11 General Warren Blvd, Suite 1
Malvern, PA 19355
Tuesday, March 14, 2023


Planning Commission:
Mike Richter, Chairman, Matt Rogers, Vice Chairman, Andy Motel, Dan Walker, and Bill Westhafer. Andre von Hoyer II, Michael Churchill, and Daniel Ghosh were absent.
Dan Wright, P.E., and arriving at 7:37 p.m., Thomas Comitta
Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary

Call to Order:

7:03 p.m.


The items on tonight’s agenda will be addressed in a different order than published.

Mr. Motel announced that hedgerows have been removed by RES (Resource Environmental Solutions) as the next step towards transforming Brightside Farm into a sanctuary for birds.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Rogers moved to approve the February 14, 2023, meeting minutes and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Review of Chester County’s Transportation Improvement Inventory (TIP) Form

Mr. Greg Richardson, of Traffic Planning and Design, Inc., introduced himself as the Township’s traffic engineer. He addressed the Planning Commission to review the County Planning Commission’s list of Existing Projects for Charlestown Township. It was last updated in 2021 and tonight’s goal was to provide feedback for the biennial update.

Works in Progress:
  1. Yellow Springs Road -Sidley Hill Road-Phoenixville Pike with East Whiteland Township.
  2. Yellow Springs Road at Route 29 involving the Boyle property -the grant decision may be published as early as Friday the 17th. Mr. Boyle will be responsible for the sidewalks.
  3. The Valley Hill Road and Route 401 turn lane are in the PennDOT preliminary design phase.
  4. Jenkins Park exit. PennDOT wants it across from the driveway and the owner does not.
TII Form Discussion:
New items for the list:
  1. Mr. Richter mentioned the Charlestown Road S curve at the gardens and its disintegration. He is especially concerned about the uphill lane since tractor trailers have a difficult time as they pass the garden entrance. Earth from the bank often falls onto the roadway.
  2. Mr. Richter mentioned the S curve on Coldstream Road at the park, on the park side where a corner caves in.
  3. Mr. Richter mentioned updating signage for truck drivers heading south on Charlestown Road to Coldstream Rd as well as travelling north on Charlestown Road from Phoenixville Pike. Research the need for the earlier posting of the maximum trailer length. Where signage is now, it does not allow for enough warning or a place to turn around.
  4. Mr. Walker stated that in the future the Devault Rail Trail will need a Pickering Dam Road crosswalk.
  5. Hollow Road at Pikeland Road floods and freezes.
  6. Site distance at Hollow Road and Route 29.
  7. Hollow Road and Blackberry Lane has a long existing hole.
  8. The Route 29 and Charlestown Road intersection.
  9. Charlestown Road and Pickering Dam Road shoulder.
  10. Intersection of Coldstream Road and Charlestown Road involving a turn lane and restaurant parking site distance. (Mr. Wright will research the parking lot issue also.)
  11. Mr. Motel mentioned Phoenixville Pike on the south side has a shoulder that washes out and ponds.

Many items were added to the list and are pending site visits. Mr. Richardson will contact PennDOT for state roads with shoulder and drop-off concerns.

Alleva lot combination plan – 1 & 2 Honeysuckle Lane

Mr. Wright presented the lot combination plan for Drew and Marjorie Alleva at 1 & 2 Honeysuckle Lane. The owner wants to consolidate the two properties into one 20.05-acre parcel. The line that originally separated the two homes can be eliminated since the Board amended the ordinance in early March. Mr. Wright felt the PC should consider recommending to the Board, the conservation easement with the 9 waivers since nothing else is being proposed except the conservation easement. If the owner wants to re-subdivide, they will need a cross- access easement.

Mr. Rogers moved to recommend approval of the lot combination plan for the Allevas:

Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Planning Matters

Discussion of Potential Ordinance Amendments

Mr. Comitta led a discussion on two items to consider for possible amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.

Small Wireless Facilities

Mr. Comitta stated that he and the Township Manager had taken action on this draft for an issue that the PC previously reviewed. These small boxes are attached to existing utility poles and are a concern in regard to Township design standards. Mr. Comitta and Mr. Heleniak wish to provide clarity and precision for the boxes to be complimentary to the area. There was agreement that the draft seemed long and very technical. A review by the Township Solicitor or a communications lawyer was discussed. At that point, the review could fall back to the PC.

Mr. Richter recommended the draft for Small Wireless Facilities be sent to the Township Solicitor for review and Mr. Rogers seconded. Mr. Richter called for discussion and the being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Comitta began by mentioning a meeting with Mr. Philips and Mr. Heleniak. Most of the discussion focused on large gatherings or events on 50+ acre locations. Many locations had historic relevance, were bed and breakfast establishments, equestrian related, or venues for weddings, etc. The move to outdoor events due to the pandemic has caused some communities to embrace these venues. Discussion followed about controlling the impact on neighbors that may not be eager to have agritainment next door.

Further discussion revealed the below list of possible criteria for a draft ordinance.

Mrs. Melissa Dicranian was present tonight and explained that she owns a large property and has considered sharing it. She owns ~47 acres and has a class 1 historic resource. She was inspired by America250PA. It is the 250-year commemoration to allow Pennsylvanians to showcase special people, places, and businesses. Also, during the pandemic, she was asked to use her property as a venue for large gatherings. She told Members that she has researched luxury portable restrooms, egress and parking, and event planning. She contacted Mr. Wright for some guidance and information about Township restrictions and wondered about permitting.

Mr. Rogers suggested the first step be to map properties that could fall into a 45-50 acre scale. Mr. Heleniak will be asked to send the PC a document he had shared with Mr. Comitta. Members agreed that agritainment is a way for owners to protect historical or large properties for future generations, without adversely impacting neighbors.


There being no further business, Mr. Richter adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m. The next meeting will be held on April 11, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at 11 General Warren Blvd., Suite 1, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary
sheet, 3/14/2023