Present: Andy Motel, Chairman, Wendy Leland, Vice Chairman, Mike Allen, Michael Richter, Andre von Hoyer II, Bill Westhafer, Surender Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, Dale Frens, Linda Csete, and applicants representing Dewey Land L.P. John Mostoller, Eric Schrock and Doug Olson.

Call to Order:

7:34 P.M.

Announcements -


Citizens Forum

No matters were brought forward at this time.

Approval of Minutes

March 9, 2010 Minutes

Mrs. Leland moved to approve the March 9, 2010 minutes and Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. Motel called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

March 20, 2010 Minutes

Mr. Motel moved to approve the March 20, 2010 minutes and Mr. Allen seconded. Mr. Motel called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Spring Oak Traffic Study – McMahon Associates

Mr. Kohli responded to Dewey LP’s question of why the McMahon study addressed certain elements within the Spring Oak plan instead of focusing on the roads leading to the subdivision. He explained that since roads inside the development are to be dedicated to the Township, they must meet PennDOT standards. Therefore, he asked McMahon Associates to review them, paying particular attention to the roundabouts and the main entrance, to confirm that larger vehicles can negotiate the turns and to review general circulation issues. Mr. Allen noted that Dewey LP’s engineer, Jason Engelhardt, has responded to the McMahon comments, and Mr. Kohli has in turn sent a letter dated 3/22/10 responding to Mr. Engelhardt.

Lighting in the TND District

Mr. Motel said he and Mrs. Leland sent comments to Mr. Townes on lighting standards in the residential areas of the TND district and also reviewed the current lighting ordinance and Exhibit B of the TND ordinance, which includes the Township’s endorsement of light pole standards for residential areas and the endorsement of the Spring City Lighting Company’s “Washington Model” style light standard. To give the applicants direction and guidance, Mr. Motel requested comments on lighting from the Planning Commission that further consider the desired level of lighting, style of light and placement in the residential areas of the TNDs. He said in some areas, such as in front of the smaller or larger single homes, frosted post lighting is excessive. He said that post lights (poles and fixtures 5-6 feet high) shouldn’t be used in the townhome areas because the close proximity of the units, coupled with door way lighting which every unit will use as well as light spilling from the units will “over light” the front street area, especially with setbacks of 15 feet from the cartway. Mrs. Leland agreed that she liked the post lights for some residential streetscapes, but not for the duplexes or townhomes. She finds them acceptable at the entrance to the development and for the proposed Whitehorse Boulevard. Mr. Motel said the Supervisors have already approved the additional cost which the Township will bear to have PennDOT use the Washington light poles along their proposed Route 29 improvement project. Mr. Allen noted that J. Loew & Associates has also chosen the Washington light style for Tyler Griffin. Spring City Mfg. will help them design their layouts.

Mr. von Hoyer said that the higher street lights in Charlestown Oaks aren’t noticed the way eye level post lights are. He asked if the lights are meant to be part of the ambience of the development, or if it’s meant to be functional lighting that’s not particularly noticed. Mr. Motel said in the TND, both types of lights are wanted, though he noted that the amount and intensity of lighting in the residential areas is different than that for a boulevard or retail and office areas. Mr. Allen agreed the lighting isn’t meant to be security lighting in the residential areas. Mr. Comitta referred to Exhibit B, page 7 of the TND Ordinance, pointing out that the lighting is for safety and convenience and agreed it’s not meant to be security lighting. He said he agreed with Mr. von Hoyer that the lighting shouldn’t be distracting but should be there without being noticeable.

The Planning Commission discussed the need to visit additional sites to review more lighting examples. Mr. Motel said they want to look at LED lighting. Mr. Allen said he received some leads from Kent Lazoer of Spring City Lighting, and Mr. Comitta said he’ll obtain information from Jeff Abel of Diversified Lighting in Warminster. Mr. Allen said he’ll check LED lighting at Ursinus and in Ambler along with two other non-LED lit areas in the Villanova/Wayne area.

Mr. Mostoller asked for their opinion of the lighting at the entrance to Eagleview, which has 50 feet between lights in the single family home area. Mr. Motel said generally the sites visited on March 8th had too much lighting. Mr. Allen agreed, saying once you’re in a residential site you don’t need a lot of light. The lights will only be 17-20 feet from the houses. He said that in places like Wayne, the lights are spaced further apart and that’s the design they should be working toward. He said he doesn’t want any post lights, just street lights and porch lights. He said with street lights, which are higher, fewer lights are needed. Mr. Westhafer noted that height should be considered in relation to some of the homes that will be elevated by a few steps in the front. Lighting that seems higher from the street may shine in the windows of those homes and should be staggered. Mr. Schrock said lighting consultant Stan Stubbe said not a lot of lighting is needed to walk, and too much light is blinding and should be frosted. Mrs. Leland said color should be considered too, and recommends a warmer yellow hue. The color should be consistent throughout and should be located as to be sensitive to tree placement. Mr. Westhafer asked about garage lights and whether there will be hours of use specified, type of lighting, and whether motion detectors are permitted. Mr. Mostoller said this will all be included in the lighting plan. Mr. von Hoyer asked if the street lights will be automated, and Mr. Allen said yes.

Mr. von Hoyer asked if energy saving lights will be used. Mr. Allen said yes, 74 watt LED lights are being considered. He said induction lighting may be a better option but this type of lighting isn’t widely available. Mr. Mostoller said they may want to look into it regardless.

Mr. Motel said the Planning Commission needs to provide direction to Dewey LP and Mr. Allen said Monday, March 29th was set for the lighting tour. Mr. Motel said after the tour, he will speak to Mr. Comitta regarding preparations for the April 13th meeting. The type of lighting for each housing type will be decided, although Mr. Allen said the exact location of the lights won’t be specified. Mr. Mostoller said his team will put together a lighting plan to be discussed at the April 13th meeting. Mr. Mostoller added that they need the buffering issues between Devault Foods and Spring Oak and elsewhere settled at that time too.

The lighting tour will take place on March 29th, 7:00 p.m.


Spring Oak Preliminary Plan - Traditional Neighborhood Development

John Mostoller, Eric Schrock and Doug Olsen were present to continue review for Spring Oaks.

Mr. Mostoller and Mr. Olsen continued the PowerPoint presentation from the February 23, 2010 meeting, going through the Design Manual page by page beginning with page 74. Mr. Frens said he didn’t see a reason to restate the comments already provided by the DRC, and Mr. Allen agreed, unless there is an overarching remark that should be considered. The following comments were made.

Page # Comments
75 Mr. Olson said this page begins the section on Architecture, and he hopes to finish the manual by the end of the evening, then collect all the manuals with everyone’s notes to review following the meeting.
76-77 Typical Elements & Features – Large and Small Lot Singles: Mr. Frens said these diagrams on pp. 76-79 started out as glossaries to identify the various features of the housing types but gradually took on more importance. Barton Associates will be adding text that will help the permit reviewer determine whether to accept or reject an application.

Mr. Westhafer asked if shingle and metal roofing would be mixed, and Mr. Mostoller said yes. He said all bay windows will have metal roofs. Mr. Frens said metal roofing is used on the lower pitched roof sections. Mr. Olsen said it’s also used for accents.

Mr. Richter asked why shutters aren’t shown. Mr. Mostoller said it’s hard to proportion shutters for these particular windows. Mr. Allen added that the DRC agreed not to require hinges for the shutters but they do want simulated hardware to avoid the appearance of being pasted on. He said the carriage houses at Applebrook are a good example although the hardware is a little excessive. In Malvern, there are examples with and without hardware and there’s a considerable difference in appearance.

Mr. Frens noted that the stone façade won’t run as far up the building as shown on the drawing, where it reaches the bay window. Mr. Mostoller said this will be cut stone, and they’ll make sure it goes to the grade.

Mr. von Hoyer asked if all ventilation pipes are located on the alley side of the houses, and Mr. Allen said yes. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll all be painted black for uniformity.

Mr. von Hoyer said a view from the alley is needed.

The need to require approval for any alterations to the exterior of the homes was discussed, for example, if adding solar panels. Mr. Mostoller said they need to expand on this. Mr. von Hoyer asked about satellite dishes, and Mr. Richter said those can’t be denied under FCC regulations.

Mr. Motel asked what type of application is used around the chimneys. Mr. Mostoller said brown aluminum will be used for those with mechanical fireplaces.

Mrs. Leland asked about the attics, and Mr. Mostoller said they’ll have trusses. There will be second zone heating for the larger homes.

Mr. Richter asked if the dormers contain functional space. For those that don’t, what will hide the trusses? He had the same comment for the smaller windows on the peaks.

Mr. Westhafer asked about the downspouts, and Mr. Mostoller said they’ll all go underground.
78 & 79 Typical Elements & Features – Twins and Townhomes: Mr. Frens said the features are similar to those of the single homes. Mr. Motel asked about the patterning of the various exterior materials. Mr. Mostoller said there will be siding, brick and stone.

Mr. Frens asked if the units would be condominium or separate deed ownership, pointing out that the gable end of the roof on one unit overhangs the other. He added that the downspouts might encroach too.

Mr. von Hoyer asked if the lintels above the windows would be a different color than the siding. Mr. Mostoller said the siding will be Fypon® or similar polyurethane product.

Mr. Motel asked if the transom windows above the doors will function and Mr. Mostoller said no.
80 & 81 Exterior Elements – Roof & Roofing: Mr. Motel asked why the dormers wouldn’t be functional, and Mr. Mostoller said some of them may be wider than the trusses.

Mr. Motel noted he liked the hip roof on the image at lower right, saying it makes a very nice end treatment. Mr. Mostoller said this is an image of a single family house, and a good example of what should be seen upon entering the development. Mr. Motel also confirmed with the applicant that the pages within the design manual are designated with what exactly the picture is being used to depict, so for example, the “roof and roofing” page shows a corner home made of brick with a wrap around porch, however, the use of this photo does not indicate such a house will appear in the development – it simply means that the style of roof is indicative of what will be used. That distinction is an important one for all Planning Commission and Board members to bear in mind as they look at each page.

Mr. Westhafer questioned whether the dark roof colors, which absorb more heat, should be considered as sustainable design. Mr. Frens said some dark roofs will be desirable as a traditional design element. Mr. Richter said all the roofs will have ridge vents, although Mr. Westhafer said this just sends the heat into the surrounding air.

Mr. Motel said the metal roof applications are very attractive.
82 Mr. Allen questioned the text that states “Siding shall have a minimum of 3” exposure.” Mr. Mostoller said this should be changed to 6”.

Mr. Motel questioned the term “cementitious”, which Mr. Mostoller said refers to a type of cement board siding.

Mr. Richter asked if the flashing for the stucco treatments will be specified, as he’s seen a lot of moisture problems in various places. Mr. Mostoller said he’ll check to see what’s in the construction codes.

Mr. Allen said the Planning Commission remains concerned that there’s not a picture depicting the view from the alleys and no detailing of the rears of the buildings. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll add a page with these details.

Mr. Allen said some of the group isn’t comfortable that they’re not seeing the end product. He said that for the Tyler Griffin project, they developed preliminary design drawings to show exactly what to expect and depicted every unit that will be built in that development. While this isn’t required, the Planning Commission would like to see some typical images of the units. Mr. Mostoller asked if this could be made a condition of preliminary approval to be produced prior to final approval, and the Planning Commission clarified that only sketches would be needed prior to preliminary approval, not formal architectural blue prints. Mr. Frens said he’s comfortable with what has been shown but understands why the Township needs to see the next level of detail. Mr. Motel asked if a rendition is needed for every home, and Mr. Allen said no, they just need to show a general assemblage of images. Mr. Motel noted that as presently depicted that the Planning Commission would have to combine multiple images in the manual to envision a particular unit. Mr. Mostoller referred to the picture in the preface, and Mr. Allen said this could be expanded to provide the images.

Mrs. Leland said in reference to siding and masonry that some brick helps provide a mix along with the stucco and siding elements.
83 Exterior Elements – Siding Colors: no comments
84 & 85 Exterior Elements – Masonry: Mr. Frens noted that the top right image will be replaced with a picture showing better stonework.

Mr. Mostoller said the town architect has to approve all stone product that is used. Mr. Frens said he understood no synthetic stone would be used, yet it’s depicted on p. 85.

Mr. Motel asked why mortar and grout colors aren’t shown. Mr. Frens said they will be part of the materials package submitted with the building permit application. Mr. Mostoller said at the Belvidere development he built a wall displaying the various bricks and mortars so buyers could choose.
86 Exterior Elements - Windows: Mr. Mostoller pointed out that the molding surrounding the window on the brick building is smaller than that for siding.

Mr. Richter asked if the windows would be wood, and Mr. Mostoller said no, they would be fiberglass or aluminum clad wood.

Mrs. Leland asked about the statement “Applied muntin grids are prohibited”. Mr. Mostoller said that means the muntins must be either between the glass or on the inside of the window, although he indicated they wouldn’t use the between-the-glass type. Mrs. Leland said it’s too hard to wash the windows otherwise. Mr. Mostoller said no houses over $1 million have these muntins.
87 & 88 Exterior Elements – Doors, Shutters & Brackets: Mr. Frens said the reference to brackets for shutters will be removed but a simulated hinge will be added. Mr. Allen and Mr. Motel both agreed the hinges are critical. Mr. von Hoyer asked if there are any materials for shutters that are more fade-resistant, and Mr. Mostoller said probably not.
89 Exterior Elements – Columns and Railings: Mrs. Leland said the top right image shows concrete steps that are unattractive and should be brick, flagstone or other material. Mr. Mostoller said he’ll check their designs as he doesn’t believe they’re including any concrete steps.

Mr. Motel said at the Weatherstone TND development there’s an excessive amount of white vinyl railing and columns and too much is unattractive. He asked if there are other options such as wrought iron or black reproduction. Mr. Frens said typically metal isn’t used for porch railings. Mr. Motel said the text indicates “painted wood” but Mr. Mostoller said they won’t paint them. Mr. Motel said to remove the word “painted”. Mr. Olsen said he’s looking for a matte or satin finish for the vinyl. Mr. Westhafer said there’s a tendency to want detailing on individual units but sometimes the collective result on a row of units can look overdone.
90 Exterior Elements – Porches: Mr. Motel asked if there would be any wraparound porches on the twin homes, and Mr. Mostoller said yes. Mr. Comitta said some wraparounds to the backs of the units may be advisable. Mr. Mostoller said he’ll take a look at the corner areas to see where they’re needed. Mr. Frens noted that on pp. 62-63, wraparound porches are still not shown where they were identified as needed. Mr. Mostoller said on p. 61, special lots were identified that will have them. Mr. von Hoyer suggested that where the text states “beaded porch ceilings are encouraged” it be changed to “required”. He asked if composite wood means plywood. Mr. Frens said no, this refers to materials like Trex®.

Mr. von Hoyer asked if there would be any porches in the backs of the houses, and Mr. Mostoller said probably not, although they will have decks. Mr. von Hoyer said the decks should be shown.
91 Exterior Elements – Gutters & Downspouts: Mr. Frens said the downspouts will be rectangular or round. Mr. Motel said the two shouldn’t be mixed on one building.
92 Exterior Elements – Chimneys: Mr. Frens said the reference to simulated stone should be changed to natural stone.

Mr. Mostoller will provide pictures of the brown metal capping for the non-brick chimneys.
93 Exterior Elements – Garages: Mr. Comitta said the image at right isn’t appropriate for a front loaded garage. Mr. Frens asked if he envisions a more carriage-style garage and he said yes.

Mrs. Leland said there should be some variety in the doors. One development the Planning Commission visited on their tour March 20th had all one garage door style and it had a very monotonous appearance.

Mr. Frens said the last paragraph mentions granny flats but there are no diagrams, so Barton Associates will be adding one. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll include it with the images showing rear elevations.
94 Appendix A – Basis of Design Product Listings: no comments
95 Appendix B – Glossary: All are terms included in the illustration captions and may be omitted.
96 Appendix C – Credits: No comments.

Mr. Allen said there’s a question in the text on p. 8 for Sustainable Design under exterior wall insulation where the insulation for 2 x 6 exterior walls is listed as thicker than the wall. Mr. Mostoller said he’ll check it.

Mr. Allen confirmed that the Township is using Uniform Construction Code 2009 with Mr. Kohli, and Mr. Mostoller said he’ll change references in the manual to the 2004 code to read 2009.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:11 p.m. A lighting tour will take place on March 29th, 7:00 p.m., and the next regular meeting will be held April 13th, 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Planning Commission Secretary