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

Consultants: Randy Patry, P.E. and Thomas Comitta

Staff: Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary, Linda Csete, Township Manager

Public: See Attached List

Call to Order:

7:33 p.m.


Thursday, December 11th from noon to 2 p.m. is the Township holiday party. It is held at the Township Office, 4030 Whitehorse Road, in Malvern.

Mrs. Csete congratulated Mrs. Leland for completing the Athens Authentic Marathon in November.

Mr. Allen stated that Charlestown Township was mentioned in the Saturday, December 6th, 2014 Daily Local News. An article said that Charlestown Township was managing its money wisely. Later in the week, the Philadelphia Inquirer stated the Township had the 5th highest median income of neighboring townships of the city of Philadelphia and expressed some concern that this indicates a lack of affordability.

Mrs. Leland apologized for not attending the last meeting. Her “new office” topic on November’s agenda was not meant to be any more than a discussion on what the Township office space should look like in the future. She asked Members to send her a list of desired amenities like storage, security, a front desk, etc.

Approval November 11, 2014 Minutes

After a minor change, Mr. Allen moved to approve the November 11, 2014 minutes, and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Whitehorse Estates II Subdivision Plan

Fronefield Crawford, Esq., Carol Altemose, Lance Altemose and Andy Eberwein of E.B. Walsh & Associates, Inc., were present to discuss the second Whitehorse Meadows Subdivision Plan dated September, 30, 2014. There are 20 lots total, with 4 houses on lot #20 (the carriage house attached to the stables, the farmhouse, the original home, and the barn home). Mr. Crawford began with a brief history.

In April of 2014, the Planning Commission had agreed to recommend the Preliminary Plan to the Board of Supervisors, with a 4/3 for/against vote. In June, the Board of Supervisors voted against the Plan, giving a reason of it being incomplete. The first Plan is now in litigation. However, this first Plan (PC-3) was, in Mr. Crawford’s opinion, very aligned with recommendations of the Planning Commission. If there is a favorable ruling by the court, he believes the applicant may choose to move forward with either plan. Even if Plan II also ends up in litigation, Conditional Use does not need to be done again.

Mr. Crawford stated that Plan II was admittedly very similar to the first. In Plan II, the difference is the lots are enlarged and property lines are different. Also, the Open Space and lot arrangement is different. Mr. Eberwein assured Members that easements were shifted accordingly.

Mr. Comitta reminded those present that there had been a Plan I meeting to try and use innovation to produce a favorable outcome for grouping the homes. He stated that Plan II is like Plan I; it is not innovative, or inspiring, even though it is compliant to ordinance requirements (with concessions). But it still may not be the best plan. He did not feel there was a review of the provisions by the applicants, to improve on the property’s potential. Plan II simply has less procedural hurdles. Mr. Crawford said it was a fresh start procedurally, needing recommendations for Conditions of Approval.

Mr. Crawford said the constraints dictated the historical tract and viewsheds. Mr. Eberwein stated that the sewer was also a very large constraint; that is why Plan II remains so like Plan I. The engineer stated clustering 19 new homes had major limitations, and good perk tests tend to be in Open Space. Mr. Crawford also reminded the Members that the buyers and applicant have a say in placement, amenities, landscaping, etc. Plus, this Plan did not cost a lot of money since it was so like Plan I and the Stormwater Management Conditional Use was already complete. Plan II is an attempt to move forward with approvals.

Thomas Comitta Associates review memorandum dated December 3, 2014

The Conclusions on page 7 were discussed first with most items receiving a “will comply”.

Advanced GeoServices review letter dated December 1, 2014

Mr. Eberwein stated that he would work with Mr. Patry to clean up the minor details and housekeeping issues mentioned in the review letter.

Member Comments
Chester County Planning Commission review letter dated November 20, 2014

The CCPC recommended the Township deny the application, stating that the County vision may not be consistent with the rural Township.

  1. The applicant is to return to the PC with technical and housekeeping revisions and the PC will give them design guidelines to consider.
  2. Setback lines are to be shown on the consignment easements.
  3. Design guidelines need to constrain fencing. Details are to be established for accessory structures, fences, etc.
  4. Aqua needs to petition the PUC to expand its franchise into the area (with Township approval). There are two water mains on the frontage now.

Lastly, the Kantesaria’s, neighbors along the southern border of the Altemoses near the homestead, were in attendance. They did not know the tract was going to be developed. They have evidence of trespassing near the creek, and the Commission told them this is likely to increase simply due to more people living nearby. Drainage or runoff will not be an issue.

Minor Subdivision – Volpi Property

Mr. Patry discussed Plan C100 dated November 11, 2014. The property line had been revised to include the springhouse in the subdivision (thus increasing the acreage). The property has public sewer, public water access, and is zoned industrial/office.

Members suggested a note on the Plan regarding the subdivision’s goal (to break the house away from the rest of the property to make it more saleable). Both review letters discussed the clarification of yard areas. The County letter has not been received. Mr. von Hoyer mentioned a minor fraction of the property being in East Whiteland, and Mr. Patry said they are researching it. Mr. Westhafer asked for labels on the contour lines. Mrs. Leland said not to calculate net lot area.

Mr. Allen questioned the need for the 13 waivers listed on the Plan. Both review letters from TCA and Advanced GeoServices suggested the Commission and Board act favorably on them. Mr. Comitta suggested describing why they were on the Plan for precedent (conveyance not development). In an effort to eliminate or address the 13 waiver items, Mr. Comitta suggested to Mr. Patry to view the plan in the event of land development and the ability to remove waiver items. Then, for the next Board Meeting, draft a cover letter with the rationale about how waivers apply.

Mrs. Leland motioned to recommend for approval the Volpi Tract Minor Subdivision Plan, with corrections to be made by Mr. Patry, and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance Amendment to Compliance Requirements

Mr. Comitta recommended amendments to the SALDO as discussed with tonight’s handout. It had one final revision to be made on pages 5, 6, and 7 and is now ready for a vote.

Mr. Westhafer suggested to those present that the Whitehorse applicants be made aware of the new changes (such as cross sections) to the SALDO, since they had already left this evening’s meeting.

Mrs. Leland motioned to recommend for approval the amendments to Chapter 22 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, Part 4, with minor corrections to be made by Mr. Comitta. Mr. Allen seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Act 209 – Future Implementation

Mr. Comitta and Mr. von Hoyer distributed and discussed the final Transportation Impact Fee Packet containing copies of:

These were a culmination of the Roadway Sufficiency Analysis involving 13 intersections (page 25). Mr. von Hoyer suggested it to be reviewed in 10 years, so the Transportation Impact Fee amount can be updated. Currently the fee is $1299.99, increased from an initial $1000. Mr. Comitta said it was important to watch what developments impact what intersections.

Mrs. Leland thanked Mr. von Hoyer and Mr. Richter for the hours of work it took to generate the report and for being on the committee.

Comprehensive Plan Update – Timing for meeting VPP Grant Deadline

Mr. Comitta suggested a June 2015 submission date since the CCPC has many applications for January. They may take into consideration that the Township is looking at past circumstances in a participatory manner, to come up with designations for land use, and subdivision application requirements like 3D topography depictions.

To decide what is important in the next 5 years and take a closer look at the details, the PC is planning a Saturday work session. The tentative date is February 7, 2015, (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.). This gives Mr. Comitta and the Commission time to prepare for an April presentation to the Board. Mr. Comitta told all present to check their calendars for availability on February 7th, 2015.

Mrs. Csete will email Mr. Motel and Mr. Churchill to tell them about the tentative Comprehensive Plan Meeting.

General Discussion

Mr. von Hoyer asked if there was a Township committee that researched grants. Mr. Kuhn said JD Bravo is exploring grant money for the Park project.

Mr. Kuhn said the Board is planning a meeting on a 2015 Saturday or Sunday to discuss with the Planning Commission and Mr. Comitta, items including the Conditional Use process, the Comprehensive Plan and address miscellaneous issues in order to improve communication between all. No official date or agenda has been set.

Mrs. Leland said the next meeting is on January 13, 2015. Everyone is reminded to bring their calendars to reschedule some of the 2015 PC Meetings that have conflicts.

Mr. Patry said revised traffic study figures are now available for the General Warren project and the figures are lower than expected.


Mrs. Leland adjourned the meeting at 10 p.m. The Planning Commission’s next scheduled meeting is January 13, 2015 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner,
Recording Secretary
sheet, 12/09/2014