March 5, 1990

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, March 5, 1990, at 8:00 P.M. in the Charlestown Elementary School.

Present: Irene Ewald, Chairman; John C. Martin, Jr., Vice Chairman; Vincent G. Kling, Sr.; Margaret A. Gallagher; Harold F. Pyle; Surender Kohli; James E. McErlane; and the following attendees:

Janet Baldwin; John Cellucci; Lou Colagreco; Bill Davison; Mary Jane and Robert Duncan; Tom Floyd; Chuck Isaacs; Clare Jameson; Bob Kirby; Pat Lang; Jack Loew; Don Magargal; Jim Mitchell; Theresa Ott; Frank Persico; Mr. and Mrs. Gary Pilgrim; Dr. and Mrs. William Stewart; Mr. and Mrs. Randy Thomas; Al VanBrunt; Steve VanVliet; Steve Winckelman; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Yeakle; and Stella Eisley, Evening Phoenix.

Mrs. Ewald called the meeting to order at 8:10 P.M.

Mrs. Ewald suggested corrections to the minutes of the February 5, 1990 meeting as follows: on page two, paragraph three “pipeline” should be “fuel line”; page five, line three “within their right to ask for similar treatment” should read “may ask for”; on page eight Mr. Pyle should be listed as a member of the Bridge 178 Committee; page nine – the ordinance regarding PRD review was not discussed on February 5 but an ordinance regarding the timetable for filing revised Preliminary and Final Subdivision and Land Development plans was discussed. Suggested corrections to the minutes of the February 15 continuation of the February 5 meeting are as follows: page one, line three under Randall Thomas Home Occupation should read “appears to conform” instead of “conforms”; also on page one under Churchill the hearing to consider all subjects was held on March 13 instead of March 20; page two last paragraph “many residents cannot be found” should read “many residents are found with difficulty”. Mr. Martin said he did not attend the February 15 meeting but he feels what is stated on page nine, paragraph four does not reflect all his views. He said he is concerned about changing to the new scheme but there is a problem that needs a resolution. Mr. Kling made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Mr. Martin seconded the motion. It so carried.

Mr. Martin said he feels the Auditor’s Report is technically correct but it includes segregated funds for improvements to the Charlestown Road/Route 29 intersection with general funds. The auditors have been questioned about this. They have a set form they must follow. Mr. Kling made a motion to approve the Auditor’s Report. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. It so carried.

Mr. Martin made a motion to approve the Accounts Payable in the amount of $46,245.31 from the General Fund. Mr. Kling seconded the motion. It so carried.

Zoning Officer’s Report

Mr. Kohli distributed a list of the building permits and use andoccupancy permits issued in February.

The trailer has been removed from Mr. Muhly’s property on Tinkerhill Road. There is a small amount of debris still on the property. Mr. Muhly was told to get all the erosion control measures in place and to clean up the remaining debris.

The Total Recovery people who are working on the stream will submit documents to Mr. Kohli tomorrow for his review. Mr. Kohli will report next month.

The Redevelopment Authority must award a contract for the Marian Road improvements on May 17. Surveys are now being done and when they are completed there will be a meeting with the neighbors.

Planning Commission Report

There will be a special meeting on March 20 to review Charlestown Oaks. An extension was received today for Heatherwood which brings the date for a Supervisors’ decision to April 2, 1990. The Commission has been meeting with consultants concerning revisions to the Comprehensive Plan. This Friday at 10:00 Mr. Clarke and Mr. Comitta, the consultants, will tour the Township with Mr. Kling and anyone else who would like to attend. A complete overview of the Township will be made in preparation for making final recommendations for the Comprehensive Plan reviews.

Mr. Martin noted that the Planning Commission does not send a representative to the Eastern Regional Chester County Planning Commission meetings. This was one of the reasons for expanding the Commission to nine members. Mr. Kling said he has been attending ex officio. Mrs. Ewald has talked to Mr. Churchill and arrangements have been made to have a rotating representative. Mr. Kling said most of the Regional Planning Commission’s business has been done by mail recently. They are trying to set up an agenda listing items which are problems to the entire eastern region. Traffic and inadequate roads seem to head the list.

Roadmaster’s Report

Catch basins were cleaned. Large potholes were patched. Mr. Pyle noted trash along several roads. Mrs. Ewald asked him to get it cleaned up. Mr. Pyle was also asked to clean clogged catch basins on Sycamore Lane. Mr. Martin was notified about a loose railroad tie at the bridge on Union Hill Road. Mr. Pyle will investigate and notify the railroad if there is a problem.

Mrs. Ewald noted that an Executive Session was held on February 24 in Mr. Kohli’s office attended by the Supervisors and John Snyder.

Additional Voting Precincts in Charlestown

Mr. Jim Mitchell said West Chester would like to have more than one voting precinct in the Township. Mr. Martin will write a letter to the Board of Elections asking that Charlestown remain as one voting district. Mr. Mitchell announced that Mrs. Pat Lang will be the candidate for committeewoman.

Gypsy Moth Spraying

Because of lack of funding the original 400+ acres in Charlestown approved from spraying had been reduced to 150+ acres. State contracts for spraying have been awarded and the State now has extra money. Municipalities can contract with a sprayer and the State will reimburse them for no more than $12 per acre. It is possible to piggyback with other townships. The more acreage that is involved the less the price per acre will be. Mr. Kirby said we must go out with a bid package soon. Mr. Towers, a State official, can help with what is needed for a bid package. Mr. Kirby was asked to contact Mr. Towers and ask him to send bid information. Mrs. Ewald made a motion to authorize Mr. Martin and Mr. Kirby to proceed with getting a bid package together. Mr. Kling seconded the motion. It so carried. Mr. Kirby said the only areas that can be included in the spraying area to be reimbursed by the State this year is part of the original 400+ acres already approved by the State.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority Agreement

A revised proposed Intermunicipal Agreement between Charlestown, Schuylkill and East Pikeland Townships and the Valley Forge Sewer Authority was received for review. Mrs. Ewald said she objects to the Agreement because she feels it is an effort to legitimize an expansion outside the service area of the Sewer Authority. She said the Evening Phoenix reported that East Vincent is being offered a $950 connection fee while residents in Charlestown who founded the Sewer Authority have to pay a $2,500 connection fee. She feels this is a tremendous discrepancy. She feels the representatives from the three incorporating townships should meet and draft their own intermunicipal agreement which would then be presented to the Sewer Authority. Mr. Martin objected to the fact that the present proposal states the Agreement will remain in effect for five years and then automatically renew for additional five year terms unless a party provides written notice of termination at least sixty days prior to any termination date of the Agreement. Mr. Tom Yeakle, Charlestown representative to the Sewer Authority, said at the last meeting of the Authority a statement was made that if East Vincent did not accept the terms of the agreement by February 15 it would be null and void. Mr. Yeakle received a letter from Mr. Bateman which did not seem to agree with what happened at the Sewer Authority Meeting which Mr. Yeakle attended. He called Dr. Weinstock and found that East Vincent was given until March 15 to make a decision. Mr. Kling noted this decision was made without a meeting of the Sewer Authority Board. Mr. Martin said possibly an extension was granted subject to its being ratified at the next Board meeting. Mrs. Ewald said Schuylkill Township has a special counsel reviewing the complex series of Agreements. Mr. Kling made a motion that the Intermunicipal Agreement sent by Mr. Joseph Bateman, General Manager of the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, on February 20, 1990 be rejected. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion made by Mr. Kling. It so carried. Mrs. Ewald will contact the Chairmen of Schuylkill and East Pikeland Supervisors to let them know Charlestown’s action. She encouraged all the Supervisors to attend the March 12 Valley Forge Sewer Authority Meeting. She thanked Mr. Yeakle for his willingness to serve the Township in this capacity.

Phoenixville Area Soccer Club

Mr. Don Magargal and Mr. Tom Floyd showed a video of the soccer fields and buildings. He said that the roof on the clubhouse needs repair as well as parts of the inside of the building. The Club would like a longer lease than the present one which runs from year to year. Mr. Magargal presented the Supervisors with a booklet for their review after the meeting. The report lists five requests the Club would like from the Supervisors. After Mr. Kling read the requests he said the Township would take them under careful consideration. Mr. Magargal said the team has many fund raising activities and they have the money needed for the repairs. Mr. Magargal said about fifteen to twenty percent of the children who play soccer are from Charlestown. Mr. Kling asked if the BMX track had a positive or negative effect on the Club. Mr. Magargal said water runoff from the track is a problem and the bicycle club often turns the water off. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Magargal to present a proposal for what the Club would like to do. Mrs. Ewald told Mr. Magargal that Mr. Mitchell is a good resource. Mrs. Ewald said she will make sure the Club gets in touch with the Township’s Park and Recreation Board. She feels strongly this is something Charlestown can offer in exchange for what Township children are offered in other communities. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Magargal to come back with a more concrete proposal.

Randall Thomas Home Occupation

Mr. Kling made a motion to approve this agreement which addresses the number of trucks allowed and where they can be parked and the storage of chemicals. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. It so carried. Mr. Martin asked if the Township would be reimbursed for the amount of legal time spent on this request. Mr. Thomas said he would do so. Mrs. Thomas thanked the Supervisors for the care they take in protecting the community. Mrs. Ewald noted that she has received several notes commenting on how well the Thomas’ property is cared for.

Request for Lot 8 Building Envelope Change – Four Oaks Farm

Mr. VanVliet would like to move the building envelope fifty feet. There will be no change in the building lot lines. Control of the conservation easements was discussed. The conservation restrictions are in perpetuity and should be recorded with the deeds. The French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust has easements only on Lots 10 and 12. Mr. McErlane said it is important that an amendment to the easement is prepared and that it get picked up in the chain of title. Mr. Kling said he could not reconcile the reason for the change unless the orientation of the house is changed. It should agree with the landfall. If Mr. VanVliet has the corrected plans to Mr. Kohli in time for his review action will be taken on this matter at the April 2 meeting.

Hough/Loew Flex Building on Phoenixville Pike

Mr. Loew presented the Township with a $60,000 contribution toward the traffic light at Route 29 and Charlestown Road. Mr. Martin told Mr. Loew he appreciated his professionalism and amicable understanding in contributing the funds for the upgrading of the intersection. Mr. Kohli said the work will probably be done in the 1991 construction season. Mr. Martin noted that there is currently approximately $103,000 in the Phoenixville Pike Improvements Fund including this contribution. The Township’s share of the 75-25% agreement with Penndot is approximately $150,000.00.

An escrow release between Charlestown Township, Great Valley Development and the Bank of New England was prepared by Mr. Kohli. Mr. Martin asked if it is possible to enact an ordinance requiring that a southeastern Pennsylvania bank be used. Mr. McErlane said there is a motion to transfer the esgrow to the First Pennsylvania Bank. The escrow with the Bank of New England would be reduced from $1,200,000 to approximately $300,000. The new agreement with First Pennsylvania is to transfer the balance. We will hold the escrow for $332,000 and the balance of $900,000 worth of work has been completed. Mr. Kohli has inspected the work and is satisfied. Mr. Martin made a motion to adopt Mr. Kohli’s recommendation that the escrow be released and the amount be reduced to $332,435.75 under agreement with the Bank of New England. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. It so carried. Mr. Martin made a motion that a new escrow agreement between First Pennsylvania in place of the Bank of New England, Charlestown Township and the Great Valley Development Corporation in the amount of $332,435.75 be approved. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. It so carried. Mr. Martin suggested that a letter be signed stating that upon completion of refinancing, transfer of funds and receipt of a signed original from First Pennsylvania indicating they are holding $332,000 the Bank of New England is no longer involved.

Barn on Pilgrim Property in Four Oaks Farm

Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim own two lots totaling approximately nine acres. They are building a house on one lot and would like to build a four stall stable and a riding ring on the other lot which contains four acres. The Zoning Ordinance only allows one horse on four acres. Because of the total acreage owned by the Pilgrims they can have more horses but a problem might arise if the lot with the barn were sold separately from the house. If the four stall barn is already there a new owner might argue that he has the right to have four horses. The Pilgrims do not want to merge the two lots. Mr. Kling made a motion to allow the Pilgrims to build the barn as long as it is clear that there cannot be more than one horse on this parcel if it is sold separately from their other lot. Mr. Martin seconded the motion. It so carried. Mr. Kohli said the whole property does not have to be fenced.

