Planning Commission: Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel, and Michael Richter. Andre von Hoyer was absent.
Consultants: Dan Mallach and Dan Wright, P.E..
Staff: Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary

Call to Order:

7:32 p.m.


Mr. Wright stated that he reviewed the Act 537 Supplement as requested by Tredyffrin Township and found it acceptable. The DEP will also be updated.

Approval of Minutes

July 12, 2016 Minutes

Mr. Churchill moved to approve the minutes of July 12, 2016 with minor edits and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Plan Reviews

P.J. Whelihan’s

Mr. Townes of J. Loew & Associates updated Members about the 250 seat restaurant that will be adjacent to the Marriott Residence Inn on General Warren Boulevard. It is an 8,000 square foot restaurant; the entire development has 22,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The hotel has 127 rooms, which allocates 160 parking spots for guests and employees. The hotel’s busiest days are usually Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. He reviewed the four season room change and the cooler box area with screening. These changes were already approved by the Board.

Parking Plan

Mr. Townes stated the number of parking spots is in accordance with the ordinance. He said that P.J. Whelihan’s reps, Marriott reps, and Loew’s reps are all confident that there is sufficient parking. The reserved spots have already been incorporated into the build. There are 285 spots now, and the maximum would be 288. There were five spots erroneously placed in rain gardens on the Plan, they cannot be used. There also was a layout change after a site visit with AQUA, due to a water meter pit.

Some Members felt the restaurant parking was already at maximum, or hotel guest would have trouble parking. Since J. Loew Associates has financial interest in the Marriott, it would serve both parties to have enough parking. Members concerned about overflow parking were advised of Mr. Townes back up plan to have valet parking (moving cars to neighboring Loews’ properties). Also, a shuttle for hotel guests and restaurant employees may be considered. Peak hours for the different local establishments were discussed.

Mr. Townes suggested the Township parking numbers are too low for certain types of restaurants, and in this development’s case, the numbers are too high for the supporting retail stores. Advanced GeoServices proactively surveyed 28 surrounding counties to analyze the ratio of restaurant square footage vs. parking spots. Although results were quite varied, more restaurants had an excess of parking, rather than just adequate parking. This discussion led to Members planning to revisit the ordinance.

HVAC Unit Screening

Mr. Townes asked the Planning Commission to look at a revision for the roof line. He explained that the mechanical engineers weren’t comfortable with the separation distance between the 60 tons of air conditioning units on the roof. The revision will allow the manufacturer’s separation distance (7 feet between) and can more closely carry some of the same elements that are in the hotel roof design. The cross gable feature has been eliminated, and a single through gable is retained as the strong focal element. The wells (flat roofs) on either side of the gabled element have parapets that hide the equipment (exhausts included). He believes that the mass of the building is reduced with this design and it brings the overall building down in scale. He portrayed renderings of the building from different views.

Since the square footage has not changed with these alterations, the Plan does not need to be re-recorded. Mr. Townes will provide an as-built to document the actual configuration of the parking lot and building. The pouring of concrete will hopefully be prior to this winter, with the restaurant to be finished near summer of 2017. The next step will be to go through the permitting process.

General Planning Items

Renewable Energy Ordinance

Mr. Mallach distributed the final draft dated August 8, 2016. Items discussed were clarifications and restrictions on wind energy, validation of some figures such as 52 decibels, and the following:

At the next meeting Mr. Mallach will bring two versions, one without the edit history and one with the edit history.

Sketch Plan Brochure

Mr. Mallach distributed the final draft of the sketch plan brochure and discussed the most recent changes. Mrs. Csete is to coordinate the links for the websites.

November 8th Meeting

The Planning Commission will reschedule their meeting on November 8th since it coincides with Election Day.

Action Items

Mr. Wright will email a copy of the restaurant parking study to the Members for review.


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary