Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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Established June 2, 1997
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Thursday, January 23, 2003  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Reorganization and Regular Meetings
January 6, 2003
Hugh Willig, Board Chairman, called this meeting to order at 7:39 p.m. Present with Mr. Willig were Irene Ewald, Paul Hogan, Michael Rodgers, and Kevin Kuhn. Present also were Surender Kohli, James MacErlane, Esq., Linda Csete and Melanie Lammers.
The Board commenced its Reorganization Meeting with nominations for Board Chairman. Mr. Willig and Mr. Hogan were nominated. Mr. Hogan was seconded and approved as Chairman. Mr. Willig agreed to fill the post of Vice Chairman.
Appointments for 2003 followed:
Township Administrator and Township Secretary/Treasurer: Linda Csete
Assistant Township Secretary: Jan Bird
Recording Secretary: Melanie Lammers
Roadmaster, Fire Marshal, and Emergency Services Coordinator: Fred Alston
Parks & Recreation/Road Maintenance and Animal Control Officer: Mark Cabot
Township Engineer, Zoning Officer, Building Inspector: Surender Kohli
Township Solicitor/Lead Counsel: Lamb, Windle and MacErlane
Alternate Counsel: Gary Bender, Esq.
Second Alternate Counsel: Glen Diehl, Esq.
Land Planner: Thomas Commita
Historical Architectural Consultant: Dale Frens of Frens & Frens
Independent Auditor for FY 2002 (Resolution #599-03 dated 1/6/03) Mr. Emory Todd

Supervisor Liaisons:
Administration of Twp. Office: Paul Hogan
Historical Commission/HARB: Paul Hogan
Parks & Recreation: Paul Hogan
Planning Commission - none
Roads Paul Hogan & Linda Csete
East Pikeland Twp.- Hugh Willig
East Whiteland Twp. - Irene Ewald
Great Valley School District - Kevin Kuhn
Phoenixville Borough - Kevin Kuhn
Schuylkill Twp. - Mike Rodgers
Tredyffrin Twp. - Kevin Kuhn
Valley Forge Sewer Authority - Mike Rodgers
West Pikeland Twp. - Irene Ewald
Historical Commission /HARB has two five-year appointments to 12/31/2007, to which Janet Baldwin was appointed,. and one five year appointment, which calls for a Licensed R.E. Broker. Mrs. Ewald suggested that HARB interview Ruth Van Tassell in addition to the other nominees, Sheila Klement and Frances Puleo. It was noted that two of the people suggested are not licensed real estate brokers. HARB may expand to include the interested candidates.
Open Space Commission: There are 12 members currently on this commission.
Parks & Recreation Board: Tabled due to a nominee still being under consideration for the five-year appointment.
Planning Commission: Wendy Leland was approved for a four-year appointment.
Vacancy Board: Russ Hanscom was approved for another one-year term.
Zoning Hearing Board: Alana Gerhard was nominated for the three-year appointment, but no nominee was available for the position of alternate. This was tabled.
Rates of Pay for 2003:
  • Township Admr / Secretary / Treasurer: $40,000 changed to $42,000 (7% increase)
  • Assistant Township Secretary $12.50/hour changed to $14/hour
  • Recording Secretary: $13/hour to $13.50/hour
  • Parks & Recreation /Road Maintenance: $15/hour changed to $16.50/hour
  • Animal Control Officer: $15/hour to $16.50/hour
  • Fire Marshal: $8,400/year
  • Roadmaster: $10,000/year
Establish mileage reimbursement rate for 2003: $.36 per mile approved, same as IRS.
Establish Employer Match for Employee Benefits: 100% match approved.
Establish Holidays: (11 holidays) January 1, January 20, February 17, May 27, July 4, September 1, November 27 and 28, December 24 and 25, and December 31.
Annual Resolutions:
Resolution #600 - 2003 setting depositories for township accounts:
Pa Local Government Investment Trust (PLGIT) for township funds; and First Financial Bank of Downingtown for the Open Space [Solda] funds.
Resolution #601 - 2003 naming providers for fire protection, ambulance and police protection:
West End Ambulance, Kimberton Fire Co. for northeast portion of Township and East Whiteland Fire and Ambulance for remainder of Township.
Schedule dates and times for township business meetings: Adjustment to meeting schedule for holidays is January 20 meeting will be January 27; February 17 meeting will be February 24, and September 1 meeting will be on September 8.
Motion to adjourn approved at 8:15 pm.
 
The Board then reconvened at 8:20 p.m. to hold its regular business meeting for January 6, 2003.
Mr. Hogan, as the new Board Chairman, announced that an executive meeting had been held regarding legal matters on 1/6/03 just before tonight's' meetings.
There were no speakers at the Citizens' Forum.
The Board approved its Minutes of the December 16, 2002, meeting after noting minor corrections.
Accounts Payable report of January 6 was approved after discussion over payment for anti-skid materials.
Treasurers' Report of December 1 to 31 was approved.
Reports: Zoning: Mr. Kohli looked into obtaining guard rail materials. Mr. Kuhn suggested using phone poles. Mr. Kohli said he received a copy of West Whiteland's subdivision plan but he needs to review it.
The Planning Commission said it recommended the application of the Cattones, and that Roble Associates came before the commission again and now must decide between PRD or Farm/Residential development. The by-right plan allows 15 houses on the property.
