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

Call to Order:

7:33 p.m.


Mr. Churchill announced that the County had accepted the Devault Rails-to-Trails Report. Other County trails are competing for funding, so Mr. Kuhn asked if Township funds could accelerate the process or give the project a better start. Mr. Churchill’s believes his next step is to re-connect with key contacts and then he will give an update.

Approval of Minutes

September 8, 2015 Minutes

Mrs. Leland moved to approve the minutes of September 8, 2015 and Mr. Allen seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

October 20, 2015 Minutes

Mr. Richter moved to approve the minutes of October 20, 2015 and Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Plan Review

Devault Village at Spring Oak Revised Preliminary Plan

Mr. John Mostoller of Envision Land Use, and Mr. Jason Engelhardt, P.E. of Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, 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. They had last visited the Planning Commission in September, and returned tonight to discuss consultant review letters, adding detail to crossings, open and green space, piers, and bulbouts.

Advanced GeoServices review letter dated 11/4/15. Items were resolved unless mentioned below.
#2 Mr. Allen disliked the materials scenario for crosswalk locations. Main crosswalks are to be made of pavers. Non-main crossings were going to be painted. However, that makes crosswalks made of different materials but near each other and less congruous. Mr. Comitta suggested more pavers. This item was left un-resolved.
#8 The Traffic Impact Study did not show a sizable increase therefore the TIS will not need to be updated per Mr. Wright.
#9 This is because some driveways are simply going to be shorter than specified in the Ordinance. The builder will request a waiver, and Mr. Wright has no objection.
#10 &11 Listed on Sheet CS-101.
#12 Deferred
#13 Affected properties are the Turnpike, JP Orleans(themselves), and a Filippo property. But, there is a pipeline easement that will require a discussion with the owners. Mr. Westhafer suggested also contacting owners adjacent to retaining walls, near the edge of property lines.
#15 As in Spring Oak, this will require a waiver.
#20 Outfall design changes were made as suggested by Mr. Wright. Next step is receiving approval documentation from Tredyffrin Township. Mrs. Leland expressed her dislike of the numerous outfall structures near the Turnpike slip ramp.

Mr. von Hoyer asked if porous roadways will require special maintenance practices from the HOA. Mr. Engelhardt answered yes, and Mr. Churchill asked if this cost would be equally shared. He suggested considering this as the standard format to follow when setting up other fees. Mr. Westhafer was concerned about the property owner at the bottom of the eastern most cut road, receiving a large flow of stormwater. Mr. Wright stated that water would not be collecting, and inlet capacities were adequate. Also, Mr. Wright asked Mr. Engelhardt to remove Road A, and review the dedication wording.

Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. review memorandum dated 11/4/15
#3.A Mr. Mostoller asked for clarification from the Commission. Mr. Allen wants the DRC to meet with them regarding updating the design manual.
#3.C Mr. Comitta added 6 additional Special Lots.
#3.E Mr. Westhafer asked when these Additional Items for the Manual would be put into the actual manual. (The ease of transition for new builders was discussed.)
#4.C The Township is not require to do this.
#11 Mr. Westhafer wants verification that LP-501 is really present for the Green Walls.
#15.B Mr. von Hoyer reminded Mr. Comitta that this crosswalk item has been reopened.
#18.B The seat walls detail will be coordinated with Mr. Wright.
#19.A Mr. Westhafer asked that the rails for walls, guiderails, etc., be made graphically clear and meet code. Also he does not want rails made of wood.
#20 Mr. Allen wants the post and rail fences to be black.
#21 Mr. Allen wants the traffic calming measures to be installed after the construction vehicles have departed, as to not destroy the mountable curbs.
#27.B The Depth of Wood Fiber Mulch Play Surfacing, and the need for periodic inspections of the play equipment, are to be added to the HOA document.
#28 Traffic control sign post materials and design are to match Spring Oak.
#31 This should read-Alternatively, submission of the noted drawings, specifications and color photographs shall be a condition of final Plan approval.
#33 Mrs. Leland said 8’8” is too high for the piers, they are to be similar to the Rees Road piers.

Lastly, Mr. Westhafer discussed trail accessibility and three points regarding the absence of lighting:

  1. Between Spring Oak and the entrance to Devault Village
  2. Sidewalks
  3. Main plaza’s steps

Next Mr. Mostoller and Mr. Engelhardt will be at the December Board meeting to request Preliminary approval, then attend a DRC meeting in mid- December, and finally a return to the Planning Commission with a final plan in February.

Mrs. Leland moved to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plan last revised 10/20/15. The approval is subject to the Advanced GeoServices and Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. review letters, both dated 11/4/15, and tonight’s meeting discussion items as reflected in the meeting minutes. Mr. Allen seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

General Planning Items

2016 Re-application for Vision Partnership Grant for Comprehensive Plan Update

Mr. Comitta indicated that the Township’s grant application for the first round of 2016 was denied. He can re-apply in January for the second round available for 2016. He urged Members to re-read the application drafted by Mrs. Csete, Mrs. Leland, and himself. Discussion followed regarding refining the Charlestown Comprehensive Plan, or instead being a part of a lower-cost regional plan supplement with the other members of the Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission. In general, the planning commissioners preferred to continue with their own plan update. Mr. Comitta reminded Members the next application deadline is April 2016 for grant funding.

Recap of October 20th Traffic Meeting for Route 29/Warner Lane/Yellow Springs Road Intersection and Adding Project to Act 209 Plan

Mr. Motel said that the Board of Supervisors accepted Rob Prophet’s (Traffic Planning & Design Inc.) proposal. The proposal covered signal timing changes with PennDOT, and proposed traffic calming measures to improve pedestrian safety at the Route 29/Warner Lane/Yellow Springs Road intersection.

Mr. Lutz, PennDOT Signal Supervisor, observed traffic and agreed to change the signals to an all red phase for 26 seconds when one of the pedestrian signals is activated. PennDOT’s priority to keep traffic moving on Route 29 towards Route 30 differs from the Township’s concern for pedestrian safety, in this developing village environment. Adding a “no turn on red” sign wasn’t an option per Mr. Lutz, as it would have slowed traffic.

Plastic tubular sticks (attenuators) will be installed on Warner Lane, since this road is not a state road and the Township has more options. After the red lights and attenuators are in place, and the Members obtain feedback, the intersection will be re-evaluated with PennDOT.

Mr. Comitta said Mr. Heinrich can add this intersection to the Act 209 Report, Members requested it for the Board agenda in December.

Sketch Plan Requirements

Members have been discussing ways to prevent the common mistakes by applicants when doing a Sketch Plan. Tonight, Mr. Comitta circulated a land use handout entitled “Subdividing-In the Wildlands of Maine”. He said this was an excellent model for discussion of sketch plan “lite” at the upcoming retreat.

Wind Energy Ordinance

Mr. Westhafer started by saying that less than 1% of Chester County land was suitable for this type of project. However, there should be an ordinance regarding this, especially because of the noise, and flickering lights effect, that would cover distance of blades to the ground, and pole height. Mr. Comitta will get a past copy of West Bradford’s ordinance for Members to review.

Multi-Modal Circulation Handbook

Mrs. Leland referenced the Multi-Modal Circulation Handbook endorsed by the County Planning Commission in July. She suggested designating a safe bus stop area due to the many jobs and homes coming into the area. Mr. Motel suggested the entrance to the Commons. Mr. Comitta will get a copy of a study done for the Route 29/Atwater area for Members to review.

Set Planning Retreat Date for 2016

The Planning Commission’s 2016 Retreat was scheduled for February 6, 2016 at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, PA. Mrs. Csete will not be in attendance.

SLDO Amendments

Mr. Comitta distributed a copy of the refined version of the Amendments dated February 16, 2015. Mrs. Csete said Mr. Thompson had just sent a copy to the County in preparation for the December Board Meeting.


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary