Great Valley Middle School, Room 154
255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA
Tuesday, June 14, 2022


Planning Commission:
Mike Richter, Chairman, Matt Rogers, Vice Chairman, Michael Churchill, Daniel Ghosh, Andre von Hoyer, and Dan Walker. Bill Westhafer and Andy Motel were absent.
Daniel T. Wright, P.E., Thomas Comitta and Wendy McLean, Esq.
Beth Martin, Michael Allen, and Linda Csete

Call to Order:

7:10 p.m.


Mr. von Hoyer asked who purchased 101 Mary Hill Road and whether it would be used as a single home or as a dormitory. Mr. Richter commented that although it was recently sold, it was back on the market again.

Township newsletters and Chester County Agricultural Produce pamphlets are available.

Mr. Allen thanked Ms. Courtney Walker for visiting the May PC meeting and discussing protocols and general safety for biotech and laboratory uses within the Township.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Rogers moved to approve the minutes of May 10, 2022, and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Minor Subdivision Plans

Philips – Lot Consolidation Application and Subsequent Subdivision Application

Charlie Philips presented his dual applications for a lot consolidation and subsequent subdivision of two properties located on Hollow Road. He explained that when the property was originally subdivided in 1987, a note on the plan required that these two lots be consolidated into one parcel. Although he had combined them on the deed, the actual consolidation had not taken place and is required before he can convey Parcel A. Following the recordation of the consolidation, he proposes to subdivide the parcel into two separate parcels, allowing Parcel A to be sold to a neighbor. The parcel is restricted from any future development or construction.

Ms. McLean clarified that the application requests 10 waivers from the SLDO that are listed on the plan, and indicated that the existing deed restriction remains in effect

Mr. Richter moved to recommend approval of the lot consolidation and subdivision plans for Charlie Philips’ parcels #35-4-45.3 and 35-4-45.54, and Mr. Rogers seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Conditional Use Application

Malvern General Warren Owner LLC

Ms. Debbie Shulski, Esq., of Riley Riper Hollin and Colagreco, introduced the team with her. They were before the PC tonight for the applicant, Malvern General Warren Owner, LLC. Their goal was to seek a recommendation for approval of a Conditional Use as a laboratory for scientific research and development in the NC-2 District. The applicant will rent the property to a tenant that will retrofit the interior to utilize the existing building.

The consultant letters were noted as “will comply”. Mr. Wright had no further questions regarding sewage flow following a letter from Mr. Brower, of Edward B. Walsh & Associates, Inc. (dated May 31, 2022). Transportation for the proposed use is very similar to the original general office use per a letter from Ms. Nicole Line-Elsier (dated April 5, 2022) of McMahon Transportation Engineers & Planners.

Discussion followed regarding the transparency of data regarding materials and usage, DEP website access, quality of information available to the general public, hazards and spills, compliance, and communication between labs, the fire marshal, and the Township office.

Mr. Rogers moved to recommend approval of the Conditional Use Application for Malvern General Warren Owner LLC for laboratory use in the NC-2 zoning district, and Mr. Walker seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

General Planning Items

Zoning Ordinance Amendment – Conditional Use Procedures

Mrs. Csete referred to the draft ordinance amendment she prepared to reinstate a series of directions to applicants when filing for Conditional Use that had been inadvertently removed during a previous update.

Mr. Churchill moved to recommend approval of the draft amendment to the Zoning Ordinance, Conditional Use section 1809, reimposing the missing sections from the previous ordinance version, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Tree Protection Ordinance

The Tree Protection Ordinance was returned to the Planning Commission to review the County Planning Commission’s comments before making a recommendation to the Supervisors.

Ms. McLean reminded attendees that in the state of PA timber harvesting is a permitted use in all zoning districts. Discussion followed regarding how to control Township tree removal using a zoning application, the County Conservation District, and the DEP. As the dialog progressed the PC decided that they may be looking at creating two different ordinances, one to control timber harvesting or clear-cutting and a separate ordinance that would cover subdivision and woodlands, with both of these considering specimen trees.

Mrs. Csete drafted a Timber Harvesting Permit Application for the PC and consultants to consider. Mr. Wright suggested that anyone doing timber harvesting should also be required to submit an application to the Chester County Conservation District and obtain a CCCD “letter of adequacy”. Mr. Goodman will forward a spreadsheet of tree protection criteria found in other PA ordinances. Mr. Beyer wanted there to be fines for non-compliance but the zoning ordinance does not provide for penalties. Ms. Green agreed that phase one would at least provide some protection.

Mr. Comitta felt the County’s response was slanted toward subdivision more than protection, which agrees with Mr. Richter’s earlier expression about creating two separate ordinances. Mr. Comitta suggested a two-step process. First adopt a draft of what they agree on now, including the definitions suggested by the County. Secondly, agreed upon by Mr. Comitta and Mr. Richter, the formation of a sub-committee to determine what is best for the Township. Earth disturbance, timber harvesting, protection of adjoining areas, thresholds, stormwater/SALDO, specimen trees, woodlands, square footage, PA Natural Diversity Index sites, riparian forest buffers, etc., would all be considered. Somewhere between the MPC, and the DEP, are gaps not filled by the County Conservation District or zoning. The PC’s sub-committee will meet to draft ordinances that fill the gaps in protection for the Township’s rural nature, its resource of forests, and the rights of residents to remove trees but not impact adjoining neighbors.

The next steps will be for Ms. McLean and Mr. Comitta to connect. Then Mr. Comitta and Mr. Richter will discuss the sub-committee.


There being no further business, Mr. Richter adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m. The next meeting will be held on July 12, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Rm 154, 255 Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,
Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary
sheet, 6/14/2022