on her recently renovated barn, which bypassed approval from the HARB. Having received no response to his letter, Mr. Philips asked that Mr. Kohli send a notice of violation to the owner.

New Business

Open Space Matters: McDevitt, Stevens, Fillippo, Marulli-Koenig

Mr. Philips made the following four motions with regard to open space easement acquisitions and donations. Discussion preceded the seconding of the motions.

Mr. Willig seconded the four motions. Mr. Kuhn called the vote, and all were in favor.

Jenkins Subdivision

Mr. Kohli indicated that before final plans can be prepared by EDC Affiliates for the Jenkins subdivision, the Board must decide on the dimensions and ownership of the road serving the four proposed lots and future park. Public roadway must be wider than private to meet PennDOT specifications for Liquid Fuel Tax eligibility. After some discussion, it was determined that the road would be public from Valley Hill Road to the end of the future park parking lot at a width of 24 feet at the entrance from Valley Hill as required by PennDOT, then narrowing to 18 feet. The remainder of the road will be private, tapering down to 16 feet, and will be maintained by the future Homeowners Association for the four lots. The Homeowners Association will be required to plow the entire road, with the Township plowing the parking lot for the park. Mr. Kohli will relate the information to EDC Affiliates so the final plans can be prepared for approval. Mr. Thompson will prepare the bid package for the sale of the lots after he receives the revised final plan.

Tax Levy Resolution for 2008 & Budget Resolution to Adopt 2007 Budget

These items were tabled to the December 17th meeting.

Schedule and Authorize Advertisement for Reorganization Meeting – (Jan. 7, 2008)

The Secretary explained that the reorganization meeting is mandated by the State to be held on the first Monday of the New Year, unless that date is a holiday. This coming year, Monday, January 7th is the mandated reorganization date. Mr. Philips moved to direct the Secretary to advertise the Reorganization meeting and first business meeting for 2008 for Monday, January 7, 2008, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA. Mr. Rodgers seconded, and all were in favor.

TND Ordinance Discussion

Andy Motel, Planning Commission Chairman, Michael Allen, Vice Chairman, and member Rick Reis were present along with Tom Comitta to review the proposed Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) Ordinance with the Supervisors. Mr. Motel explained that Mr. Crawford undertook a detailed review of the document at the Planning Commission’s request, and his comments were discussed and incorporated into the latest draft dated November 29, 2007. Mr. Kuhn indicated that the Supervisors each reviewed the draft over the past few days and marked up their copies with questions and comments to be discussed this evening.

Discussion and review were as follows.

