TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013


Planning Commission: Wendy Leland, Chairperson, Bill Westhafer, Vice Chair, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, and Andre von Hoyer. Andy Motel and Michael Richter were absent.

Consultants: Daniel Wright, P.E, Thomas Comitta

Staff: Linda Csete and Lisa Gardner

Public: See Attached List

Call to Order:

7:46 p.m.


Mr. von Hoyer said the Transportation Advisory Committee would not be meeting this month but would meet in June.

Mrs. Leland said HARB would be looking at the parking lot expansion of the Charlestown Playhouse prior to the Planning Commission’s review on June 11th.

Mrs. Leland said Mr. Motel was not present tonight due to the passing of his mother. She expressed condolences on behalf of the Planning Commission.

Mr. Allen had a statement regarding the latest Planning Commission Meeting of May 14. In referencing the second paragraph of page 3 of minutes not yet approved, he said he called the Phoenixville School District regarding the Thompson project. He received confirmation that the safest way for a school bus to stop for loading is in the road, creating a block and using a pull-off.

Approval of May 14, 2013 Minutes

The May 14th minutes are still being reviewed and were not approved this evening.


Proposed Rezoning Application for TND Area 3 to Allow Hotel Use

Mr. Tim Townes was present with Mr. Douglas C. McBrearty of Gulph Creek Development to continue discussion on the proposed rezoning of TND Area 3 to allow hotel use. Mr. Townes began by allowing Mr. Tom Comitta to elaborate on a May 21st email regarding TND-3 amendments. Mr. Comitta referred to his packet containing Draft Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance of Charlestown, and an exhibit labeled D-1 that included Fillippo Residential TND, and the Pickering Grant TND. Also included in the packet were Exhibits ‘B’, “G’, and a page entitled “Hotel”.

  1. First Mr. Comitta discussed definitions for “Campus-type Setting” and “Suite Style Hotel” to invoke more “green” into the site. This strengthened the wording of the Ordinance, as to prohibit any switching of hotel styles. He then continued down the list to comply with the bulk of the changes, inserting what variations would be necessary into the Ordinance, if amended.
  2. Correcting Section 27-2202.1 with the Strategy Plan date to be June 21, 2010.
  3. Addition to Section 27-2203.A. (4) to reference Exhibit D-1 Development Strategy Plan
  4. The expansion of Section 27-2211.I for Suite Style Hotel with consideration for parking
  5. The expansion of Section 27-2212.A. for lot size
  6. The revision of Section 27-2212.F. for building area metrics
  7. Revising the date for the cover of the Manual
  8. Adding 2 new images to the Design Guidelines for Hotels on page 27
  9. Addition of Exhibit D-1
  10. Revisions to Exhibit G for TND-3, pertaining to Suite Style Hotel (with Retail)

Comment #1 The Building Area (F) on page 27-209 is to remain at 30,000 square feet.

Comment #2 Mr. Townes said that they are working on the refinement of the parking area. Mr. Comitta suggested that the further definition of green amenities in the interior parking area could be inserted into Section 27-202 page 27-36. Or, it could be stated as a “#5” in Section 27-2211.I page 27-208 as an additional item under Suite Style Hotel. It would be possible to add a depiction of what they wanted into the design standards, or as Mr. Allen suggested, have it done at the Design Review stage. Mrs. Leland wanted to be sensitive to the small business owners by considering the rent figure when considering design.

Comment #3 Exhibit G, the “Number of Rooms” figures, in the Density/Mix/Thresholds column for TND 3 and TND 4, are to be moved one column to the left for housekeeping reasons.

Comment #4 On (F) on page 27-209 should read as “gross floor” not ground floor.

Mr. Comitta said he would update the Board of Supervisors on June 3rd if the Planning Commission recommends this packet.

Mr. Allen moved to recommend the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance Amendments with changes as discussed (Comments #1-4) to the Charlestown Board of Supervisors. Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Pickering Grant – Design and Utility Issues

Mr. Townes updated members about the ongoing struggle with PECO. To resolve the problem, they are now planning on buying electricity via a private service provider. The provider will own the transformer, run the lines, and place meters wherever the developer wants. The group that they intend on using is based in Chicago and is one of several private providers expanding into the Philadelphia area.

Mr. Townes said the remaining problem is that natural gas isn’t allowed to be sub-metered like electric. So, there are only 2 options available to Pickering Grant. Option one would be to use PECO and have street side meters, but this option is not in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. All exposed facilities would be screened as shown in a handout. The facilities stay underground till it comes to the house. Screening would be hiding a low pipe, painted a matching color with the base of the home, about 18” high and 12” long and also a support pipe.

His second option would be to have a propane tank for each unit with a fill pipe rising above the surface of the ground. This is really not practical, but is in compliance with the Ordinance requiring all utilities to stay in the rear. Mr. Allen commented he was disappointed that the Applicant didn’t pursue this with the PUC but understood the situation.

Mr. Churchill made a motion to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they approve a Waiver for utility placement for Pickering Grants’ gas meters. This would allow the meters to be on individual front units provided they have suitable buffering. Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, and there was none. She called the vote and all were in favor.

Mr. Townes told members 3 points regarding the homes. The DRC approved moving the chimneys on the end units to the interior with the chimneys going up through the roof with brick covering. The porch roofs would be metal and a shutter sample would be brought to an upcoming DRC/PC meeting. Chimneys on the end units to this interior with the chimneys

Update on Spring Oak

The Spring Oak DRC meeting on Monday is probably the final meeting per Mr. Allen. He asked for any remaining comments to be given to him prior to this meeting.


Mrs. Leland made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, adjourned the meeting at 9:46 p.m. The Planning Commission’s next scheduled meeting is June 11, 2013 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary
sheet, 05/28/2013