Wendy Leland, Chairman, Bill Westhafer, Vice Chairman (arrived later), Mike Allen, Andy Motel (arrived later), Michael Richter, Dan Wright, P.E., Tom Comitta, and Linda Csete. Ingrid Cantarella-Fox was present from the Horse-Shoe Trail Club.

Call to Order:

7:32 p.m.


Mrs. Leland announced that the approval of minutes would be tabled until after the Spring Oak discussion when a quorum would be available.


Spring Oak TND – Review Items for Final Plan Submission

John Mostoller and Eric Schrock were present to go over final points prior to their submission of the Final Plan for Spring Oak.

Mr. Mostoller circulated a Punch List originally started by Mrs. Csete following the 9/13/11 meeting that now incorporates his responses to the 23 items and added notes from the 10/31/11 DRC meeting and miscellaneous items from his review of past Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors minutes. He said at the 9/13/11 Planning Commission meeting, Mr. Allen walked through the review comments from Mr. Kohli, Mr. Comitta, Solicitor Mark Thompson, and Dale Frens, and Mrs. Csete took meticulous notes that he was able to work from to prepare the punch list responses to be discussed this evening.

Mr. Allen asked, before these items are reviewed, if Mr. Mostoller could update them on the status of the sanitary sewer. Mr. Mostoller said he and Mr. Schrock met with Dan Wright and Surender Kohli, and Mr. Kohli is spearheading a meeting on December 1st with the Valley Forge Sewer Authority (VFSA) that will include representatives from East Whiteland Township. Mr. Allen asked if any difficulty is anticipated. Mr. Wright said they need to adjust the 1971 agreement between Charlestown and East Whiteland Townships and the VFSA, in which Charlestown had agreed not to produce more than 300,000 gallons to send to East Whiteland Township and further not to cause any hydrologic overload within the next five years. East Whiteland Township can’t sign off on the Planning Module until it’s determined who will pay for the needed improvements to the system and the timing of those improvements. Mr. Allen asked if this affects the Tyler Griffin Plan as well, and Mr. Wright said yes, noting that although Tim Townes won’t be attending the meeting he is aware of it. Mr. Mostoller said they will let Mr. Kohli handle the meeting. He said Spring Oak doesn’t go over the 300,000 gallons, but East Whiteland Township can’t handle the additional volume regardless. Mr. Allen asked Mr. Wright to inform Mr. Townes of the meeting, and he agreed to call him.

Mr. Allen then asked for the status with PECO, following a letter PECO sent the township dated 11/15/11 in which they indicated they are not required to construct their utilities underground. Mr. Mostoller said they’ve been meeting with PECO and have one more step to take before involving the Township. Mr. Allen asked if Mr. Townes has been involved, and Mr. Schrock said yes, he’s attended the meetings. Mr. Mostoller said he doesn’t see this as an issue but there is a process involved.

Mr. Mostoller noted that Item 21 of the punch list remains outstanding as to when to go to the Great Valley School Board to discuss a school bus stop within the development. (Mr. Westhafer arrived at this time.) Mr. Schrock said the time to go to the School Board is after submission of the final plan. Mr. Mostoller asked for confirmation that the bus stop doesn’t need to be shown on the plans, and Mr. Allen confirmed this but restated the Township’s position that they will not allow any children to wait alongside Whitehorse Road. He asked Mr. Mostoller to let them know when they meet with the School Board so they can assist them.

Mr. Mostoller began a review of the Punch list Items as follows:

  1. As requested, he brought a sample of the Spring Oak entrance sign to be erected off Whitehorse Road that is the actual size but not the actual color. Mr. Comitta suggested they do a test with the manufacturer to ensure the lighting doesn’t look garish from certain angles.
  2. They will use untreated pine or fir for the community garden plots. Mrs. Leland asked if there will be deer fencing, and Mr. Mostoller said yes.
  3. Item #3 and #23: Mr. Mostoller said they still need guidance from Tom Comitta on how to make the light levels more uniform. Mr. Comitta said he’s spoken to the Township Solicitor, Mark Thompson, about moving the lighting requirements from the Zoning Ordinance to the Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance (SLDO). He gave the history on why it was placed in the Zoning Ordinance originally, having been due to past regulations that didn’t require a single non-resident user to go through the SLDO process. Therefore, that user still had to comply with the lighting regulations in the Zoning Ordinance. (Mr. Motel arrived at this time.) Mr. Comitta said they may want to retain a “nuisance provision” in the zoning ordinance regarding lighting after it’s moved to the SLDO, perhaps to be included in the environmental control section.

    Mr. Allen said if the lighting requirements aren’t moved to the SLDO in time for final plan approval, this can be resolved with the Zoning Hearing Board. He said prior to bidding out the lights, they should be tested with Spring City Lighting, as there were “hot spots” the Township would prefer not to have. He asked if there’s a methodology to determining averages. Mr. Wright said there are certain minimums and maximums with any light fixture, and the consultant will know the average lumens’ minimum and maximum and can determine if the plan is within acceptable limits. Mr. Allen said the light sources have changed, and LEDs have brighter hot spots and need different reflectors.

    Mr. Mostoller asked for direction. Mr. Comitta suggested arranging for a conference call with Mr. Stubbe to include the applicants, himself and Mr. Allen. Mr. Allen said this will allow Mr. Stubbe to look at the current plan and provide feedback before the plan is revised further. Mr. Comitta said he’ll ask Solicitor Mark Thompson to mark up the proposed ordinance change prior to December 6th so it can be reviewed at the December 13th Planning Commission meeting.

  4. With regard to changing the maximum height of street light poles, Mr. Mostoller suggested changing the Design Manual to indicate that the maximum height should be 15 feet with the poles themselves not exceeding 11 feet in length. Mr. Allen asked if the ordinance has to be changed in order to allow a change in the design manual, and this issue was unanswered and remains outstanding.
  5. Mr. Schrock showed a slide depicting how the chimney vents were raised five feet off the ground so children can’t touch them. The Planning Commission voted that this change is approved.
  6. Mr. Mostoller distributed copies of Mr. Frens’ most recent review letter dated 6/24/10 as requested. Mr. Mostoller said they will comply with all items. Mr. Allen asked if, in item #11, they will provide true or simulated divided light sashes. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll be simulated, but this won’t prevent someone from installing true sashes. Mr. Allen asked about item #12, which states shutters on primary facades shall be simulated or fully operable. Mr. Frens indicated this is at odds with requiring only infill shutters to be hung on hinges. Mr. Mostoller said he would have to check on this to see what the resolution was. He added that items #17, regarding placement of solar panels, & 18, regarding the provision of a sketch or photo of the direct-vent fireplace chimney, are not required until final submission.
  7. Regarding the construction phasing schedule, Mr. Mostoller pointed out the defining points of each phase on a slide, noting that the connector road to Rees Road is included in Phase I. Mr. Comitta asked Mr. Wright if there is an issue with the Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan if the Phase delineations change and Mr. Wright said yes, this would have to be worked out with a modification to the NPDES permit. This can be achieved if the applicant can demonstrate that the new phasing is consistent with the old proposal.
  8. Mr. Mostoller agreed they can colorize the changes from the Preliminary to the Final Plan for easy tracking, and reference review comments by number. He suggested getting a few designees from the Planning Commission to go through the plans and review the changes from Preliminary to Final Plan. Mr. Comitta said this colorizing and number tracking was done well for the Design Manual, highlighting changes in yellow. Mr. Schrock said this would be done by hand on the Plans as it’s easier to highlight one master copy and reproduce it rather than make the highlights via AutoCAD. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll have this done for the final plan submission due Monday, December 19th. Mr. Comitta suggested all the consultants and board/commission members receive marked up copies, with the Township Office to receive one clean set.
  9. Mr. Mostoller said the 6/22/10 Planning Commission meeting minutes and 6/21/10 Board of Supervisors minutes were reviewed as suggested, and a few items will be addressed from them later this evening.
  10. Mr. Mostoller agreed they will comply with the request to use a matte finish on any PVC fencing.
  11. Mr. Schrock displayed a slide showing the various Greens. Mr. Comitta suggested placing 8 inches of mulch around each square and “eyebrow” to protect the turf. The Planning Commission indicated approval of the greens.
  12. Mr. Mostoller said they will comply with the safety audit requirement language for the playgrounds. He’s spoken to Mr. Thompson and his own counsel about including this in the Public Offering Statement, along with disclaimers on the nearby Quarry, Turnpike, and Devault Foods. He asked if the Public Offering Statement goes to resale buyers, and Mr. Richter said he didn’t think so; they just receive the HOA by-laws and budget. Mr. Mostoller said he asked Mr. Thompson to check on this, as he’d like the resale buyers to receive it too. Mr. Motel said they could make this a requirement by adding it to the by-laws. Mr. Mostoller confirmed with Mr. Schrock that maintenance of the playground equipment is included in the HOA documents.
  13. Mr. Mostoller said no action is necessary on this item, which indicates that Dale Frens’ comments are needed on the architectural data on pp. 70-95 of the Manual of Written & Graphic Design Guidelines.
  14. Mr. Mostoller said this question on whether adverse conditions should be communicated to future homeowners prior to change of ownership was already discussed in Item #12 above.
  15. Mr. Comitta suggested changing the language to add to Page 1 of the Design Manual that modifications of a specific material may be approved as an equal substitute material by the DRC or the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Mostoller agreed.
  16. Mr. Schrock said they’ll agree to include Mr. Townes in any meetings with utility companies to identify the location of utility boxes, and to add Comcast to the list of utilities. While the Township wants all meters located at the backs of the houses, Mr. Schrock noted that utility companies can supersede land development plans, but they will be sure to locate utilities on the plans the way they want them. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll ensure Mr. Wright and Mr. Kohli find the utility locations acceptable. Mr. Allen said he’s heard Comcast comes in last and knife-slices the turf. He asked them to work with Comcast so they coordinate with Verizon’s installations.
  17. Mr. Mostoller said they’re working with the DRC on the design for concrete flush curbing in the alleys, and a slide was displayed. Mr. Schrock pointed out what Mr. Kohli had referred to as a water stop, and noted they decided to use concrete. Mr. Wright said the slide shows a good edge abutting the pervious paving, and Mr. Comitta agreed it was snug and flush. Mr. Kuhn asked if heave was a concern, and Mr. Wright said they’ve looked at this and determined it won’t be a problem. Mr. Comitta asked if they need to add a note on expansion joints, and Mr. Schrock agreed this would be a good idea to add to the Flush Curb Graphic. The Planning Commission voted its approval of the concrete flush curbing.

    Mr. Mostoller showed the porous asphalt detail shown on the next slide, and then Mr. Schrock showed the temporary alley pavement detail. He explained this is capped with bituminous material temporarily during construction for protection. Afterward it’s milled off, with porous material added on top.

    Mr. Westhafer asked if stormwater calculations take porous paving into consideration, and Mr. Schrock said yes, and added there’s a note on the plan on how to replace the porous material if repairs are needed years later. Mr. Wright gave details on how the stormwater calculations are done.

    Mr. Kuhn asked if porous asphalt can be seal coated, and Mr. Mostoller said no, although the driveways can be seal coated since they are regular asphalt. Mr. Wright said the porous pavement can be regularly cleaned. Mr. Kuhn asked if there is steel in the curb, and Mr. Schrock said no. Mr. Wright indicated this was acceptable.

  18. Mr. Mostoller agreed they will provide a list of the lots requiring deed restrictions prior to final approval.
  19. Mr. Mostoller indicated the HOA will own the street lights and pay for maintenance, electric and replacement.
  20. Mr. Mostoller said the stairs accessing garages will be interior stairs. He said they reviewed best practices and found interior stairs to be both cheaper and safer.
  21. Mr. Mostoller agreed they will meet with the School District to arrange for a bus stop within the development, as discussed earlier this evening.
  22. Mr. Mostoller agreed there will be no solar panels installed on the primary face of any building.
  23. Mr. Mostoller said this was already discussed in conjunction with item #3.
Next, Mr. Mostoller addressed several meeting notes from the 10/31/11 DRC Meeting as follows.
  1. Regarding the need to review the retaining walls and their locations at this meeting, Mr. Schrock displayed slides labeled “Retaining Walls” and “Non-Structural Retaining Walls”. Mr. Schrock said some of the non-structural walls do separate differences in grades but are not holding back earth. He then showed a slide depicting a “green wall” that includes mesh and evergreen plantings, which stabilizes a slope. He said no walls are over five feet in height, and they have fences along the tops. More visible walls have cut stone veneer facing.

    Mr. Comitta suggested they look at the Concordville Town Center and gave specific examples within it. He said the stone should appear in more of a straight line. Mr. Westhafer referred to this as “horizontally coarse, roughly squared.”

    Mr. Schrock showed a slide of a large L-shaped retaining wall from Eagleview that is eight feet tall. Mr. Kuhn asked why a nicer looking veneer stone isn’t used here, and Mr. Schrock said it’s in a back alley. Mr. Mostoller said that would be expensive, but they can mix colors for the concrete stone block to achieve a better look. Mr. Kuhn restated he wanted a more attractive treatment for this wall, and Mrs. Leland agreed she disliked the monotone appearance. Mr. Mostoller asked if a green wall would be suitable, and Mr. Kuhn said yes.

    Mr. Motel asked if this wall is visible from the trail, and Mr. Schrock said no. Mr. Allen asked if there can be ornamental grasses in the green wall. Mr. Mostoller said they need to include mostly evergreens so it looks good in winter, but some ornamentals can be blended in for color. Mr. Richter said these walls shouldn’t be walked on to provide maintenance so this should be taken into consideration. Mr. Mostoller asked for direction. Mrs. Leland said a green wall in the alley is fine. Mr. Comitta recommends deer resistant “sweet box” along with creeping juniper and low-grow fragrant sumac on the bad slopes. Mr. Mostoller asked if the DRC would approve the stone and planting materials, and Mr. Allen said Mr. Comitta can do this. Mr. Schrock said they’ll submit a separate set of drawings with specifics, but this doesn’t have to be decided yet. Mr. Mostoller thought it might be nice to do now, and Mr. Allen agreed that species options could be provided. Mr. Comitta added winter jasmine and purple leaf winter creeper to his previous suggestions.

  2. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll comply with the alleys to be 16 feet face to face of the curb.
  3. Mr. Mostoller agreed to place a 2-inch cap on the pervious alleys and have it reviewed prior to final pervious paving.
  4. Mr. Mostoller agreed to provide crosswalk at Philips Square and at the eyebrow green on both sides.
  5. and 5.a. The Planning Commission questioned that the naming of alleys and streets be approved by the Post Office when this is more critical for emergency services. Mrs. Csete gave some background on the process the Township used when renaming streets in 1996 for 9-1-1. She suggested starting with an ADC Chester County Map Book and checking the index to avoid duplicate street names.
  6. Slides were shown of aerators for the water features. Mr. Schrock said as opposed to a fountain, an aerator provides more oxygen to the pond, has a longer life and requires less maintenance. They’re better for shallow ponds, and these will be a maximum of five feet deep. Mr. Motel asked if the water features are visible from the main road, and Mr. Schrock said they’ll be visible from the entrance and when driving down Whitehorse Road. Mr. Allen asked if the aerator pumps would operate 24 hours a day, and Mr. Schrock said typically yes, but they can also be put on timers. The Planning Commission voted to accept the aerators for the water features.

Mr. Mostoller than addressed several miscellaneous items following his review of June 2010 minutes from the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings as follows:

  1. Mr. Mostoller said they’ll comply with installing 8 foot fence around the gardens. Mr. Comitta suggested adding the words “deer” and “community” to the reference, “8 foot deer fence around the community gardens.”
  2. After some discussion, the Planning Commission agreed that the alley configuration leading to the Fillippo commercial site should be 20 feet wide rather than 16 feet. Mr. Mostoller said this way it will be sized for future expansion when necessary, and Mr. Allen agreed, noting this connects to TND Area 2.
  3. Mr. Mostoller said they plan to provide concrete for the pool decking material, although Mr. Allen said this gets very hot. He asked them to look into an alternative cementious material, which Mr. Schrock noted has Styrofoam in it. Mr. Wright said the typical community pool has concrete decking. Mr. Comitta recommended a broom finish so it wouldn’t be slippery.
  4. Mr. Mostoller agreed that the provision that gardens will be required to have the same chemical restrictions as individual yards will be added to the HOA documents.

    Mr. Allen said the handicapped access to the pool was resolved, and Mr. Mostoller showed the access on a slide, noting it needs to be moved slightly so people can get to the clubhouse when the pool itself is closed. Mr. Comitta said slot draining is needed to control sediment along the access, and the slope should be under 5%. Mr. Mostoller said it is almost flat.

Mr. Mostoller invited the Planning Commission members to email him if they think of anything else regarding the final plans. Mr. Motel asked about the retaining wall along Rees Road. Mr. Mostoller said it was approved by the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Allen noted they want to see natural grading there.

Ms. Canterella-Fox asked if the Horse-Shoe Trail is still shown on the plans, and Mrs. Leland said yes. Mrs. Cantarella-Fox asked if the easements are placed on individual landowners’ property or in the Homeowners’ Association open space. Mr. Mostoller said this is listed in the HOA documents as being in the common areas belonging to the HOA but said he’ll take a look at this. He added he must talk to Mark Thompson regarding the type of language needed for the easements. He also said he needs to check on language for the parking lot to maintain it as a reserve area the HOA can’t extinguish from the plans.

Administrative Matters

Submission Requirements for Spring Oak and Pickering Grant (Tyler Griffin) Final

DRC Chairman Mike Allen said Mrs. Csete will handle the needs of the consultants and supervisors as to what format they want their final plan submission materials provided in, but he asked each of the planning commission members what format they prefer. After some discussion, Mrs. Csete indicated she could make up a chart and customize the materials for each individual.

The submissions are expected to be in time for placement on the January 10, 2012 agenda for review.

Approval of October 11, 2011 Minutes

Mr. Allen moved to approve the minutes of October 11, 2011 and Mr. Motel seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mrs. Leland thanked everyone for attending this specially scheduled meeting, and Mr. Mostoller echoed his appreciation. She said the next meeting will be held on December 13, 2011. Mr. Allen noted the DRC will not hold its meeting on December 5th.

Mrs. Leland adjourned the meeting at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Manager