The Historical Commission reported that they did not hold a December meeting. A letter has been drafted about the transfer to the Township of the Longwood School ruins at Valley Hill and Bodine Roads. With regard to the Charlestown Woolen Mill, Mr. Hogan suggested that contractors under consideration be asked to do temporary restoration work on one window as an example of their work before any contract is awarded. HARB would make recommendations of the work to be done on the mill so that a detailed plan can be drawn. The work will be performed in three phases. The grant is approximately $250,000.
Open Space Committee. Sue Staas reported that personnel are set for 2003 and they are in the process of communicating their committee goals to the township.
Roadmaster, Fred Alston, noted that his report was submitted to the Board. He remarked that the storms in December were managed with better results now that the crews have new telephones for communicating with each other. He stated that fallen trees were removed, leaves were cleaned from roads, and reflective bars are being installed on the stop sign posts.
Mrs. Ewald noted that the new traffic lanes at the Charlestown Road/Phoenixville Pike intersection are marked in an odd fashion. Mr. Alston responded that on Charlestown Road, the center lane is for left turns and the curb lane is for right turns or straight ahead, but he agreed to re-examine the intersection for improvements.
Mr. Alston stated that the Fire Marshal's report was submitted to the Board. He noted for 2002 there were 165 incidents for emergency service; a 37% decrease in automatic alarm (possibly due to the new ordinance); and a 10% increase in auto accidents.
Parks & Recreation: Mr. Hogan reported there was no meeting during December. He reported that the Department of Environmental Protection cited the township for not having straw or silt fencing around the basketball court construction area. Straw (for temporary stabilization of the loose dirt) and a silt fence will be obtained.
Brightside Farm: Mr. Hogan informed the Board that a farmer was inquiring if he could house five calves in one of the barns over the winter, and the Board had no objection.
VFSA: Mr. Rodgers reports that there is no signed contract yet for the sewage issues for the Phoenixville Wawa that is planned for Route 23 and 113. He reported that the Sewer Authority has tabled merit raises for its employees until the issue can be discussed with its attorney. Labor negotiations are still ongoing.
Hearing: Mr. MacErlane opened the hearing on Patricia and Robert Cottone's application to allow a swimming pool and bathhouse in steep slopes. The Board could approve this as a conditional use. The property at 30 Eastwick Drive is 7.6 acres and part of the original Eastwick subdivision on Church Road. The proposed swimming pool and bath house go beyond the area of the original disturbance on the lot. Mr. Cottone appeared and presented his proofs of mailing for the notice of this hearing to the adjacent neighbors, a description of the property, and photos. He advised that per a note on the proposed plan, trees of 12" or greater will be replaced, but he stated that he did not anticipate disturbing any trees in locating the structures. Mrs. Ewald asked if the lines could be redrawn on the proposed plan so that 8,000 square feet of proposed development can be given back to undisturbed area. Mr. Kuhn asked if the Cottones would agree to place a deed restriction against building on the property, which is mostly wetlands and steep slope. Mr. Cottone stated that the pool house would only be for changing rooms and possibly a bathroom; it would not be for general living space. Mr. Kuhn recommended approval. Applicant must comply with recommendations in Mr. Commita's and Mr. Kohli's review letters. The applicant will receive a written decision in ten days and the Board will readdress the issue on January 27.
Goodman Lot Line Changes - Mr. Kohli recommended approval, as requirements have been satisfied. Neighbors were notified before the Planning Commission meetings. Motion to approve was passed by the Board.
Road Materials Contract for 2003 - Glasgow is the usual supplier to the township, but Cedar Hollow was used in the recent emergency situation. Mr. Alston thought the Cedar Hollow product was more satisfactory and easier to clean up. Mrs. Ewald reported that recycled product from years before was too big and dusty and ruined tires. As Schuylkill Twp has been using the Cedar Hollow material for five or six years, Mr. Alston is confident of its quality. He will check to see if it has PennDOT certification. A motion was made by Mr. Kuhn to approve Mr. Alston's decision to use Cedar Hollow material; Mrs. Ewald voted against since she felt this was an unknown product. Motion passed.
Traffic Signal Maintenance Contract for 2003 - Signal Service Inc. has presented a contract for $1,050 which would cover the signals at 29 & Charlestown Road, 401 & Valley Hill, and Charlestown Elementary School and Charlestown Playschool signals. The Board noted that the new signals at 29 & Charlestown are already covered since they are newly installed, and should not be included in the Signal Service contract. This matter is tabled until an amended contract is received.
SPCA Animal Control Contract for 2003: The cost is $880 for one year. Any animal reported to the SPCA must be caged or restrained before the SPCA will respond. There is no county animal warden, but a State warden works with the SPCA.
Mr. Kuhn reported a letter was received regarding the County $450,000 open space grant (Solda open space project) stating that two appraisals are necessary. Board approved obtaining two appraisals.
Sue Staas reported receiving a letter from PECO regarding plannedtree trimming on Hollow Road. She asked of the township or the roadmaster could work with the trimmers (Asplundh) to monitor/regulate the trimming.
Adjournment: 9:30 p.m. Reported by Loretta Watson
Next meeting is January 27, 2003, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.
 
Friday, January 3, 2003  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
December 16, 2002
The last Board of Supervisors' meeting for 2002 was called to order at the GV Middle School, Room 154, at 7:30 pm by Hugh Willig, Chairman. Present with Mr. Willig were Supervisors Irene Ewald, Kevin Kuhn, and Michael Rodgers (Paul Hogan was absent). Mr. Kohli, Mr. Oeste, Linda Csete and Melanie Lammers were also present.
There were no announcements or citizens' forum issues.
As a party of record in the Altemose Assisted Living Facility issue, Saul Kun asked the Board for a postponement of the hearing set for Feb. 24 due to his planned trip to the West Coast. The Board agreed to contact Mr. Ryan, attorney for the applicant, to see if a postponement could be arranged.
Mrs. Ewald commented on the issue of racism that has surfaced in the Republican Party with the Trent Lot matter, stating she felt there was no room for it.
The Board noted several minor corrections to its official Minutes of December 2, one of which was a correction in reference to the extra grading to the Charlestown Park basket ball courts, which cost $9300.00. The Minutes were approved.
Accounts Payable was approved. Mrs. Csete mentioned she is holding checks for payment of the recent work on the Charlestown Woolen Mill and a check for a recycling firm. The checks for 18th Century Restoration were released, but a more watchful eye will be kept on the project in the future to assure proper quality of the work.
Dixon Subdivision Plan. The Township has requested an extension on the current deadline of December 17, but no response has been received. The Board decided to make a motion to deny the application if the extension is not granted in time.
Open Records Policy. Townships must adopt a policy regarding procedure to follow when someone requests records. Mr. Oeste stated that upon review, he finds the proposed policy to be in conformance with the law. The township must respond within five days of a request and has 30 days to deliver the requested records. Requests for hearing transcripts must be directed to the court reporter that reported the hearing in order to avoid problems with copyright laws. The Board was advised that emails may also be requested as a public document. The act takes effect in December, but the Board may adopt the act in January.
Parking on public streets. The Board stated that signs have been erected to prohibit parking along Warner Lane (near the Charlestown Salooon). They also noted that plows and emergency vehicles have experienced problems with vehicles parked on various streets. Most of Charlestown's roads are too narrow for parking and this causes hazardous conditions. Mrs. Ewald asked if there could be special signs to allow temporary parking for special events. A suggestion was made to check PennDOT regulations regarding street parking. Notice could be put in the township newsletter, with a follow up to residents on Benburg . A policy statement will be created to state the Board's view of discouraging parking on public streets and leaving cars on streets during snow emergencies.
The Board approved advertising of its Reorganization Meeting to be held January 6, 2003.
Sal Lapio's Escrow Release #6 for $401,000 was approved.
Kalogis - The Board received application for a building permit and application for construction of an accessory building in the front yard. This request is for an additional living structure on the lot. The Board discussed denying the building permit forcing the applicant to clarify their proposal.
Scheduling meetings only on the first Monday of the month was discussed by the Board. Hearings or carryover work would fall to the third Monday of the month. Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Kuhn thought that the monthly reports did not have to be presented verbally. They felt that only questions or clarifications need to be addressed at the meeting. The reports are on the web and in the ring binder circulated at the first Monday meeting. Mr. Willig thought that giving up the second monthly meeting would be improbable, but if conditions warranted, he felt the meeting could be cancelled. No decision was reached on this matter.
Adjournment at 8:30 pm
Upcoming meetings: January 6, 2003 and January 27, 2003 at the GV Middle School.
Reported by Loretta Watson
 
Monday, December 16, 2002  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
December 2, 2002
The meeting, held at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, was called to order by Chairman Hugh Willig at 7:33 p.m. Present with the Chairman were Kevin Kuhn, Paul Hogan, and Irene Ewald. Mike Rodgers was not present. Mr. Kohli, Mr. Oeste, Melanie Lammers (recording secretary), and Mrs. Csete were also present.
Announcements from the Board included Mrs. Ewald's notice that her son, Andrew, would be married to Shannon Marshall in May. Mr. Willig stated that an executive meeting was held after the last supervisors' meeting to discuss personnel matters.
There were no issues presented at the Citizens' Forum.
Board appointments: Mr. Harry Nagle was nominated to return from retirement and finish out the year for the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Fred Alston was nominated to finish the term of the Roadmaster with his start retroactive to November 18.
The Board reviewed and approved their Minutes of November 18. Treasurers' Report for November 2002 was approved. After discussion regarding checks for payment for work performed on the Charlestown Woolen Mill by 18th Century Restorations, and another to a recycling outfit, the Board decided to hold those checks until the work was reviewed and clarified. The rest of the Accounts Payable was approved.
Reports: Mr. Kohli briefly reviewed some aspects of his report. Planning commission: They last met in November when they reviewed the Baldwin, Yost, and Roble Associates subdivisions. A meeting with J. Loew covered the Devault Village plan. An applicant reviewed plans for a hospice facility on Tinker Hill Road.
Historic Commission did not present a report.
Open Space: No new developments. East Pikeland was asked to financially assist with the open space agreement for the Solda property on Merlin Road.
Roadmaster: Mr. Alston stated that for the first snow on 11/27, trucks were dispatched at 3:30 a.m. Township mowing and work regarding fallen trees has also been done. He is still checking township roads for necessary repairs. Mr. Alston asked the board to consider installing electricity and lighting at the yard where the salt trucks are loaded, since it is presently performed in the dark by headlights and flashlights. He offered that the generator for the lights could also do extra duty running traffic signals in emergencies. The board approved $2,000 to install lights. Mrs. Ewald asked to have a price comparison performed with the old contractor regarding drain cleaning.
Fire Marshal: Mr. Alston reported, along with other items, one vehicle accident on Charlestown Road near Pikeland Road and that the rain is still officially 3.5 inches below normal, The drought emergency is still in effect. He reported repairs are underway for two hydrants in Charlestown Park, and two hydrants that are not needed will be removed. A new printer and scanner was installed in the EOC office. He noted that a neighboring fire company (West Whiteland?) had a 70% cut in funding, and he is investigating this.
Parks and Recreation: Mr. Hogan reported that work started on the basket ball courts, but an extra $300 cost was incurred for removal of a great amount of mud where the foundation was to be placed. He also suggested placing a fence around the court for safety, and Mr. Theurkauf will check the standards for this. Mr. Hogan also suggested that a letter be sent to Mrs. Wallace, This would be in response to her offer of the Longwood School ruins on Valley Hill at Bodine Road. Mr. Oeste will draft this letter.
Brightside Farm: Russ Hanscom thanked the supervisors for their help in arranging the cleaning of the barn by the J. Loew crew. Mr. Hanscom submitted a proposed budget for 2003 covering work the Farm Committee would like to do.
Altemose Hearing: At 8:18 pm, the hearing got underway. The last time this matter was heard by the Board was May 20, 2002. Mr. Wayne Grafton was presented as an expert by the applicant and his C.V. was presented for the record. At this point, the Board paused to allow time for Mr. Main and his attorney to arrive. During this time, the Board addressed the revised Resolution for Charlestown Meadows. Mr. Schubert, attorney for Toll Bros, was present and approved the Resolution as presented to the Board . The Board executed the resolution, being #596-2002 approving Charlestown Meadows.
The Altemose hearing resumed with Mr. Ryan questioning his witness and presenting Mr. Grafton as an expert on senior living facilities and land planning. However, the Board only accepted Mr. Grafton as an expert in land planning.
Mr. Grafton described senior living housing as it exists today, stating there is a dramatic increase in the number of people who are 65 years and older. Major areas of senior living are independent living, assisted living, and nursing care. He stated that ten years ago, it was unusual for an ordinance to provide for continuing care retirement living. Mr. Grafton noted that older residents wish to be near their families and are coming back to this area from Florida and other areas. He reviewed the current proposed facility stating that there would be common areas to cover dining, recreation, relaxation, visitors areas, commercial and medical areas. References to density, he said, was usually units (or beds) to acres. The average in the Philadelphia area is 90 to 115 beds on 3 or 4 acres. He stated applications are open throughout Pennsylvania for senior living facilities. Using the above model of density, 60 acres would allow 1500 to 2000 beds (25 to 35 per acre). He felt the nature of the proposed development was "residential."
Mr. Bender (on behalf of the township) cross examined the witness, asking questions regarding the number of units or beds first proposed for this project (2100 or 2200); now the range could be 1500 to 1800 beds. The witness stated there would be no requirements to be met for entering the facility other than ability to pay and the applicant's belief as to needs to be met at the facility. He stated some people could be younger, needing assistance after an accident or inability to function on their own. The witness said that the U.S. Census records for Pa. show seniors coming from the Sunbelt areas, and the average assisted living resident is a female 83 years old. Mr. Grafton stated he worked on two facilities, one in Baltimore and the other in Willow Grove. Typically the buildings are six levels, connected at the third story. Mr. Grafton has no marketing studies to show need in Charlestown Township. He stated that no adverse impact would be realized by the proposed sewage plan, water supply plan. or traffic that would result. The proposed Altemose plan would have 968,000 sq. ft over four floors. Surrounding lots are barns or single family homes, and Mr. Grafton stated that other areas over the last ten to twenty years have integrated such facilities with residential or farm areas.
Mr. DelBello (representing Mr. Main) asked how workers would get to the workplace; and Mr. Grafton stated a van would meet them at rail or bus stations. Some younger help would come from the immediate area. He stated other facilities in northern Chester County have workers that come from the northern Chester County area. Discussion about other facilities resulted in revelation that Care Matrix has decided not to build at a second location in this area due to bankruptcy. Marriott Senior Living Services is also rumored to be for sale.
Mr. Bender asked the witness about vacancies, and he stated that the occupancy rate is usually 94%.
Mr. Kuhn asked the witness if the proposed buildings would fit in with the neighborhood; and the witness responded that it fits according to the ordinances. The witness stated that the proposed facility would not be a Continuing Care Retirement Facility (CCRC) since CCRC does not encompass independent living with emphasis on outdoor activities. Mr. Grafton's testimony ended at 10:35. Mr. Saul Kun stated he was a party to the action but has not received exhibits. Mr. Ryan will supply them. This hearing was continued to January 27, 2003, when Charlestown Township will present its evidence.
Break to 10:45
Parking on public roads was tabled.
Brightside Delineaton for Grant. Pyle Farm plan was designed for the school district with two lots. Same two lots could be presented for the grant purposes. Areas designated for non-public use may not be included.
New Business: Cattone conditional use hearing on application for swimming pool in a steep slope area. This matter will be heard by the supervisors on January 6, 2003.
Tax levy: Resolution 597 of 2002 established tax at 1.0 mils (increased from .52), $10.00 per capita tax, and $10.00 occupational privilege tax, 1/2 percent real estate transfer tax.
The Board adopted its 2003 budget with Resolution 598 of 2002. Motion to accept resulted after lengthy discussion over various expenses and the Brightside Farm budget request. The Board also discussed the proposed return of $99,200 of unused funds to the lender. Budget was approved 3 to 1, Mr. Rodgers not present.
Escrow Release of Mr. Sal Lapio was tabled.
Meeting adjourned at 11:50 p.m.
Reported by Loretta Watson
 
Wednesday, November 27, 2002  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
October 21, 2002
This meeting came to order at 7:46 p.m. Present were Supervisors Hugh Willig, Kevin Kuhn, Paul Hogan, and Irene Ewald and Michael Rodgers. Also present were Tom Oeste, Esq., Surender Kohli, and Linda Csete.
The Board announced that it held an Executive Session before this meeting.
Mrs. Ewald brought attention to the death of long-time resident Walter Lamb on November 16. He formerly lived at his residence at the corner of Pikeland and Merlin Road, and was active in conservation efforts and lead the drive to mark the Middle Pickering District in Charlestown Township. Mrs. Ewald also announced that Catherine Jenkins would be 96 this week. She is now lives at St. Martha's Nursing Home, 470 Manor Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335 and would appreciate notes and cards.
Linda Csete recommended that the Board approve Melanie Lammers as township recording secretary, who would be helping with the Supervisors' Meeting minutes this evening.
Citizens' Forum:
Mr. Robert Devlin of Phoenixville Pike near the middle and high schools complained that the water level is getting perilously low and that his well is declining. He is interested in hooking up to the public water lines, but was advised by PSW that the Board of Supervisors must submit a letter stating they have no objection. A motion was passed that a letter be issued; Mrs. Csete had prepared a letter, which was approved by the Board and handed to Mr. Devlin.
An extension to a building permit was requested by a Hollow Road resident due to delays encountered in his project. He reported that his driveway is in place, but more work is needed. Mr. Kohli agreed to look into this situation.
John Pittock asked the supervisors to help the Chester Valley Grange by a rebate of the taxes they pay to the township, which would help the financially strapped organization, which is forced to pay taxes to various entities. Mr. Oeste responded that the township has no authority to rebate taxes, and that a 501( c) 3 status is required for tax exemption. Although the grange has endeavored to have their tax status changed, this has not occurred. Mr. Pittock then asked if the township could help by making a donation to the grange to help them, noting they are a historic part of the township. No decision was rendered at this time.
The Board approved the official minutes of the November 4, 2002, meeting.
Hearing on the Official Township Map. Mr. Comitta spoke of the nature of the map and reviewed a request from Wendy McLean to have the Naylor property removed from the map due to the property being wetland and slopes and essentially unbuildable. Other properties are being considered for removal also. Further hearing on this subject will be January 27.
Hearing on proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance. The last amendments to the Zoning Ordinance was in 1979. Updates included the latest State Code changes. Township objectives were added. The definition of Net Lot Area was updated from its 1986 definition. The required setback from streams and creeks was increased to 100 feet, and a wetland buffer of 50 feet was established for all improvements. Resolution 105 of 2002 was approved to accept the Zoning Ordinance Amendments.
Charlestown Meadows - Revised Final Plan Mr. Oeste distributed a draft of the proposed agreement and reviewed the provisions that dealt with the possible addition of two easements areas to connect trails to the property. The draft also incorporated minor technicalities in wording and provided that any permits that must be in place before final approval should be listed on the plan. The agreement also called for prohibition of a "gated community" plan. The agreement also called for Mr. Kohli's approval for the flooding remedies and signalization improvements. The agreement stated that the Homeowners' Documents must contain provisions regarding herbicides and pesticides, the pumping station, buffering for the residences along Newcomen, lighting in the community, public water lines, filtration in the basins, review fees and security agreements.
Mr. Schubert, speaking for Toll Bros., had no objection to paragraphs 1-6 and noted that VFSA and PSW would be involved in the water lines and pump station. He wanted clarity that pesticides were required to be "environmentally friendly." He also noted that a neighbor had requested an appropriate design for the pump station. Mr. Schubert noted that the language regarding buffer was unclear, but he thought the purpose is to block headlight glare. He asked for a time limitation for tree planting on the homeowners' properties and suggested 10-day notice to Toll whether extra buffering was desired. Discussion evolved on the tree replacement and the value assigned to more mature trees that were planted. The Board was not familiar with the tree/value plan worked out between Toll and Comitta and Assoc.
Mr. Nimerfroh, a nearby resident, objected to the idea of taking trees from the project and using them in areas across Newcomen for buffering purposes. He felt Toll should foot the bill for additional trees.
The township wants extra care taken in the lighting selected so homes are not offensively bright. Mr. Schubert suggested using downward facing lights rather than "flood lights", and said that the lighting plan has been submitted.
Philadelphia Suburban Water (PSW) will take part in the pumping station design but township will have control over the size of the pipe in Route 401, which they hope will be sufficient to serve Charlestown Meadows only. Toll must submit their proposal for township approval.
