Planning Commission:
Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, Andre von Hoyer, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel and Michael Richter.
Daniel T. Wright and Thomas Comitta (arrived at 8 p.m.)
Linda Csete, Township Manager

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.


Mrs. Leland announced Primary Election Day is on Tuesday, May 16.

The Township Earth Day Roadside Spring Clean Up is April 22 at 9 a.m. and ending at noon. It will begin at the Township Office with light refreshments. The rain date is April 29th.

Approval of Minutes

March 28, 2017 Minutes

Mrs. Leland moved to approve the minutes of March 28, 2017 and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Conditional Use Application

Donald and Elizabeth Andersen

Mr. Brett MacKay, of Chester Valley Engineers, and Donald and Elizabeth Andersen, were in attendance to obtain a recommendation from the Planning Commission for a Conditional Use at 23 Eastwick Drive. Mr. MacKay told the Commission that the Andersens want to remove an existing driveway that only goes to their home, and construct a new longer meandering driveway that serves the barn and home. The new driveway would be within 2 feet of a high ground water area, and near steep slopes. The Andersens also own an adjacent lot. It is a smaller parcel (2.23 acres) that is not developed and does not have a driveway access.

This smaller lot cannot currently access Eastwick Drive since Township zoning prevents more than three driveways stemming from a private drive. It would require a state highway permit for accessing Church Road, the (state) road on the western side.

Proposal Options

Members tried to discuss a different scenario that would not require such a major change to the viewshed.

  1. Members suggested obtaining approval for a 4th driveway off of Eastwick Drive along the eastern edge of the larger property. But, this would be a decision for the Zoning Hearing Board. Dr. Andersen said the Zoning Hearing Board had turned the previous owner down in 2009 for a different configuration. Also, Dr. Andersen said this option did not give him barn access.
  2. Members suggested building a shared driveway for both 23 Eastwick Drive and the 2.23 lot (for future use).
  3. Members suggested putting a permanent easement, preventing development, on the smaller lot; then it would never need access.
  4. Mr. Westhafer suggested softening the lines of the proposed water garden, to make it appear more natural and less engineered. Mr. MacKay said he is limited due to steep slopes but would try to adjust the lines.

Members also pointed out that:

Dr. Liss, of 554 Church Road, wanted Dr. Andersen to consider other options as to not ruin the viewshed. In addition, he was not in favor of development on the smaller property. He also suggested visiting the Zoning Hearing Board with a different idea.


Mr. Joos, of Tipton Brook Lane, said stormwater is already a problem for him. He was concerned that as the Andersens increase the impervious coverage, more water will run toward his property. He showed Members pictures of a recent rainfall’s impact and also discussed the location of a drainage pipe with regard to his property.

In reply, Mr. MacKay said the trench grate, which would be across the width of the driveway, would directly flow into the basin, then to a small surface bed, with a slow controlled release, for an outlet near Mr. Joos property. Mr. MacKay stated a 2% slope could be added to the driveway to get the stormwater to flow more towards the basin.

Mr. Wright replied that the basin and grate directed water away from his property. He added that the County requirements had been met and less water would actually be impacting him after the change. Mr. Wright referenced his review letter dated September 29, 2016 regarding an Erosion Control Grading Permit. He said the bed where the run-off is collected is large enough and meets all requirements.

  1. The discharge would now be controlled.
  2. The data would actually be more in Mr. Joos’ favor after the new driveway.
  3. The Andersen’s are meeting Ordinance requirements by making the water go slower across the driveway.
  4. The basin will take 72 hours to drain the water once a storm is over.

Mr. Churchill said if the applicant met all the conditions then they can do it. He also said he did not feel it was the best solution in everyone’s eyes. His position was the Conditional Use was not necessary and could be deterred. Other options should be considered due to water handling issues and providing reasonable access to the other lot.

Mr. Motel, Mr. Allen, and Mrs. Leland, were basically in agreement with Mr. Churchill. They suggested taking a longer look at Eastwick Drive access.

Mrs. Leland was not in favor of the rain garden, if it was visible from the road. Mr. von Hoyer stated that since the stormwater management is currently failing, he was concerned about the future. However, he also emphasized that other options were preferable.

Mr. Wright assured Members that the amount of runoff will be reduced for Mr. Joos after the new driveway is finished. Mr. Motel stated that the Andersens met the requirements and that the Township relies on Mr. Wright’s calculations.

Mr. Comitta stated he was waiting for a plant list for the water garden. Also, in Mr. Comitta’s review letter dated April 11, 2017 he mentions first responder access. Mr. Westhafer wants verification from the Fire Department that the fire trucks would be able to negotiate the new driveway.

The Planning Commission requested that the Andersens consider the options discussed this evening. There is a Conditional Use Hearing scheduled for May 1, 2017.

General Planning Items

East Whiteland Land Use Assumptions Report

The Planning Commission Members reviewed the East Whiteland Land Use Assumptions Report per their request and had no follow up comments. Mrs. Csete will relay this back to Mr. Scott Greenly at East Whiteland Township.

Planning Commission Member for Design Review Committee

Mr. Richter volunteered to join the Design Review Committee to join Mr. Allen, who has served on it since its inception.

Follow Up Discussion from Strategic Planning Session

Members felt it was very helpful, and enjoyed meeting at the new Marriott Residence Inn on General Warren Blvd. Mrs. Csete it to remind the Chairman/Vice Chairman in October that any comments regarding consultants for the following year are due.

Parking Ordinance

Mr. Wright handed out an Off-Street Parking and Loading chart. Although the Members agree that there should be about 14 spaces per 1000 square feet of restaurant space, this formula does not apply to all types of restaurants. In a March 30th letter to Mr. Thompson, Mr. Comitta suggested a sliding scale from 10 to 14 based on square footage. This would require simply adding a line or two to the proposed zoning change. The current ordinance requires 5 spaces per 1000 square feet.

The next step is to advertise a hearing, then adopt the new ordinance. Members decided they wanted the Board to have the power to reduce the number of spots or place spots in reserve. This is especially important when future users are considered (ex. if the location changes owners). They also discussed shared parking influences. Mr. Comitta will return to the next meeting with flexibility factors inserted into the amendment.

Additional Comments

Mr. Comitta stated he met with Mr. and Mrs. Philips regarding historical map corrections.

Mr. Comitta stated that the Zoning Ordinance refers to district “LI” in regards to billboards. There is no longer an LI zone in the Township. Therefore, the Ordinance needs to be updated to refer to the proper district. It should say “IO”. Mr. Comitta said Mr. Thompson will initiate this change for the Township.

Administrative Note

Any documents referred to in the minutes are available to the public upon request to the Township office.

Action Items

  1. Mr. Comitta is to return with the wording changes to add flexibility in the Parking Ordinance.
  2. Mr. von Hoyer is in charge of obtaining yearly contractor comments in October.
  3. Mr. Thompson is expected to initiate billboard wordsmithing.


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary