Schuylkill Township
Planning Commission
MEETING DATE: March 29, 2018

Jim Reading called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.  This meeting is being held due to the March 21, 2018 meeting being cancelled due to inclement weather.  Members of the Planning Commission in attendance were: James Reading, Morris Quigg, Erich Rahe, Michael Bauer, Curtis English. Barbara Cohen was not in attendance.  John Sartor and MaryLou Lowrie, Township Engineers from Gilmore & Associates were in attendance.  Current appointed Board of Supervisors in attendance in the audience were S. Guerette, F. Parry, J. Morrison, and M. Donovan.

Morris Quigg made the motion to approve the minutes from the February 21, 2018 meeting. Eric Rahe seconded the motion. All approved.

Sedgely Farm / Reeves Property – Mr. Todd Pohlig began with a recap of his last planning commission presentation of the plans from start (buy-rite) to the present plan J which proposes 90 new housing units. Four existing homes, three of which are historic, on the site will remain.  There will be approximately 36 acres of open space and 12 of them will be used for storm water management.  The HOA will maintain the exterior of the carriage homes, and common space, and the common space of the village homes.  The HOA will be responsible for the maintenance of the storm water management facilities.  Three different types of trails are being proposed for public use within the development, nature trails, walking trails, sidewalks. Pohlig stated the development is not age restricted, however they are targeting an older “50+ empty-nester” market.  The first floor master bedrooms, and small to no yards (carriage/twins) will limit the market.  Pricing is estimated to start at $500,000 for the twins, $600,000 for the carriage homes and $800,000 for the single family homes.

John Snyder had Greg Richardson, a representative from Traffic Planning & Design (TPD) present their traffic study findings to the Commission.  All traffic data was designed to regular single family homes, not specifically age targeted. This gives the “worst case scenario” numbers.  The average daily traffic counts are taken, and analyzed and the highest peak hour counts are used.   They proposed daily trips are 982. Jim Morrison stated that they should provide accurate counts for the Board to have the correct information.  Greg Richardson stated that if they did, the numbers for an age restricted community would be 300 less trips (682+/-) as compared to the counts for conventional single family homes. John Snyder stated that he would direct TPD to give the Board of Supervisors traffic counts for age targeted and conventional homes.   John Snyder stated that Penndot had approved the higher number and that it is Penndot who approves the traffic according to the PRD ordinance and not the Board of Supervisors. Eric Rahe questioned the Penndot approval. Greg Richardson stated that Penndot issued the permit 10 years ago (2008), and they recently reviewed, not approved the new counts during a consultation regarding the old permit that has since expired.  They are in the process of resubmitting to get a new permit and Penndot is allowing the plans to be updated.  Discussion ensued regarding the second access off of East Philip drive. John Snyder stated the second access is required by ordinance.  TPD estimated 15% of the proposed developments residents would use East Philip as an access, and 85% would use the main Route 23 access.  Multiple residents is the audience disagreed with those numbers. They stated traffic is already an issue trying to exit from nearby developments on Route 23 and it’s almost impossible to turn westbound on Route 23 during the morning rush hour.  They feel that most residents would exit East Philip drive to Whitehorse to use the traffic light at Route 23 and Whitehorse.  Residents along East Philip drive asked if traffic calming measures could be installed on East Philip. John Snyder stated that would be up to the Township, as it is a township owned and maintained road. They are only accessing it with their driveway, not taking over the roadway.  TPD and John Snyder stated that the E. Philip/Route 23 dispersion percentages would be discussed and re-evaluated.   One resident questioned Todd Pohlig and the use of nitrates/pesticides on the property and her concerns for the water quality of the reservoir.  Mr. Pohlig responded that the HOA will manage all common areas so the use of chemicals will be restricted and controlled. He has been working with Aqua Pennsylvania regarding the stormwater management and feels very strongly about using new and innovative methods to keep the water in the reservoir at the same high quality levels it is currently at.

Discussion ensued between the planning commission, audience members, and John Snyder regarding the timeline that needs to be followed with this plan.  Bill Brennan stated that a decision by the Board of Supervisors must be made within 180 days of the date of the application, which was February 9, 2018. They can approve, approve with conditions, or deny the plan. If no decision is made within 180 days, the application will be deemed approved.   If the PRD plan is approved, Pohlig will build mixed use housing, as proposed. If the PRD plan is denied, they are allowed by right to build 50+ single family homes.  The land will not remain as it is. Jim Morrison questioned where the Chester County Planning Commission comes in to this. John Snyder said that it does not. The MPC does not require Chester County review or Regional Planning review.  The Townships’ PRD ordinance only requires review by the Townships commissions: Environmental Advisory Council, Historical Commission, Open Space Commission, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors. Jim Morrisson would like Regional Planning to review the plan.  John Snyder stated that would be agreeable to that, but the 180 day timeline will not be extended for outside sources to review.

There being no further business for discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kimberly Yocom
Zoning Administrative Officer

Next meeting: Wednesday April 18, 2018