The retention basins will be designed to filter the water, and will contain wetland plants and grasses to achieve filtration and good water quality. Parking lots will have inlets to handle water and direct it to the retention basins. Maintenance of these filtration designs would be outlined in the Homeowners' Documents.
The Board was reluctant to approve the plan until they had the final documents to review. They passed a motion to approve Charlestown Meadows subject to the final language of the proposed terms and conditions reviewed at this meeting.
Union Hill and Rees Roads Traffic calming - Mr. Kohli stated his findings were based on a previous traffic report. He advised that the downside of the calming efforts would be increased noise and more traffic. He explained the difference between speed humps and speed tables. Tables were about three inches high and 10 feet long by 12 feet wide, and would be about 175 to 200 feet apart, which come with recommendations of a 10 mph speed to negotiate them. He recommended three humps and one table on Union Hill and Rees on the flatter sections of the road.
John Pittock spoke up to object to the humps and tables in the interest of emergency vehicles and situations. He recommended that the board travel to Morgantown to observe the state's calming effects, using various depth cuts in the roadway. He reported that varying the cuts to one inch deep and spacing them properly, slows the traffic. The Board discussed the pros and cons of the humps and tables and also considered a "no left turn" sign at Route 29 onto Union Hill. However, PennDOT would have to approve the sign, and there are sight problems with the curve on Route 29. The Board considered the dangers of someone making a left then suddenly realizing he could not continue onto Union Hill. Mr. Kuhn stated that if the No Turn sign was approved, he would rescind his vote on the speed bumps. The Board acknowledged that signs restricting traffic would ultimately hurt the residents of Union Hill and Tinker Hill Roads.
Baldwin Subdivision. Janet Baldwin of Bodine Road asked the Board to approve the subdivision of her property into two parcels: 2.6 acres with house, and 14.5 wooded acres. A driveway runs parallel to Beatty lane for the proposed lots, and a 50-foot easement could be used in the future for access. Mrs. Baldwin did not plan to deed restrict this property at this time, preferring to leave the future decisions to her children. Motion to approve the subdivision passed.
Shackelton Zoning - (accessory structure in side yard setback) When Mr. Shackelton purchased his Green Lane property in 1991, he mistook some iron markers for the lot boundaries. However, after a neighbor had the area surveyed, he found that a portion of a stormwater retention area and part of a basketball court encroach on the neighbor's land. He would prefer to move the two uses and have the issue settled. The neighbor in question was not present to state his views. This issue will go before the zoning hearing board.
Brightside Farm: The Farm Committee recommended renewal of the lease agreement with the Binghams, who are now living at the Pyle Farm as caretakers. The Farm Committee extolled the work and effort the Binghams have put forth in improving the house and watching over the property. The motion to approve continuing the lease at $200 per month was approved.
Mr. Kuhn suggested that the cost of the storm windows proposed for the Pyle House be partially shared by the Binghams. Jacob Merriwether stated that plexiglass without frames is being considered as a temporary measure.
Sal Lapio, Escrow Release #5 was approved.
Parking on public roads will be addressed at the next meeting of the Supervisors.
Roadmaster Durando Faggioli has submitted his resignation to the Board and a motion to accept was approved. His salary will be prorated as of termination date. Fred Alston has stepped in to become Roadmaster.
Mr. Kohli was in contact with PennDOT regarding use of herbicides on the Charlestown Road (Swiss Pines) area where bamboo is growing and says that PennDOT still intends to use the herbicides.
Adjourned at 11:15 p.m.
Reported by Loretta Watson
 
Monday, November 11, 2002  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
November 18, 2002
This meeting came to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Supervisors Hugh Willig, Kevin Kuhn, Paul Hogan, and Irene Ewald and Michael Rodgers. Also present were Tom Oeste, Esq., Surender Kohli, and Linda Csete.
The Board announced that it had conducted Executive Sessions on September 23 and October 14, 2002.
The Board approved the official minutes of the October 7, 2002, meeting.
Spring Oaks: Mr. Timberlake Townes reported adjustments to his Spring Oaks plan in order to accommodate an 8 foot wide walking trail and three benches for walkers' use, as was requested by the Board. Supervisor Kevin Kuhn motioned that the Final Plan be approved. Mr. Kohli asked that it be approved subject to securing approvals and required documentation. Mr. Oeste asked that the Covenants be updated. The project allows for 400,000 sq.ft. of office space with 2,000 parking stalls over 65 acres. The road into this corporate park will be a cul de sac from White Horse Road.
Phoenixville Pike Improvements: Mr. Townes stated he agreed to pay $158,000 to Trammel Crow as part of the agreement to improve the intersections of Yellow Springs & 29, White Horse & 29, and Warner Lane (behind Charlestown Saloon). Consequently, he asked the township to return to him the $158,000 that is being held in escrow. After discussion regarding the traffic lights and costs, he acknowledged that this would cost the township for maintenance, but he wanted to achieve a fair resolution over the money being held in escrow for this signalization. The entire escrow amount was contributed years ago by several developers, including Mr. Townes. Mr. Willig stated that the Board would either keep or release the funds but Mr. Townes should send a letter to the Board stating the amount he would contribute for signalization maintenance. Motion was made to release $158,000 to Mr. Townes. Mrs. Ewald made a suggestion that Trammel Crow should also contribute toward the maintenance, and Mr. Townes would inquire of them about a contribution. The Motion to release the $158,000 passed 4 to 1 with Mrs. Ewald opposing.
Brightside Farm Cleanup: After hearing about the efforts of the Farm Committee to clean the buildings, Mr. Townes offered to supply a crew and equipment to clean the barn at Brightside. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Townes to contact the chairperson of the Farm Committee to get the project moving.
Deerfield: John Panizza, of GenTerra, appeared before the Board to explain his plan for placing wells on the proposed Deerfield lots. This involved drilling wells on adjacent lots. Lots would be merged together as one lot if no water were found for the specific lot. He referred the Board to paragraph 4 of the Settlement Agreement with the Township.
Mr. and Mrs. Dorward, of Black Berry Lane, explained to the Board their efforts to complete construction of their home. The builder, JTG Construction (of Philadelphia) took their $64,000 and has not done the work. Other contractors have been assisting them to complete the house. Efforts have been focused on saving the trees at the site; and water management needs to be worked out. The Dorwards were concerned about the plan for water management along Black Berry Lane, which they felt would ruin the natural run of the water across the land. The Board encouraged them to work with Mr. Kohli to resolve this issue.
Hearings were scheduled for November 18 for the Board to review the revisions to the Zoning Ordinance, which have been forwarded to the County for its review.
Mr. Kuhn asked about the progress of the study on Union Hill and Rees. Mr. Kohli said that design of the speed humps is underway and he will have a report in the near future.
Adjournment at 9:00 p.m.
Reported by Loretta Watson
 
Monday, November 11, 2002  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
November 4, 2002
This meeting opened at 7:32 by Chairman Hugh Willig. Mr. Willig, Mr. Kuhn, Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Hogan and Mrs. Ewald were present, along with Mr. Oeste, Mr. Kohli and Mrs. Csete.
Mrs. Ewald remembered long time township resident, Joanna Reed, who passed away last week. She had been a resident since 1940 and served as school board director for Charlestown Elementary. She was world-renown for her horticultural abilities and maintained gardens at her home on Bodine Road. Mr. Kuhn noted a memorial service held the previous Saturday was so well attended that the church was packed full.
The Board reported Executive Sessions, one Thursday and one tonight.
Citizens' Forum: Jacob Merriwether posed a question he received from a resident regarding places to ride a horse in the township. The board referred him to residents who ride and could supply locations.
The Board was asked about the progress being made on the traffic lights at Charlestown Hunt Drive and Buckwalter Road. Response was that a letter had been sent to Realen regarding working out a plan and diagram for PennDOT approval. Estimated time to having working lights is one year.
The automobile stolen from a Church Road residence was found on October 30 in the township. Several other cars were broken into by the burglars.
Board Minutes of October 21 and October 29 were approved, along with the Treasurer's Report for October 1 to 31 and the Accounts Payable for November 4.
Reports: Mr. Kohli briefly supplemented his written report. Planning Commission had no verbal report.
Historic Commission reported that efforts continue to save Charlestown Mill and they have been notified of the award of a $90,000 grant, which may be received in February. Safety fencing is installed and weeds have been removed from around the mill. The Historic Commission is also concerned about the damage being done to the Baughman Store by motorists who crash into the porch. PennDOT placed a barrier and cleared the bamboo from in front of the traffic sign warning motorists of the curve ahead. The letter sent by PennDOT gained criticism from the Board for its harsh tone and threats of remedies which would be taken that would not benefit Swiss Pines' Japanese Garden. The letter also was so informal as to be on plain paper and not PennDOT letterhead.
Mr. Merriwether advised the Board that the John Pearce painting of Baughman's Mill which is owned by the Charlestown Historical Society would be on the agenda of the upcoming CHS meeting. The township hopes to gain the privilege of hanging the painting in their offices; however, the Society would need to work out some agreement with the township acknowledging CHS's ownership before it is released on temporary loan.
Planning Commission: They have been focusing on the Official Township Map, Transfer of Development Rights, and alternate use of historic properties. The Commission recommends approval of the Dixon Subdivision Plan on Pikeland Road, as well as Scipione on Pikeland Road, and the Baldwin project on Church Road.
Open Space: Mr. Kuhn reported that the Open Space Commission will have a table set up at the Elections.
Roadmaster - no verbal report.
Fire Marshal: Report available on website. Mr. Alston reported 4 automatic alarms, 12 vehicle accidents and smoke detector activation during the month. Three of the accidents were at the S curve on Coldstream. He urged further water conservation. He explained provision of the burning ban and advised residents to contact the Chester County Fire Board at 610-644-1224 if they plan outdoor burning of any type. He urged chimney cleaning before heavy winter use.
Parks & Recreation: Mr. Hogan offered use of his power washer for use at Brightside Farm in cleaning efforts. Margy Crawford advised that graffiti was on the foot bridge at Peaks Pike and Pickering Dam Road.
Brightside: Cleaning continues with the help of the crew and equipment supplied by Mr. Townes. Items left in the barn are being sorted. The Pyle house will be winterized and the Committee wants to spend $300 for plexiglas storm windows and insulation for floors. Next meeting will be Thursday to work on the budget.
VFSA: Mr. Rodgers reported that the Sewer Authority is reviewing Act 537. When the plant is at 80% of capacity the plant size must be increased to 10.2 million gallons. They have purchased odor control equipment which is being installed. Regarding the additional capacity, an option is to send 1.6 million gallons to the Phoenixville plant, but the cost to the VFSA would be $2.60 per $1,000 gallons. This is more than the usual processing cost of 86 cents per $1,000 gallons. Regarding expansion of sewers, a 4 inch pipe is under consideration for installation in Route 401.
Charlestown Meadows: Mr. Schubert appeared for Toll Bros. Final plans have been reviewed by Mr. Kohli and Ed Theurkauf of Comitta Associates. Now they are before the Board for decision. Mr. Schubert said Toll will address every item in Mr. Kohli's review letter of 10/31, but there are four issues that need discussion to be sure both parties are in agreement.
Toll requested that Charlestown Meadows be a gated community, but the Board felt this was counterproductive to having the new residents blend into the community. Since this was not acceptable to the Board, Toll would not go forward with the gated community idea. Discussion went forward on the water management issues and flooding of Route 401 in storms. Toll proposed to install an additional culvert of 36 inches next to the existing culvert and, along with the proposed basins, water runoff would be controlled up to a five year storm. A study will be conducted on Thursday, 11/7. Grasses and wild flowers will be planted to help control the water quality running over the property and on to a stream down hill on 401. Toll Bros. explained that the retention basins are designed to not hold water and they will drain quickly, preventing standing water issues.
Franchise extension from PSW: a design needs to be approved by PSW for water delivery to Charlestown Meadows. The size of the water pipes will be limited to serve Charlestown Meadows only.
Stormwater systems will be onsite, but several areas on the site are not suitable for underground systems. The "recharge system" will; be in the wooded areas where drip irrigation was formerly planned. Toll stated that they have met and exceeded the requirements for stormwater management, as set forth in the Settlement Agreement with the Township. Underground storage pipes for water handling have been deemed not cost effective and inefficient by Toll. They recommend retention basins. Mr. Willig asked if the supervisors could review the plan and take it up at another meeting. The Board will meet with Mr. Kohli to go over the plan. Toll agreed to a two-week extension for decision.
Michael Dixon, resident across 401 from Charlestown Meadows, presented questions to Mr. Kohli regarding protecting the quality of the water, intersection improvements, pumping station appearance, and lighting in the proposed community. Mr. Kohli advised that the plan for improvements at Newcomen and 401 is being sent to PennDOT for approval. Toll advised that Yerkes Associates will design the pumping station. Mr. Rodgers advised that VFSA will eventually take over the pumping station, and he will recommend exterior brick or stone to blend in with the surrounding historic architecture. Mr. Theurkauf advised that proposed lighting will be at the point of ingress and egress to the community, and the Environmental Impact Report addresses this issue. Mrs. Ewald suggested viewing Charlestown Hunt or Charlestown Oaks for lighting suggestions. Mr. Kohli suggested that control on outdoor lighting on the homes be addressed in the Homeowners Association documents. Mr. Willig and Mr. Hogan expressed their dismay with regard to the effect they experience from their homes on Sycamore Lane due to the lighting from Charlestown Hunt.
The berms and buffering along Newcomen Road will be designed to shield the view into the community. Mr. Schubert, of Toll Bros., reminded the Board that the open space has restrictions against grading for berms, but Mrs. Ewald stated that the Board could make a waiver for the berm. Dense plantings will be installed around the retention basins for safety.
Moving on down the agenda, the Board authorized advertising of a meeting to review the proposed budget for 2003. A 20-day public inspection period will precede the hearing to accept the budget.
Parking on public roads. Mr. Alston, Fire Marshal, is in favor or parking on one side of public roads, as long as room is available for emergency vehicle access. Motion approved to discuss this at the next meeting.
The Board agreed to execute the contract for the $90,000 grant for preservation of the woolen mill, presented from the Pa. Historical and Museum Commission
A proposal has been received from 18th Century Restorations for stabilizing the mill. A certificate of insurance will be provided before work begins. This company will shore up four windows of the mill with temporary frames to prevent stones from falling.
Agreement was reached to sign the $40,000 grant contract provided by Chester County Landscapes 21st Century Fund for work on the Horse Shoe Trail
A $42,000 escrow release was approved for Commons at Great Valley.
The Board returned to the subject of the bamboo growing along Charlestown Road at Swiss Pines. The Board felt that the Township should write to PennDOT asking them not to use the suggested herbicides, which would damage the Japanese Garden.
An amount of $400,000 will be wire transferred from the open space fund to the bank for the Solda easement. The township then will approach East Pikeland Township at their supervisors meeting on November 12 to request reimbursement of a portion of the $400,000, since some of the property is in East Pikeland. The total easement value is approximately $650,000 with $200,000 of it coming from the county, and the balance from Charlestown and (hopefully) East Pikeland. The property owner will make a donation towards the easement of approximately $50,000
Longwood School (Bodine Road at Valley Hill): Mr. Oeste is preparing a letter in response to the owner's offer of the historic ruins to the township.
Mrs. Ewald reminded the Board that advertising must be approved concerning appointment of an independent auditor for reviewing township records for 2002. This will be done immediately.
The Board arranged a time to meet with Mr. Kohli to review the Toll Bros. plan for Charlestown Meadows.
Mr. Kohli has submitted his report on speed humps for Union Hill and Rees Roads. This will be reviewed at the next supervisors meeting.
Meeting adjourned to an Executive Session.
Reported by Loretta Watson.

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