Planning Commission:
Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Andre von Hoyer, Vice Chairman, Michael Churchill, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel, and Michael Richter. Michael Allen arrived at 7:40 p.m. Michael Richter departed at 9 p.m.
Randy Patry and Daniel Mallach
Linda Csete and Lisa Gardner

Call to Order:

7:32 p.m.


Mrs. Leland urged Members to read an article about Avonlea found in the Chester County Historic Ledger.

Mr. Churchill stated that Charlestown Day is this Saturday.

Approval of Minutes

August 15, 2017 Minutes

Mr. Motel moved to approve the minutes of August 15, 2017 and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Sewage Facilities Planning Module

Petrondi Residence – 3141 Hollow Road

Mr. Patry gave Members a background of the failing cesspool at this site and the options for the Petrondis. However, he suggested the homeowners provided more data before Advanced GeoServices could provide a recommendation. Mrs. Csete will forward Mr. Patry, signed paperwork from Chester County for review.

Sketch Plans –


Preliminary Plans –


Final Plans

Devault Village at Spring Oak

Mr. John Mostoller and Mr. Jason Engelhardt reminded the Members of the review points for Conditional Final Approval discussed at August’s PC meeting. In a letter dated September 8, 2017, Mr. Mostoller presented a summary of elements in the Devault Village Design Manual (a.k.a. DVDM) so the application would be ready for Board consideration. There is no current builder under contract. The project needs to attract builders, and the following points reflect this. Applicants added that the project could not be sold until it has Final Conditional Approval, including approved designs. Therefore, the applicants asked Members if they agreed to the following:

  1. The applicant is to explain timing and flexibility-The applicant will explain to the Board, the timing necessary for a future proposed builder to submit their plans and specifications for approval by the Township consultants and ultimately the Board. This would be done as a Condition of Final Approval. They will explain the business terms necessary for a builder to consummate a deal with the developer to assure their homes would be approved before they purchase the development.
  2. The builder will submit their architectural plans for approval-They request that the Board grant Final Approval to the project conditioned upon approval of the house designs and options referred to as the Pattern Book. The house design approval would be by the DRC and Township consultants. The designs will be required to incorporate the architectural elements as described in the DVDM.
  3. The designs to be presented will meet the requirements of the TND Ordinance, the project engineering documents, and the detail of the DVDM. This will be a Condition of Final Approval.

Tonight, Mr. Engelhardt discussed these September 8th points as he distributed an updated packet of drawings and table.

  1. The updated version of the “to be Recorded” Site Plan SP-101 reflects garage layout coordinating with the Garage Exhibit. CS101 now includes the most current Lot Impervious Table (prevents massing).
  2. The Impervious Coverage Table was enlarged and accompanying notes were updated.
  3. Garage Location Exhibit (EX-1) has been updated.
  4. Mr. Engelhardt attached an old and new version of the Special Lot Criteria & Features Plan. This reflects changes that were a part of the supplemental design manual and will be incorporated into the final comprehensive DVDM.

Mr. Mostoller described the attempt to codify the approximately 100 page DVDM. It will take approximately three months before it returns to the DRC. It will include:

  1. 15 bulletins
  2. The necessary editorial corrections to change any verbal, pictorial, etc., reference of Spring Oak (being the template they are using) to Devault Village.
  3. All amendments

Next, the pattern book and DVDM will proceed to the Board after the Conditional Final Approval. Mr. Motel suggested the Board review the manual before Final Approval. Mr. Allen added the suggestion to carve out time for a DRC draft review. Mr. Mostoller reiterated that the Langan design supplement has been thoroughly reviewed as a supplement for Spring Oak. He discussed the inclusion of the additional amendments to what was once the Spring Oak Design Manual. Therefore, a thorough review is a duplication of efforts and prolongs the process.

Items also discussed were:

The Design Manual will go to the DRC and consultants. It will be included with the Final Approval package, and not returning the PC for review. Consultants will review what is going to be the final package.

Approval of Approach

Members suggested returning to the Board regarding the DVDM and the flexibility issue mentioned in the September 8th letter. There was considerable discussion regarding the approval of approach. Mr. Mostoller wanted to bypass the scrutiny of the DVDM since it is a template from the already approved Spring Oak Design Manual. The Members asked the applicants to bring all components to the Board.

A letter of extension for the final plan decision deadline, now October 2, 2017, is forthcoming from Mr. Engelhardt.

General Planning Items

Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)

Ms. Carol Armstrong was present to continue discussions on forming an EAC and what the duties of the group would be. A model ordinance and West Vincent Township’s ordinance had been previously circulated for review.

