Andre von Hoyer, Chairman, Mike Richter, Vice Chairman, Michael Churchill, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel, Dan Walker,
and Bill Westhafer. Matt Rogers was absent.
Dan Wright, P.E., Dan Mallach, and Thomas Comitta.
Linda Csete, Beth Martin, Michael Allen, and Lisa Gardner.
Ms. Bednar, Ms. Kelsey Murphy, and Mr. Pete Goodman
Call to Order:
Mrs. Csete announced that the Board of Supervisors adopted an amendment for codification to Part 6
of the Township Code governing residential stand-by generators to Chapter 10, Health & Safety.
Chairperson, Planning Commission
Mr. von Hoyer opened the floor to nominations. Mr. Westhafer nominated Mr. von Hoyer for the position
of Chairman of the Planning Commission. Mr. Churchill seconded. There were no further nominations. Mr. von Hoyer closed
the nominations. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Vice Chairperson, Planning Commission
Mr. von Hoyer opened the floor to nominations. Mr. von Hoyer nominated Mr. Richter as Vice Chairman
of the Planning Commission, and Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer closed the nominations. Mr. von Hoyer called for
discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
2021 Meeting Schedule
Mr. von Hoyer moved to establish the meetings for 2021 to be the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30
p.m. to be held via Webex until COVID restrictions allow for meeting in person at the Great Valley Middle School, Room
154, and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in
Approval of Minutes
Mr. von Hoyer moved to approve the minutes of December 8, 2020, with minor edits and Mr. Churchill
seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Applications – None
General Planning Items
Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission Comprehensive Plan
PRPC Planner Ms. Kelsey Murphy, of Theurkauf Planning and Designing, presented the draft policy elements
for the Regional Comprehensive Plan update that will now include the latest member West Pikeland Township. Therefore,
this update mostly reflected West Pikeland, as in additions to maps, adding emergency responders, adding parks, and
adjusting percentages for conserved acreages.
- Map ER-11 added language regarding agriculture preservation.
- Energy-Electric vehicle charging stations will be added amongst multi-family developments, parking lots, municipal
buildings, and local businesses.
- Future Land Use also has an emphasis on agriculture.
- Coronavirus impact-emerging technologies are impacting changing transportation needs and office land use.
- Charlestown Township has conserved 2,487 of its 8,015 acres.
- The Bicycle Plan Map was updated.
- Changes were made to protect scenic roadways.
- The changes that townships made since the last update were folded into this update.
- The Cultural Resources Map shows the location of the proposed Phoenixville Community Center.
- There were no changes to any policy elements.
Ms. Leland was happy that West Pikeland joined and completed the group, and Members agreed. There
will be another update to this Plan in 10 years.
Equestrian Use Ordinance
The Planning Commission continued its review of the proposed Equestrian Use Ordinance to assist residents
legally run financially viable equestrian operations on a small scale. Mr. Churchill mentioned recent discussions with
Ms. Dicranian that have resulted in:
- Changes to parking.
- Increasing the number of outside horses allowed at the academy level since people who have a horse at a stable
may have others at their property and want to bring them.
- Mr. Churchill covered parking in detail, such as start time, the timing of personnel vs. end users, spectators,
- He elaborated on the Event Center that requires at least 40 acres. It must be permitted (which contains limitations)
and is not something that is foreseen in Charlestown Township. Liability is a main concern in these events.
- Mr. Comitta pointed out new definitions, minor corrections, deletions, etc. then suggested the Members send it
to the Board.
- Mr. Motel thanked Mr. Churchill for diving into this area where he had no expertise.
Mr. Motel moved to recommend to the Board of Supervisors, the Equestrian Ordinance, with edits suggested
tonight, and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion and there being none called the vote. All were
The Planning Commission discussed amending the TND ordinance. By better defining the metrics for green
space, it will enable monitoring of the required TND amenities and help meet the Member’s TND expectations.
Earlier, Mr. Comitta distributed the below for this meeting:
- An updated version of the “Common TND Open Space Requirements” chart
- A Memorandum introducing the Exhibit A and Exhibit B Common TND Open Space graphics and tabulations for Spring
Oak TND and Pickering Crossing TND;
- Exhibit A, “Common TND Open Space Tabulation,” for Spring Oak TND; and
- Exhibit B, “Common TND Open Space Tabulation,” for Pickering Crossing TND.
Mr. Comitta referenced chart #1 and stated that completing 2 goals for tonight will enable him to
return in February with a revised chart and supporting text.
- Comment on the metrics for each type of amenity
- Decide on the basic wording for the amendment for the February discussion
Member comments followed:
- Mr. Allen introduced the idea of raising the TND requirements since developers meet theminimum requirements but
rarely exceed them.
- The increase of active recreation for TND4 was suggested.
- Mr. Comitta liked having good land planners as seen in the lack of intense density in Pickering Crossing and Spring
- Metrics for plazas, green space, and squares, need to be increased.
- Mr. Allen would like to see more pocket parks.
- Mr. Comitta likes the visual relief certain groupings of homes provide and wants to try and chart this idea.
- Mr. Westhafer continued the idea and mentioned that disbursement of green space shouldn’t be land that is leftover,
unsuitable for housing, or in an awkward area, but land that even from an early planning phase, is set aside.
- Using a percentage of land per amount of units for this and not using gross acreage was suggested.
- Mr. Comitta re-defined green space- land that occurs after a certain number of dwellings, (as in a planned pattern
or purposeful placement).
- Mr. Westhafer discussed the residual look of 3a vs. 3C on Exhibit A for Spring Oak.
- Mr. Wright was questioned regarding the timing of the basketball court and community gardens at Spring Oak, and
what initiates their installation, besides the finish of the project.
- Discussion followed about escrows, open space usage patterns, parking for amenities (ex. the expected basketball
court and community gardens), or the purposeful lack of amenities.
- TND4 and TND5 will see metrics portraying higher yet reasonable expectations.
2020 TND-3 Changes
Mr. Motel discussed the Board approving apartment use in TND3 in August through an ordinance amendment.
The approval contained an adjustment to the footprint stating the ground floor would not exceed 3000 sq. ft.
Mr. Boyle came to the meeting tonight to find out what led to this decrease because when it left the
Planning Commission it was at 8,000 or had no set limit at all. The first sketch plan he remembers submitting was at
≈8,000 for one building and ≈8,100 for the second with outdoor space in between.
Mr. Westhafer recalled that parking was discussed and may have impacted this decision.
Mr. Comitta will check with Mr. Thompson and see what transpired after the recommendation left the
PC. This will appear on the February agenda.
Any documents referred to in the minutes are available to the public upon request to the Township
There being no further business, Mr. von Hoyer adjourned the meeting at 9 p.m.