Pg. Section Comments By
2-1 Article II Is a maximum of 40 persons reasonable for the definition of Café? Mr. Motel said the definition for Restaurant allows 40 persons and above, so the two definitions work together. Mr. Townes said 40 is a realistic number, which would translate to 20 tables or less in about 1,200 square feet of space. The Board decided to leave the definition as is. Rodgers
2-2 Article II Does the definition for corner stores need examples? Following discussion, it was determined not to be necessary. Philips
2-2 Article II Day Care is permitted, why not a private school? Discussion was postponed until the individual Areas are addressed. Philips
2-2 Article II Insert “Licensed” before “and operated in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” for the Day Care definition. Kuhn
2-2 Article II Definition of a duplex. Mr. Comitta said Frone Crawford defined it as two dwelling units, one above the other, as opposed to a twin, with side by side units. Rodgers
2-2 Article II Does the Design Review Committee need a Chair? Mr. Allen said the Planning Commission thought this would be needed to keep matters moving forward. Kuhn
2-2 Article II Are single family detached homes required to have a garage? Mr. Comitta said no, and Mr. Kohli added that this isn’t required now by the zoning ordinance. Philips
2-3 Article II Mr. Willig pointed out several typos on this page. Willig
2-3 Article II Section F. – Granny Flats: Suggested that utilities be shared with the principal structure. Mr. Allen said by separating utilities, the flats could count toward apartments and affordable housing. There was some discussion on whether the 15% of units permitted to include an accessory dwelling should be changed, but this was not done. Kuhn
2-4 Article II Why isn’t transmission rebuilding permitted in a Motor Vehicle Service Station? The Board decided to remove the phrase prohibiting “engine and/or transmission rebuilding or replacement.” Philips
2-4 Article II Definition for restaurant doesn’t allow for outside dining. Mr. Motel suggested revising the definition to specify “no drive-thru’s” but remove the wording that food/beverages must be consumed “within the building.” Philips
2-4 Article II Add a definition for Private School – to be discussed later. Philips
2-4 Article II Add a maximum capacity for Nursery School. Mr. Motel said the State does this. Kuhn
2-4 Article II Do Live-Work units count as apartments? Mr. Motel answered yes. Kuhn
22-1 2200.C Add date of Comprehensive Plan. Willig
22-1 2201.C How do we determine quantity of various architectural features, such as a stone wall? Mr. Philips said the statement that it “shall be consistent with the Key Design Elements and Graphic Design Guidelines” is sufficient. Mr. Kuhn agreed. Willig
22-2 2202.A.5 Can we include more incentives to promote LEED certification? Mr. Comitta said the wording can be changed to read “shall employ green building methods” instead of “are also encouraged to employ green building methods”. It was noted that LEED can’t be required outright, but Mr. Townes said the topic is worthy of further discussion. Willig
22-2 2202.B Should there be percentages of twins and townhouses? Mr. Comitta said this is listed in section 2202.C.6. Kuhn
22-2 2202.B Will streets be dedicated? Mr. Comitta said it’s optional. Mr. Kuhn said the main streets should be dedicated. Willig
22-2 2202.B.2 Should cul de sacs be permitted, now shown as permitted by conditional use? Mr. Townes said there may be some situations where a cul de sac makes sense. Philips
22-2 2202.B.4 Concern over pedestrians crossing Whitehorse Road. Mr. Motel referred him to Exhibit E, the Bike & Pedestrian Paths. Mr. Allen said there will be a signalized crosswalk between Areas 2 and 5. Crossing over Route 29 via an elevated walkway can’t be cost justified, however. Rodgers
22-2 2202.B.4 Is there a link to Blackstone Lane? Mr. Motel said yes, it’s shown in the concept plan. Kuhn
22-2 2202.B.5 Change “The streets with” to “The streets within” Kuhn
22-1 2202.C.1 Can the alleys be less than 16 feet? Mr. Comitta said they wouldn’t be eligible for liquid fuels if less than 16 feet, but Mr. Kuhn said they would be private anyway and not eligible. He’d prefer a 14 foot width for more traffic calming and a cozier look. Mr. Willig said portions of Sycamore Lane are 14 feet wide and there are some problems with cars passing. Mr. Motel added that with heavier snow events, the road narrows even further. Kuhn
22-3 2202.C.3.a A diagram would be useful for visualization. Mr. Townes said there is a diagram in one of the exhibits. Philips
22-3 2202.C.7 Insert a new C.7 to indicate that if a dwelling is not accessed by an alley, it shall have a garage. Change C.7 and C.8 to C.8 and C.9. Comitta
22-4 2202.D.4 Concern about the 45 foot height, asked why this is necessary. Mr. Allen said the height will be needed for the retail space, and Mr. Motel said allowing 3 story structures with this height provides more options for roof pitch and architectural variety. Mr. Townes indicated 45 feet is permitted now in the B-1 district provided additional setback is included. Mr. Kuhn asked if they should require all buildings to be sprinklered and the general consensus was yes. Rodgers
22-4 2202.D.6a. Is the 7/12 roof pitch ratio adequate for solar panels in our latitude? Mr. Comitta said this should be changed to 8/12. Philips
22-4 2202.D.6b Mr. Kuhn asked if there should be a maximum height on the parapet wall. Mr. Townes said customarily, ordinances say the wall should be level with the equipment it screens. Kuhn
22-5 2202.G.4 Change “front porches and wrap-around porches are strongly encouraged” to “… expected”. Kuhn
22-5 2202.G.6 Add language to indicate that a building can be renovated to meet the street wall line. Kuhn
22-5 2202.G.8 Why aren’t at-grade dwellings allowed? Mr. Allen said steps leading up to the dwelling provide a separation from the streetscape while still being part of it. Kuhn
22-5 2202.H. Refers to Article 13 – what is included? Mr. Comitta said that is the parking section of the ordinance. Kuhn
22-5 2202.I Concern over maintenance of hedges permitted for buffering of parking lots. Mr. Kuhn said that will be the HOAs’ responsibility. Rodgers
22-5 2202.I.1 Why should walls and landscaping be a minimum of 3 feet? Mr. Kohli said this will screen from headlights. Philips
22-6 2202.J.4 What is a pedestrian plaza? Mr. Comitta referred him to p. 9-1 of Exhibit B, the Graphic Design Manual. Philips
22-6 2202.K.4 Should it specify that pedestrians have priority? Mr. Allen said this is incorporated in the state law. Philips
22-6 2202.K.2 How does the 18 feet width of sidewalks with outdoor dining affect the street wall line? Mr. Comitta said a note should be added to p. 22-14, 2208.C.1. “except for outdoor dining.” Kuhn
22-6 2202.K.6 Add a new item 6 indicating that sidewalks should be extended to connecting tracts when feasible. Renumber item 6 as #7. Comitta
22-6 2202.L. Will a lighting consultant be needed to review lighting with the Design Review Committee? (No comments). Willig
22-6 2202.L An update to the lighting specs is needed. Comitta
22-6 2202.L Who pays for the street lights? If it’s the Township, we should specify that they be energy efficient. Mr. Motel suggested this be included for all improvements in the public domain. Mr. Willig said there are LEED standards for this. Kuhn
22-7 2202.M.2 Would like to provide for transplantation of mature trees in the ordinance, similar to what was presented by Allan Myers Co. at a recent Planning Commission meeting. After some discussion, Mr. Comitta suggested increasing the tree caliper minimum from 3” to 4”. Motel
22-7 2202.M.3 Require native species trees. Willig
22-7 2202.N Are roof signs permitted? Mr. Comitta responded no. Philips
22-7 2202.N.2.b What is a blade sign? Mr. Comitta referred him to page 30 of Exhibit B. Philips
2202.N2 General discussion of sign types. Kuhn
22-9 2203.C.2 Allow Bed and Breakfast as an adaptive use, not just an adaptive re-use. Mr. Motel said B & B’s could be added to Area 2. Philips
22-9 2204.B.1,2 & 3 Change the minimums to 25% Kuhn
22-10 2204.C.1 Why is there a maximum? Mr. Comitta said this can be taken out now. It had referred to commercial use in the past, but this was removed. Kuhn
22-10 2204.C.2 Why is open space reduced to 35%? Mr. Motel said this was to allow for flexibility in design. Rodgers
22-10 2204.D Discussion on who provides the ongoing maintenance for land dedicated to the Township used for active recreation. Mr. Kuhn suggested omitting “may be dedicated” as some of this land could be owned by HOAs. Mr. Motel said the Planning Commission has formed a subcommittee to consider the maintenance issue. Mr. Townes said he’s seen documents indicating “the Township has the right to maintain…” while keeping other options open. Kuhn
22-11 2205.C.4 What if the rear yard abuts an alley? Mr. Motel said then there is no rear setback required. Philips
22-12 2206.A.4 Specifies retail uses, but this wouldn’t include restaurants and banks. Mr. Motel suggested changing “Retail use and personal service shops” to “Uses and Shops” Motel
22-12 2206.A.4 Specify that cafes, like restaurants, are “without drive-thru facilities.” Motel
22-12 2206.A.9 Discussion on whether to add Private Schools. It was decided that it would take too much square footage from retail use and was left out. Comitta
22-13 2207.A What if someone wants to convert a space into an apartment, causing the number of apartment units to exceed the minimum? Mr. Allen said it wouldn’t be permitted by the ordinance and the zoning officer would deny the permit. Philips
22-13 2207-C.2 Is a minimum of 2% gross tract area for active recreation sufficient? Mr. Motel said it translates into a couple of acres, and Mr. Allen said total open space is 15%, of which the active recreation is only a portion. Kuhn
22-14 2209.A Are the two small parcels at Charlestown Road and Phoenixville Pike included in this Area? Mr. Motel said yes. Philips
22-15 2210A.1 Specify that cafes, like restaurants, are “without drive-thru facilities.” Motel
22-16 2211.E.2 Does the 45 feet include the parapet wall? Mr. Comitta said yes. Kuhn
22-17 2213.A.3 Should our hotel use disallow condos, which is permitted in West Chester? Mr. Motel said the definition already disallows it. Mr. Reis asked if requiring a minimum of 500 square feet of conference center for each hotel room is the right proportion. Mr. Kuhn suggested this be reduced. Allen
22-18 2216.A. Is the Pa. Dept. of Insurance the correct agency to regulate CCRC’s? Mr. Thompson will confirm. Kuhn
22-19 2216.B.2.b Is 20% too high for retail uses and personal service shops? Mr. Townes said this is 20% of the 20% for total common facilities, so it’s not very large a number. Kuhn
22-20 2216.C.4 Does the quarry pit count toward the minimum gross tract area? Mr. Comitta said yes. Kuhn
22-20 2216.D.1.b Refers to “fee simple”. Does this apply? Mr. Thompson said yes, with a reverter clause to the CCRC, it does apply. Kuhn
22-20 2216.D.2.a Asked for an explanation. Mr. Comitta said this increases the required minimum setback for any building within a CCRC. Kuhn
22-21 2216.D.3.a Does the quarry pit count toward maximum impervious surface coverage? Mr. Kohli said no, it’s considered pervious. Kuhn
22-21 2216.D.5.a Questioned whether townhouses should be included. Mr. Allen confirmed they are permitted as a type of dwelling in this area. Motel
22-22 2217 Wants this area to be for age-qualified housing. Rodgers
22-23 2219.B.3 Change 1,000 to 10,000. Comitta
22-24 2219.I.2 Change 50 foot building height to 45 feet. Kuhn
22-25 2220.2.a Term “excellence” rather abstruse. Kuhn
22-27 2220.B.10 Does the ordinance require that infrastructure be built up front? Mr. Comitta said yes. Mr. Kuhn asked if the housing mix should be built in proportional numbers from the beginning, but Mr. Allen said he doesn’t think the township should specify sequencing. Mr. Townes said buyers in a community must sign off on a copy of the plan so they understand what’s coming in the future. Kuhn
  Exhibit A Specify that these Key Design Elements are for Devault Village. Mr. Comitta will check on other references for consistency. Kuhn
  Exhibit B Mr. Philips said the Design Guideline examples are good, and Mr. Kuhn agreed. Philips
  Exhibit C Discussion on why the Sload and Allen properties were excluded from Area 2 of the Development Strategy Plan. Mr. Motel said the Planning Commission couldn’t come up with uses they were comfortable with for these properties. Mr. Motel noted item #2 of the legend should remove the notation “up to 20,000 square foot buildings.” Mr. Comitta agreed and said he’ll adjust other items in the legend as well. Mr. Motel went into some detail describing elements of this exhibit. Kuhn
  Exhibit D Noted that Ed Theurkauf suggested removing some units from the sketch Development Strategy Plan. Mr. Motel requested that the Supervisors further review this exhibit. He noted that the Ordinance gives the supervisors power to adjust the maps. Motel
  Exhibit E Road names need some additions and deletions on the Bike and Pedestrian Path plan. Confirmed that the bike path under the turnpike is in the correct location. Motel
  Exhibit F Is the Design Review Committee flow chart clear? Mr. Kuhn said yes. Mr. Allen said it’s complicated but acceptable. He said he has a few corrections he’ll transmit to Mr. Comitta. Mr. Motel said this Committee is the 3 member group consisting of Mr. Comitta, a supervisor and a planning commissioner. An architect will be brought in on an as-needed basis. Mr. Motel asked who pays for the review costs, and Mr. Comitta said the applicant does. Motel

Mr. Comitta will confer with Frone Crawford, Esq. on the comments and proposed changes, and they will revise the ordinance as needed. The Board determined that the hearing on December 17, 2007 would be cancelled, as the revised ordinance must be re-advertised and reviewed by the County Planning Commission within a 30 day time frame.

Mr. Comitta will transmit a revised ordinance copy to Mr. Thompson for advertising, and will provide a disk to the Township Office. The Board scheduled the hearing on the revised ordinance for January 22, 2008, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA, in room 154.


Mr. Kuhn announced that the Board would adjourn to executive session to discuss legal matters. The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 P.M. The next meeting is scheduled for December 17, 2007, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Administrator
sheet, 12/3/2007