Fire Hydrants for Commons West

Philadelphia Suburban Water Company requires Township approval for fire hydrants. Hough/Loew has requested approval for five hydrants in the internal area of Commons East. Mr. Kohli suggested placing an additional one along Route 29. Mr. Loew suggested asking the owner of the property next to his to put this one in as it will not service Mr. Loew’s property. Mr. Loew said he provided public water to these properties and he feels he should not have to provide their fire protection. Mr. Martin will write a letter to Philadelphia Suburban Water. Mr. Loew said he will do everything in his power to make sure there is a hydrant along Route 29.

A meeting with the residents in Tyrone Farms regarding the Marian Road drainage improvements will be held in April after engineering has been completed. They will be given ample time to give input on the engineering plans.

Revisions to Township Ordinances

On February 5, 1990 a Tree Conservation Ordinance, #58-90, was approved as a pending ordinance for publication. The ordinance relating to PRO review was not read into the record at that meeting. Mr. Clarke and Mr. Comitta are reviewing this matter. Ordinance S59-90 regarding the timetable when revised preliminary and final subdivision and land development plans are submitted was read into the record at the February 5 meeting. The ordinance relative to lot area was under discussion by the Supervisors but had not been introduced at the February 5 meeting. Mr. Martin feels there should be a package of ordinance revisions presented at one time. The Planning Commission subcommittee which is reviewing the ordinances will review these changes and they will be discussed at the March 13 Planning Commission Meeting. Comments will be ready for the Supervisors at their April meeting when discussion of the pending ordinances will continue.

Mr. Martin said the PRD 1 area along Buckwalter Road was originally zoned for one and one-quarter acre lots. When the PRD was created it stated that for a parcel of less than twenty-five acres the FR rules apply. He feels this is not equitable and possibly illegal in the PRD 1 area. He feels it should be changed from FR to R1. The Planning Commission will be asked to review this matter. Mrs. Ewald would like to see a map showing this area when it was zoned for one and one-quarter acres.

In answer to Mr. Colagreco’s question Mrs. Ewald said that the Tree Conservation Ordinance and the Ordinance re Filing of Revised Preliminary and Final Subdivision and Land Development Plans were the only ones approved for advertisement.

The Spring Road Tour will be held on April 21 at 10:00 A.M.

Mrs. Ewald asked for suggestions items for the Spring Newsletter.

Mrs. Ewald read a letter from Mrs. Morris regarding an Earth Day walk on March 24.

John Cellucci Land Development Plan

The Municipalities Planning Code says a plan must be recorded within ninety days from the date of approval. Charlestown does not release a plan after it is approved until an escrow has been set up. In February Mr. Cellucci asked the Township to grant an extension of its approval for another sixty clays so he arrange for his escrow, Mr. Kohli’s estimated escrow amount Is higher than Mr. Cellucci anticipated. Mr. Cellucci would like to record his plans now along with a document wherein he will agree to post the escrow before he proceeds with his building. He will also agree to post a greater escrow if Mr. Kohli’s January 17 estimate of $570,000 needs to be raised at the time building commences.

Mr. Colagreco said Ms. Sarah Peck, President of Rouse/Chamberlin, would like to firm the schedule for the possible acceptance of the dedication for the roads in Three Ponds. Mrs. Ewald said Ms. Peck and Mr. Howard Hirsh, Comptroller of Rouse/Chamberlin, have been given her phone number. They are welcome to call her any time. She said it was explained to the Three Ponds residents and to Mr. Hirsh that the roads will be reviewed on the Spring Road Tour and the Supervisors will consider the matter at their May meeting.

Mrs. Ewald read the correspondence listed on the agenda.

Mrs. Ewald said Mr. Hein, Chairman of the Park and Recreation Board was asked to hold off a public meeting until a meeting could be held with the Supervisors. Mr. Martin said the Township needs a recreation ordinance and Mrs. Ewald said work is being done on this.

There was no further business and Mr. Kling made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:55 P.M. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. It so carried.

Respectfully submitted,