Planning Commission:
Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Michael Churchill, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel, and Michael Richter. Andre von Hoyer, Vice Chairman, was absent.
Daniel Wright and Thomas Comitta
Linda Csete, Lisa Gardner

Call to Order:

7:34 p.m.


There were none.

Approval of Minutes

November 13 2018 Minutes

Ms. Leland wanted an edit to the minutes that stated she was in favor of the Devault parcel for the future Township Office. Ms. Leland then moved to approve the minutes of November 13, 2018 including the minor edit, and Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Joint Meeting with the Agricultural Security Area Committee

7 Year Review of Agricultural Security Area -Joint Review by the Planning Commission and Agricultural Security Area Committee

Mrs. Csete explained that the Township is conducting its seven-year review of the Agricultural Security Area. The County Planning Commission received the materials for review just over a month ago but has not responded. The Township Planning Commission and ASA Committee have been asked to make a recommendation on the updated map, so for this portion of the meeting, it will be a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and ASA Committee. This has been properly advertised. The ASA Committee consists of one Supervisor, three farmers and one resident of the Township. Mrs. Csete listed Mr. Bill Andersen, Mr. and Mrs. Carl and Sharon Fisher, farmers, Supervisor Susan Bednar (responded by email earlier), and Mr. David Valyo, resident as members of the ASA Committee.

Both the Planning Commission and ASA Committee received a copy of the updated map, prepared by Thomas Comitta Associates. There were no additional applications received for inclusion, so the updates consist of adjustments to parcel numbers that were needed following lot line changes. She asked the Planning Commission to make a recommendation.

Ms. Leland moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors adopt the updated Agricultural Security Area map dated 11/5/18 and Mr. Churchill seconded. Mr. Westhafer called the vote and all were in favor.

Mrs. Csete then asked the ASA Committee for their recommendation. Mrs. Fisher moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors adopt the updated ASA map dated 11/5/18 and Mr. Fisher seconded. Mr. Westhafer called the vote and all were in favor.

Mrs. Csete thanked both groups for their participation, concluding the joint portion of the meeting.

Sketch Plan Review

Meyer Sketch Plan – Bodine Road

Mr. Nick Vastardis of Chester Valley Engineers and Mr. George Meyer of 2227 Bodine Road were present to discuss a new Sketch Plan for a 6-lot subdivision. The tract size is 23.8 acres on tax parcel #35-3-4. This is the sixth Sketch Plan review for Mr. Meyer since 2003.

However, as Mr. Vastardis distributed a sketch plan of a conventional layout and an open space layout, Mr. Meyer displayed a brand-new sketch plan with only 5 new homes on it, instead of 6. This new Plan was the result of suggestions made by two builders sought out by Mr. Meyers. The builders reduced the homes to 5 to allow for patios and pools, typical for homes in the million-dollar range.

Discussion followed:

  1. The cul-de-sac was shortened.
  2. PECO lines run along Seven Oaks Road. Mr. Meyers will not plan driveways or roads under lines.
  3. There is a Transco gas pipeline easement.
  4. There is approximately 150-200 feet and a visible vegetation barrier between the planned homes and Seven Oaks Road.
  5. There will be no need for Open Space management with this plan.
  6. Mr. Meyer believes he does not need an HOA and will dedicate the road to the Township.

However, Mr. Wright said the Board of Supervisors does not want more roads, and an HOA may be needed.

A neighbor, Mrs. Kim Walsh addressed Members with two concerns. Her residence is at the corner of Foster and Bodine Roads.

  1. She liked the prior plan with driveways and was against the idea of the cul-de-sac placement. She does not want the cul-de-sac opening, with exiting driver’s headlights, to be facing her home, especially as they turn right. She would like everyone to enjoy the privacy of a long driveway, like Mr. Meyer’s. She does not want to see an intersection where she used to see a field. This would change the intersection for the Walshs and the Greeneys to a 4-way intersection.
  2. There is a stormwater runoff problem at that intersection along Foster and Bodine Roads. Pigeon Run would flood more with water coming down the new road straight onto Foster.

Mr. Wright reminded Mrs. Walsh that Chester County requires the engineering calculations to prove that the increased level of stormwater will be captured. The Township ordinance requires a significant amount of water be reduced.

Therefore, her stormwater issues will only improve and certainly not get worse, due to County regulations and the Township’s strict adherence to requirements. Mr. Vastardis said they will capture water using underground basins for each home. Mr. Wright added there will be proper crowning of the driveways, proper collection, and disbursement at a smaller rate, for each home. This Sketch Plan actually has less stormwater runoff than the plan Mrs. Walsh prefers.

Mr. Greeney discussed past conversation with PennDOT regarding curbs on Bodine Road vs. stormwater runoff, snow removal, and flooding. Other comments included:

  1. Mr. Comitta suggested paving a narrower road (22’ not 25’) to reduce impervious coverage, although this would require a waiver from the SLDO.
  2. PennDOT would prefer one cul-de-sac opening onto a state road vs. a number of driveways.
  3. The Open Space on the previous plans was primarily easements and not for public use.
  4. The gas pipeline easement needs to cross the road at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Ms. Leland thought improvements could make the entrance and basin aesthetically pleasing.
  6. Part of Bodine Road is owned by the State, and part is owned by the Township.
  7. Members were glad there was one less home on the plan and the larger lots.

Mr. Wright felt this project may improve the stormwater runoff on Bodine Road with the introduction of curbs. Currently the road is lined with problematic ditches.

Mr. Meyer wanted a recommendation from the Members for Conditional Use as mentioned in Mr. Wright’s review letter dated December 7, 2018. The Applicant shall indicate if they intend to design the lots in accordance with the Conventional Lot Option which will require Conditional Use approval in accordance with Zoning Ordinance 27-402.C(5). Mr. Meyer does not plan on utilizing the Open Space Development option. He would return to the Commission after obtaining Conditional Use.

Ms. Leland move to recommend the most current (5 home) Meyer’s Sketch Plan for Conditional Use. Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

General Review

Review of Conditional Use Ordinance Amendments

Mr. Comitta led a discussion on reviewing and revising the Specific Standards and Criteria for Conditional Use. Mr. Comitta, Mr. Wright, and Mr. Thompson, met and discussed this in preparation for tonight’s Planning Commission Meeting.

Discussion followed on risk and exposure considerations pointed out by Mr. Thompson vs. which uses were suitable for Township districts. Some uses were outdated and/or removed since they are allowed in other zones, and also some uses were added due to no inclusion in the current version of the Ordinance, such as e-commerce. Special consideration was given to all changes in the I/O/B district, since there are existing residential homes interspersed in that district.

Mr. Comitta will make the following changes to the I/O/B district:

  1. The prohibition for outdoor storage in Logistics Park or Logistics Center regulations.
  2. Office hours will be limited.
  3. Maximum building heights shall be raised from 35’ to 55’.
  4. The acreage of minimum lot areas was increased.
  5. The square footage increased for maximum building size.
  6. Mr. Churchill suggested a possible change to page 7 of the second attachment, adding a new provision 27-1002.1.A.(3)(j) that would read: “Any other lawful use that the Township is required to have.” The Solicitor will need to determine if this can or should be included.

Mr. Churchill moved to recommend the Zoning Ordinance Amendments, including the new changes made tonight, for action by the Board of Supervisors. Ms. Leland seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Next, Mr. Thompson will send an Amendatory Ordinance to the Chester County Planning Commission for Act 247 Review.

Other Business

There will be information on the website, in the next Newsletter, and a letter set to residents, explaining the process for selecting a replacement Planning Commission Member, and asking if anyone is interested in serving on the Commission to complete Mr. Allen’s term.

Administrative Note

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


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 8:53 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary