Schuylkill Township
Planning Commission
MEETING DATE: May 16, 2018

Jim Reading called the meeting to order at 8:02pm.    Members of the Planning Commission in attendance were: James Reading, Morris Quigg, Erich Rahe, Barbara Cohen, Curtis English and Michael Pellegrino. Michael Bauer was not in attendance.  MaryLou Lowrie, Township Engineer from Gilmore & Associates was in attendance.  Current appointed Board of Supervisors in attendance in the audience were F. Parry, M. Majewski, and M. Donovan.

Morris Quigg made the motion to approve the minutes from the March 29, 2018 meeting.  No meeting was held in April 2018. Eric Rahe seconded the motion. All approved.

Thompson Tract/PVGC – Ben Thompson presented a revised sketch plan for the cluster development of 20 new lots on the property at Pickering Valley Golf Course, Whitehorse Road.  The golf course will remain open to the public. There will be 11 lots in Schuylkill Township, with 9 new homes being built on a cul-de-sac. The course will be divided into 3 large lots on the Schuylkill Township side for potential future development if the golf course shall ever fail.   Mr. Thompson stated there will be emergency vehicle access on the Charlestown Township side of the property all the way through the Schuylkill Township side, exiting onto Tinkerhill road. This will not be public access, only for emergency vehicles.  Mr. Thompson stated they would like to have the cul-de-sac road as a dedicated township maintained road.  Jim Reading advised it would need to be constructed to the townships standards with curbing. There are trails proposed, which the trail easements are deeded. The trailhead is located off the new cul-de-sac. The trail will go through to the Charlestown side and connect to the existing Horseshoe Trail. Discussion ensued regarding the abandoned mines on the property.  Mr. Thompson stated they will retain the areas of the mines and have setbacks from each of them. The mines are currently open to the public and they will continue to be.   Mr. Thompson stated that the stormwater management system will be designed as an all inclusive system for the entire development, not each individual lot.  The perk testing on all lots has been completed. Each lot will have a well and septic system.  Curtis English made the motion to recommend that the Board of Supervisors consider the revised plan for approval. Barbara Cohen seconded the motion. All approved.

Liberty House – Ron Knabb presented a sketch plan to expand the Liberty House development in to the vacant 4 acre parcel of land behind the existing buildings. It is one parcel.  They will construct new affordable housing units, including a community building and a maintenance building.   Ryan Bailey, senior developer for Pennrose Properties Management, the company that owns Liberty House, discussed what the existing & proposed housing units will be.  They have gone to Chester County Housing and the State regarding the development and obtaining funding. Both the county and state are supportive in the development of the affordable housing units.  Currently, Liberty House provides 48 housing units for homeless, mentally & physically challenged individuals. It is fully staffed. Living quarters are similar to “dorm style” living.  They are proposing to construct 12 new two story duplex/triplex buildings which will consist of 1 to 3 bedroom apartments. They will be built to look like townhomes on the exterior with front porches. The rental units will be managed by Pennrose Properties. Rent range will be up to 60% of the median average income, possibly ranging from $600 to $1000 per month.  They are targeting veterans and small families.  The new buildings will use the existing driveway entrance/exit on to Charlestown Road.  The roads and community will remain private. The new buildings meet current zoning setbacks.  The property was zoned R-2, then changed to AR. It is currently existing non conforming. Ron Knabb stated they have the right to expand an existing non conforming property.  Jim Reading stated that he felt the conceptual idea is a good idea and a good use for the property. The rest of the commission agreed.  Ron Knabb stated Pennrose Management will proceed with further plans.

Curtis English gave an update to the commission on the County Comprehensive Plan and preservation and landscape issues. Discussion ensued regarding the Landscapes map showing urbanized, suburban center, suburban, and rural locations.  Curtis felt the map needs to be redrawn as it currently shows parts of Schuylkill Township as urban.   The planning commission suggested inviting a representative from Landscapes to attend the June planning commission meeting.

With no further business to discuss, Jim Reading adjourned the meeting at 9:15pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kimberly Yocom
Zoning Administrative Officer

Next meeting: Wednesday June 20, 2018