Schuylkill Township
Planning Commission
MEETING DATE: June 19, 2019

Jim Reading called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.  Members of the Planning Commission in attendance were Curtis English, Michael Bauer, Morris Quigg and Barbara Cohen.  Township Engineer John Sartor was present. Current elected Board of Supervisors in attendance in the audience were Martha Majewski, Jim Morrisson, Mark Donovan and Fred Parry.  Township Manager E.J. Mentry was also in the audience.

The minutes from the May 15, 2019, meeting were approved with minor corrections as per Barbara Cohen’s recommendations.

The final draft of the proposed SALDO & Zoning Amendment changes that were prepared by Ann Hutchinson of Natural Lands Trust were reviewed.  Motion was made by Curtis English to approve the changes and recommend passing and approval to the Board of Supervisors. Barbara Cohen seconded the motion, all approved.

Louis Piombino appeared before the Planning Commission on behalf of the owners of 19 Oakwood Lane (R1 District).  An application was submitted to the township to subdivide the existing 2.5 acre lot into 2 parcels.  John Sartor advised the plan was reviewed as a simple subdivision, as there is no building being proposed at this time on the newly formed parcel therefore SALDO requirements to not apply.  Gilmore & Associates advised the applicant to request a waiver of land development.  The property is currently on well water with public sewer. There is public water available.  There are two dwellings and garage on the lot which are located within the front and side yard setbacks.  The subdivision will not create a further nonconformity. Jim Morrisson questioned if the two new lots meet the zoning regulations.  John Sartor stated they do comply. Jim Morrisson asked if new lot would be onsite septic.  John Sartor advised per Township Ordinance, any new dwellings must connect to public sewer if available.  Curtis English recommended the applicant submit a sewage planning module exemption. Jim Reading stated he felt that was a little ahead since they are only subdividing the lot, not proposing any new dwelling at this time. John Sartor said they can note on the plan that the proposed builder of lot 1 would need to get Valley Forge Sewer Authority approval.   Motion was made by Barbara Cohen to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve the request of the waiver of land development for the 19 Oakwood subdivision with the condition that the plan meets all township ordinances and stormwater management requirements.  Michael Bauer seconded the motion, all approved.

Valley Forge Green Townhome Development by Pulte (formerly Nolen Townhome Development) came before the Planning Commission seeking a waiver from the SALDO  section 320-28 requirement wherein building setbacks are measured from the edge of the conservation easement, not the property line.  The easement setback required approx. 112’ to the building, they currently have about 50’. The conservation easement was granted in 2016 by Jim Nolen to Natural Lands Trust. It is a 19 acre easement.  Mike Bauer asked how this came up now, as the plans have been finalized and approved.  John Sartor stated that the new plan did not show the conservation easement and that Township Secretary Madeline Harbison had pointed that out to him and the Township Manager and they had notified Pulte & Nolen. John Sartor stated that there were no objections to this request for relief.    The walking trail is within the conservation easement as well as stormwater management facilities, which are not allowed.  James Mullen, attorney for Pulte Homes, has been in contact with the Township Solicitor, William Brennan, and they are working with Natural Lands Trust to allow the trail within the easement. The plans have received all necessary approvals from all governmental agencies.  Jim Reading stated that he had no objections to granting the request to waive section 320-28B.1.  Mike Bauer made a Motion to recommend the Board of Supervisors grant the waiver of SLDO section 320-28.B.1 with regards to not requiring the building setback line be measured from the conservation easement line but from the rear property line.  Morris Quigg seconded the motion. All approved.

Discussion ensued among the planning commission members and E.J. Mentry, Mgr., regarding Wawa, 120 Schuylkill Road, and their pending request for a waiver of land development. Wawa is proposing to add underground diesel storage tanks and add diesel fuel dispensing lines to the existing pumps.  Per Township ordinance, any improvements to a commercial lot is required to go through land development.  Wawa will be submitting information for the Commission to review at their next meeting.

Jim Reading asked E.J. Mentry what the status of the proposed Wawa at Valley Forge Road and Whitehorse Road was.  Mentry advised that it is still in appeal and that oral arguments were scheduled for July however they have been rescheduled to September 6, 2019.   Final land development plans have not been completed, so Wawa will need to come before the Planning Commission.

Jim Reading asked E.J. Mentry for the status of the Pohlig/Reeves property. Mentry stated that the tentative plan (PRD plan 1) was denied by the Board of Supervisors and that Pohlig has appealed the denial. The second development plan (PRD 2)  is being voted on by the Board of Supervisors on July 3, 2019.

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,


Kimberly Yocom
Zoning Officer/BCO