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

Consultants: Daniel Wright, P.E.. Thomas Comitta and Edward Theurkauf arrived after 8:15 p.m.

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

Public: See Attached List

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.


Mrs. Leland reminded those present that Charlestown’s Earth Day cleanup is Saturday, April 18th from 9 a.m. to noon, meeting at the Township Office for continental breakfast fare. This is our 10th Anniversary of celebrating Earth Day and everyone is invited to participate.

Mr. Churchill announced a meeting for the Devault Rails-to-Trails on April 28th at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will outline the draft Feasibility Plan available at the Township Office and there will be an opportunity for comments.

Approval of Minutes

January 13, 2015 Minutes

Mrs. Leland moved to approve the minutes of January 13, 2015 with minor changes, and Mr. Churchill seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

March 10, 2015 Minutes

Mr. Churchill moved to approve the minutes of March 10, 2015 and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Sketch Plan

The Office Bar & Grille Proposed Patio

Mr. Frank Boyle was present from the Office Bar & Grille to discuss a proposed patio for the restaurant located at Morehall Road (Route 29) and Warner Lane. Characteristics of the patio were:

After discussing lighting, drainage, and licenses/rules, Mr. Wright said Mr. Boyle must include 2 A.D.A. accessible parking spots with striping. Live music was discussed as a possibility and the group was in general agreement that this wasn’t an issue in this part of the Township.

General Planning Items

Design Review Committee Updates

DRC Chairman Mr. Allen provided updates on the underpass lighting for the PA Turnpike, the Village at General Warren, and Spring Oak.

Turnpike Lighting: The manufacturer, Spring City Electrical Manufacturing Company, said the lights were ready for installation by Armour & Sons, Inc. The company stated that the lighting can easily be changed if is too bright.

Next: The two underpass lights should be installed within two months.

The Marriott: The hotel is finished with DRC meetings. Mr. Allen showed a rendering of the color palette for the final exterior. The architectural details have also been approved.

Next: The foundation will be starting right away.

Outlier Lot for Devault Village at Spring Oak II: An outlier lot, formerly the McIntyre property, will be used for construction and then become a passive lot. This has added six new building lots but changed the CS101 Site Plan (affected project area in red). Mr. Allen needs ideas for passive usage, since there is an access problem at Rees Road.

Next: Mr. Wright said that first the zoning needs to be changed for the lot. Then there will be another preliminary plan, another meeting with both the DRC and the Planning Commission.

Garages/Stories at Devault Village at Spring Oak II: Mr. Allen told Members that JP Orleans, the developer of Spring Oak, requested a 2 story 3 car garage because a buyer was sold a home with a 3 car garage. In November of 2014 approval was given to construct a 3 car garage with a “bonus room” above (with no plumbing) for the sample (a single-family home).

The reason given was the Ordinance requires access to the second floor via an internal stair, thus restricting the actual 2 car garage space. However, an in-law suite could be constructed over a 2 car garage by extending the depth of the garage to better accommodate the internal stair.

The Ordinance and Design Manual are silent regarding 2 or 3 car garages, but the Design Manual illustrates 2 car garages. Also, the Ordinance limits the number and relationship of in-law suites. This means 70 single family homes, 10% of which can have in-law suites.


At the last meeting, the DRC told JP Orleans that they may be allowed to have up to 50% of the singles with 3 car garages (35 of the 70 homes).

Restrictions: The streetscapes would be enhanced by having variation in heights of garages, but having all garages with a second floor would not be desirable since it would densify the area. Also, plumbing restrictions are needed to prohibit future conversions of bonus rooms into a living space. Live-work units would also need to be considered. However, Mr. Churchill’s opinion was that the Township should not be involved in decisions relating to the marketing of the homes. There would need to be controls for end units and non-massing. Maximum impervious coverage will also need monitoring if footprints change.


There was consensus on not wanting every garage to be 2 stories due to too much massing, and needing rules for scale. 3 car detached garages will be permitted only when an in-law suite is above. Mr. Allen asked if a twin or townhouse could have a 2 story garage. He hopes to attend the next Orleans meeting with some suggestions and guideline on all these issues, because the HOA will deal with these guidelines in the future. He still needs answers regarding:

(1) 2 story 2 car garages counting towards the 30% limit

(2) if a twin or townhome can have a 2 story garage free or attached.

Next: Mr. Allen meets with JP Orleans again on April 17.

Breezeways at Devault Village Spring Oak II: The developer wants to connect unattached garages to level single-family homes by an open but covered breezeway. The Planning Commission’s opinion was to not limit breezeways to level lots.

Brightside Farm

Mr. Ed Theurkauf was asked by the Board of Supervisors to present Concept #5 for a trail system at Brightside Farm, to the Planning Commission, for comment and possible recommendation for adoption. He presented several prior versions of the plan to show how they arrived at the current Plan, describing the design and the considerations underlying its development, having made revisions in accordance with environmental, historical, scenic, and other contextual concerns. No trails are proposed that would impact wetland areas or lands under easement with the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trusts.

The trails have been developed based on feedback from previous Board meetings and a workshop that included members of the Parks and Recreation Board, the Historical Society, the Brightside Farm Committee, the Trails Committee, and other interested citizens.

Sight Distances: Mr. Theurkauf had photos of sight distances for a proposed Yellow Springs Road parking lot or an alternate Hollow Road lot (located where the loop would be closest to the road). Sight distance was better for Yellow Springs Road. Also, the traffic on Yellow Springs Road would increase the safety and policing factor, but at rush hour it is very busy. Parking on Hollow Road would not be as visible; therefor it would not draw as much attention to the Township resource Supervisors are trying to promote.

Member Comments: Mr. Motel asked why parking was so far from the Wisner Rapp House; Mr. Theurkauf said the Historical Society had requested this consideration. Mr. Kuhn added that if the lot becomes a nuisance, it can be closed via a chain at night. Mr. von Hoyer thought that the trail should be closer to the House. Mr. Theurkauf stated that this was a private property and the owner (Charlestown Historical Society) didn’t want the trail to be any closer. Instead historical markers will be used around the Park to integrate and educate visitors about the site’s characteristics. Mr. Churchill said nighttime usage needed to be considered when choosing a parking location. Members liked the mixture of improved and unimproved trails, but were not sure they wanted paved instead of gravel.

Three suggestions were met without opposition.

  1. Connect the trails where they are close together so that a visitor may easily switch routes or surfaces.
  2. Benches should be placed along the trails.
  3. Mrs. Leland suggested adding the word “Park” to the end of the name, so that visitors know they can come and use the grounds of Brightside Farm Park.

The need for bathrooms was discussed, but it was decided to be an issue for the future, depending on usage. There will be trash containers that are emptied by Township personnel. The new trail will be marked by tenths and one of the loops will be exactly 1 mile long.

Citizens expressed concerns (safety, security, viewshed, etc.). Mrs. DeWilde was concerned about paving a route known to be an attractive nuisance. She suggested moving part of the trail to the left towards the unimproved trail (farther from the Wisner Rapp house). Mrs. Staas challenged the Members to find a future goal/use for this park. Mr. Findlay suggested more consideration of the size of the parking lot.

Mr. Motel moved to add the word Park to Brightside Farm. Also, the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors, to move the parking lot toward the Wisner Rapp House, away from and in respect to the cross street neighbor. Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Take-Aways from February 7, 2015 Strategic Planning Session

This item was removed from the agenda.


Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 10:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner,
Recording Secretary
sheet, 4/14/2015