  1. Members began with discussion regarding duplication of function with Township consultants such as Mr. and Mrs. Frens, Mr. Wright, and Township committees.
    1. Ms. Armstrong provided examples of neighboring Township’s focus points, such as water testing, sustainability, and moving towards greener ordinances and therefore, a greener functioning Township.
  2. Mr. Motel transitioned from cons to pros by discussing neighboring Township EAC’s functioning well if given a specific task or tasks. He believes there is a need for concerned citizens informing the PC of issues.
  3. Mr. Churchill agreed with the duplication issue. Yet, he understands the benefit of meeting to consider areas the Township may not be aware. The group could suggest changes to the PC, or be charged with getting environmental issues on the table in a more proactive sense.
  4. Mr. von Hoyer also saw a potential for a review of ordinances, to keep them technologically current or screen for problems.

Everyone agreed that it was important not to do what is already being done. In addition, the concern was raised about unnecessarily duplicating, contacting, or altering the relations cultivated by the Township and its consultants. In response, Ms. Armstrong read aloud the Advisory Responsibility section of a draft ordinance modeled after West Vincent’s Ordinance.

“The Council shall advise the Board of Supervisors, and at the request of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, or other committees, commissions, officials, and employees of Charlestown Township on matters dealing with...” to reflect the relationship as a reporting and researching group.

However, she did mention that per other townships, a lack of authority makes an EAC weak. She wants the EAC to be able to identify important issues and have the power to provide research and recommendations. Mrs. Csete will contact Mr. Thompson regarding the usage of the title EAC, as in Environmental Advisory Council vs. Committee vs. Environmental Advisory Group.

Organization of EAC

Ms. Armstrong envisions:

These ideas initiated much discussion. To reduce the negatives, Mr. Motel suggested a trial period, then perhaps a future formation of a formal EAC.

  1. He advised leaving the amount and frequency of meetings:
  2. He advised reviewing applications listing the skill sets of interested individuals before deciding the:

The Members, and also Board Member Mr. Kuhn in attendance, were in agreement as to a trial period of about a year. Next, Members suggested advertising in the October Newsletter and on the website, for interested residents willing to fill out her suggested “Form of Interest” and serve in the trial group. The advertisement should begin with “At the directive and invitation of the Board of Supervisors“ and should also mention an interest in exploring issues, and neighboring township EAC projects, as possible areas of influence.

However, Ms. Armstrong stated she wanted to proceed with the draft Ordinance. She believes people feel the commitment is more worthy with Ordinance support. Plus she stated she clearly defined the authority level that the Township is hesitant to commit (to this early). Ms. Armstrong will circulate a draft to the PC as a precursor to a Township authorized EAC. After soliciting other township’s EAC members, about the idea of a trial period, she will return to the PC for more discussion.

Mr. Churchill felt it wise to work out what Ms. Armstrong envisions before putting it in writing. The PC thanked Ms. Armstrong for her efforts and asked her not to mistake their hesitation in a negative manor, because they appreciate what she is trying to accomplish.

Possible issues of interests for an environmental advisory group arose as this agenda item was discussed:

  1. Sustainability and the movement toward a greener Township.
  2. Recycling, the restriction of plastic bags within the Township
  3. Community input.
  4. Builder recycling
  5. Devault basins and returns
  6. Quarry impact to ground water
  7. Local asphalt plant operation impact to ground water
  8. Deer tick sub-committee
  9. Salt impact to water
  10. Safety and use of reflective clothing on walkways and roadways

Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan – Review of Existing Land Use and Future Land Use Maps

The Planning Commission reviewed the “Existing Land Use” and “Future Land Use” maps from the Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission’s Comprehensive Plan dated August 23, 2017. Members had the following ideas to include:

  1. Mr. Theurkauf to review
  2. A rural designation or overlay
  3. Projections for zoning
  4. Conservation and Easement areas as suggested by Mr. Theurkauf
  5. Data and percentages to be added

Wireless Communications Ordinance

Mr. Kuhn provided some details on the proposed Wireless Communications Ordinance scheduled for a hearing before the Board of Supervisors on November 6th. Mrs. Csete offered to recirculate the necessary information for the Members to review in time to advertise for the hearing.

Other Business

Mr. Westhafer said the pipeline construction appears to be ending. Mr. Mallach told Mr. Westhafer he would provide an official inspection of the site vs. adherence to the landscaping plan.

Mr. Mallach added that the plan originated from a well-known and reputable firm, and was approximately 95-97% approved.

Administrative Note

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

Action Items


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary