Planning Commission: Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel and Michael Richter. Andre von Hoyer was absent.
Consultants: Thomas Comitta, Daniel T. Wright
Staff: Linda Csete, Township Manager, Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary

Call to Order:

7:35 p.m.


Mrs. Leland reminded everyone that Charlestown Day is Saturday, October 3rd from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Charlestown Township Park. A 5K will start the day’s activities.

Mr. Churchill stated the Devault Rails-To-Trails Feasibility Report was approved by the Board of Supervisors. The next step is to obtain endorsement of neighboring townships and the County.

Mr. Allen said that Spring City Electrical Manufacturing Company still has the lights for the Turnpike in their queue.

Approval of Minutes

July 14, 2015 Minutes

Mrs. Leland moved to approve the minutes of July 14, 2015 and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Plan Review

George Meyer Informal Sketch Plan

Mr. Stephen M. Campbell, of SMC Engineering Inc., and George Meyer of 2227 Bodine Road, were present to discuss Mr. Meyer’s informal sketch plan. Using the open space development option, Mr. Meyer proposes a 6 lot subdivision containing open space pockets. His existing 23.81 acre property contains a PECO and gas line easement. The plan delineates a conservation easement, of which he has offered to maintain. He does not feel as though a homeowners association will be needed with a 6 lot subdivision. Mr. Campbell described the current plan as having two driveways, one with 3 homes, and one with two homes.

Some of the homes had driveways in the rear of the lots. Mr. Churchill said this could lower the value of the homes. Members thought the homes appeared to be in an unlikely arrangement.

Mr. Campbell was asked to consider the issues below:

  1. Will Mr. Meyer’s open space easement have amenities or access by the other 5 homes?
  2. Snow removal costs.
  3. Open space mowing costs.
  4. The addition of a cul de sac road.
  5. Expansion of the western driveway to accommodate all 5 lots.
  6. Expansion of the lower eastern driveway as an alternative.

Mr. Campbell stated that Mr. Meyers did not want the financial burden of building a road. The driveway locations had been scouted by considering the cost of undergrowth removal. But, Mr. Motel stated the willingness of Township consultants to work with Mr. Meyer. Mr. Campbell verified with the Commission that the Commission is open to the general proposal and house placement, but he realized that they wanted one point of access, not two.

Mr. Hornsey (owns property opposite the western most corner of the Meyer property) was concerned with stormwater runoff. He has already spoken with Mr. Wright regarding the Rosewood runoff. Mr. Churchill said one of the open space pockets may be a detention basin. Mr. Hornsey also wants the Township to consider the driveway being at a crest of a hill and sight lines. Mrs. Walsh thought the entrance to the development being on Seven Oaks Road was ideal compared to it being on Bodine Road.

Mrs. Csete has sent letters to the nine abutting neighbors.

Finally, Members suggested to the applicants:

  1. Visit examples such as Ashford, where residents have complimented the Township on the community feel of the development.
  2. Orient homes to come off of one driveway or a private road.
  3. They were also instructed to contact Mr. Comitta for suggestions for site visits.
  4. Contact Mr. Wright if concerned about the cost of a cul de sac and storm water management.
  5. Conceptualize the stormwater management plan.

Members gave Mr. Campbell a goal: To have the front of lots 4 and 5 face lots 1, 2, and 3.

Mr. Meyer and Mr. Campbell are to return with a revised sketch plan.

Joos Preliminary Lot Line Revision

Mr. John J. Mullin, P.E. of Mullin Engineering LLC was present on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Joos to discuss the Joos’ preliminary plan for a lot line revision of two parcels (36.6 acres) on Tiptonbrook Lane.

Mr. Mullin addressed comments in Mr. Wright’s review letter dated August 26, 2015 and Mr. Wright stated it had met the criteria. Revised plans will be forwarded per Mr. Mullin.

Mr. Churchill moved to recommend approval of the lot line revision plan dated December 20, 2014 (sheet 1) and April, 23, 2015 (Sheets 2 and 3) and Mrs. Leland seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Devault Village @ Spring Oak Revised Preliminary Plan

Mr. John Mostoller and Mr. Jason Engelhardt, P.E. of Langan Engineers, were present for review of the revised Preliminary Subdivision Plan for Devault Village at Spring Oak. It proposes a mix of 72 single family dwellings, twins and townhouses on 26 acres in the TND-1 overlay of the RC Zoning District.

Mr. Engelhardt began by discussing Advanced GeoServices review letter dated September 8th, 2015.

All un-mentioned Items are to be considered “Will Comply”.

#7 Guidelines need to be transferred to legally refer to Devault Village. Mr. Engelhardt said they are using Spring Oak’s Manual as a template and then creating an additional Devault booklet that Mr. Mostoller will review before submittal.
#13 Mr. Mostoller was not sure this applied to alleys but Mr. Wright said it still would be best to apply for a waiver.
#29 Mr. Wright said it is important to clarify which roads are to be dedicated in a timely manner. Roads must be dedicated to the Township for school buses. Mr. Engelhardt pointed out the first and smallest loop that will be suggested to the Board of Supervisors for dedication.
#32 Mr. Engelhardt said the central green grading is at 5% now but he could get it to 3% with a seating wall along the northwest. Members were in agreement since the more level it is, the more usage it will get.

Mr. Engelhardt referred to Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. review letter dated September 2, 2015.

#3.C Mr. Allen said the traffic signs and posts were to be upgraded.
#4.A This was due to a typo.
#7.B Steps in the community Green Activity Lawn have been removed.
#9 Mr. Mostoller said the change in driveway lengths for lots 42-45 is restricted by the ability to attach garages etc.
#10 The pavers may be extended lower, and curved outward a bit, to keep with the radial design of the area.
#15 Additional crosswalks will be added.
#21 More thought will be put into the Center Circle Island Edge

Also, Mr. Mostoller said they will be utilizing some of the large boulders likely to be unearthed as natural walls. Mr. Engelhardt added that they will probably need to do some blasting.

Mr. Westhafer asked about fencing, especially, at the back of the development along the pipeline easement. Mr. Engelhardt will take a look at this area for next time, perhaps adding a wall for drop off protection.

Over the next 30 days the applicants will be using feedback from tonight to refine the details to fully comply with the review letters, and prepare the Design Manual for submittal. They plan on returning to the Planning Commission in November, meet with the Board of Supervisors in December, and have the Final Application approved in January. They would like the Plan to be complete by spring 2016.

General Planning Items

Ordinance Amending Provisions of Chapter 27, Section 402.C and 1617.4

Mr. Motel moved to recommend approval of the ordinance amendments to Chapter 27, Sections 402.C (private clubs as recreation) and 1617.4 (noise control), and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Status of Comprehensive Plan Update 2016

Mr. Comitta provided an update on the Vision Partnership Program Application for grant award authorized by the Board of Supervisors at their September 1st meeting. The application requests a reimbursement from the County in the amount of $45,000 for the $75,000 project. Mr. Comitta expects to hear about the award from the County late this year.

Sketch Plan Requirements

For the October meeting, Mr. Comitta will review the information he gathers on “lite” sketch plan requirements from several other townships. The Charlestown Planning Commission is considering amending its own requirements to lower the financial burden of submittals.

Schedule Bus Tour

Mr. Westhafer scheduled a tour of local areas of interest for November 7th, 2015 from nine to noon. Members are to meet at the Pickering Development trailer. Some of the locations suggested were Pickering Crossing, Spring Oak, and the region around the quarry.

Charlestown Day - Township Booth

Mr. Westhafer asked Members to stop by and man the Planning Commission table on Charlestown Day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mr. Comitta will provide TND boards/maps, such as the Devault Village Plan, for display.

February Retreat

Mr. Westhafer tentatively scheduled the Planning Commission’s 2016 Retreat for February 13, 2016 at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, PA.


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary