The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, October 7, 1991, at the Charlestown Elementary School.
|Present:||Irene W. Ewald, Chairman; John C. Martin, Jr., Vice Chairman; Thomas Oeste, Esq.; John D. Snyder, Esq.; Surender S. Kohli, P.E.; Ruth W. Buckwalter, Secretary; and those on the attached list of attendees.|
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:05 pm.
Mrs. Ewald requested Mr. Martin to report on the meeting re Charlestown Hunt. Mr. Martin stated that on September 19th, he, along with Mr. Snyder and Mr. Kohli, met in the office of Mr. McErlane to discuss a counter proposal to the Hunt’s proposal. On September 25th, Messrs. Martin, McErlane, Snyder and Kohli met with representatives of Charlestown Hunt, Messrs. Kaplin, Duckworth and Riley, at the office of Kohli Associates. After substantial discussion, a chance of agreement appeared to be reached on all issues which would result in the dismissal of the three lawsuits against the Township. Once the developer makes the final changes in the final plan, it will be given to Mr. Kohli for his review. Mr. Martin will then hold a public meeting to discuss with the citizens what the final plan is all about. In addition to the withdrawal of the three lawsuits, the developer will settle all outstanding fees owed the Township and make some contributions to certain organizations in the Township. Mr. Martin noted that this is all tentative and either party could still withdraw.
Mrs. Ewald reported on sessions held re. Charlestown Brae (Rouse/Chamberlin). An appearance was scheduled before Judge Joyner on October 1 because negotiations had broken down due to the Applicant refusing to have his consultant meet with the Township consultant on the outstanding issue of landscaping. Judge Joyner made it clear that the meeting of consultants was to take place and a report made to him on October 4. An executive session was held at the office of Mr. Kohli which included Mrs. Ewald, Messrs. Kohli, McErlane, Comitta, Snyder and Kling. A review was done of outstanding issues which needed to be focused on for Mr. Comitta to carry forward in his meeting with the Applicant’s landscaping architect, Joe Orsatti, on October 3. Subsequently, Mr. Comitta reported no progress was made. Mrs. Ewald then met with Sarah Peck (Rouse/Chamberlin) on Thursday evening and at that time, all the outstanding issues were resolved. The Supervisors now have an agreement in principle and an agreement in concept that is being committed to a narrative for a Stipulation to be on Judge Joyner’s desk Friday, October 11. This allows 1 week to have the engineer and landplanner, as well as Messrs. McErlane and Snyder, work out the details. The key outstanding issues in this agreement are the landscape buffer, underground retention basins, and the changes for Rees Road. Mrs. Ewald reported attending numerous other meetings during the month including taking part in the opening day ceremony for the PMYC football season and she also initiated the Girl’s Field Hockey program.
At this time, the Chairman presented a certificate of award to Jared C. Martin for voluntarily giving of his time and labor to work on the Township property at Whitehorse Road and Rt. 29. Low limbs and old vines were removed which has greatly enhanced the visual, as well as the safety, of this area.
Mr. Martin moved to approve the minutes of September 9. 1991. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion, the minutes were unanimously approved.
Mr. Martin moved to approve the September. 1991 Treasurer’s Report. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion, the Treasurer’s Report was approved unanimously.
Mr. Martin moved to approve the October 9. 1991 Accounts Payable. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion, it unanimously carried.
Zoning Officer’s Report: Mr. Kohli reported that no Building Permits were issued; one Use & Occupancy Permit and one Sign Permit were issued during the month. He also reported meeting with PMYC and again inspecting the Benburb Road property. George Snyder complained about the lack of Building Permits being posted so residents can see them from the road. Mrs. Ewald stated residents can call the office to obtain this information.
Planning Commission Report: The Secretary reported that Michael Churchill called the office and reported that no action was taken at the last meeting. Mr. Kohli noted that 4 items on the agenda for the next Commission meeting are: The Commons at Great Valley, Panilquin S/D, Volpi tract sketch plan, and one parcel at the Commons. The Commission will also hear from their Committee on Recycling.
Roadmaster Report: Acting Roadmaster Mrs. Ewald stated that the Fall Road Tour has been scheduled for October 19 at 10am. Paving has been completed on all of Tinkerhill Lane, Union Hill Road from Tinkerhill to Rt. 29, Howell Road at the corner of Howell and Rees Roads, and Pickering Road from the Scott to the Davidson driveways. Stop signs were replaced at Maryhill and Raven hill Roads. In addition, a tree, which was down on the wires of Union Hill Road was removed. Mrs. Ewald commended Delaware Valley Paving for volunteering the paving at the Revolutionary War Cemetery. Mrs. Baldwin reported a very severe erosion problem right in front of the Rapp House. Mr. Martin noted that for inspection during the Road Tour.
Subsequent to the meeting hosted by Green Valley Assn. re. PENNDOT’S roadside spraying (see Sept. 9 minutes). Senator Baker held a Town Meeting which Mrs. Ewald attended. One of the subjects discussed was the roadside spraying. Senator Baker requested protest letters received from residents be forwarded to him. As a result, the PENNDOT Director of this particular program, Kevin Munley, called to set up an emergency meeting to review the problems in the Township. What was agreed to at that time was that PENNDOT would make a proposal to the Township for alternatives to the spraying and ways of better communication between PENNDOT and the Township.
Parks and Recreation Report: Bob Elmer submitted a written report on the October 30 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board. The report included a change in two items of the PASC draft of a Lease Agreement: 1) term - 7 years renewable, 2) PASC to develop a site plan showing an Area of Responsibility. Mr. Elmer noted that PMYC has had to remove 2 diseased trees which they will replace. They also are planning to donate one tree a year. PMYC is working with Mr. Kohli on their renovating and improvement plans. Mr. Elmer submitted to the Supervisors a draft copy of the Biennial Compliance Report. The Rec. Board urged the Supervisors to take advantage of the Heritage Park & Open Space Municipal Grant Program. Mr. Kohli questioned the light standards PMYC wants to install which will exceed the Zoning Ordinance limit of 35’ in height.
Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Elmer for a report on the Soccer Club contract. He stated they would bring their formal and final request to the next Rec. Board meeting, after which a public hearing will be scheduled and then the contract will come to the Supervisors.
The Phillips/Hall Escrow Release #2 was approved by a motion worded by Mr. Oeste “a motion that the Escrow Account for Phillips/Hall S/D Escrow Release #2 be released subject to the payment of all outstanding engineering charges in the amount to be determined for inspection and engineering costs and outstanding fees owed the Township”. Mrs. Ewald so moved, Mr. Martin seconded the motion, it carried unanimously. After a brief discussion, Mr. Oeste worded a second motion “Escrow will be released to Betty A. Scott subject to the receipt of as built plans acceptable to Mr. Kohli and payment of all outstanding engineering fees and amounts to be determined by Mr. Kohli and the Township Treasurer”. Mrs. Ewald so moved, Mr. Martin seconded the motion, it carried unanimously.
The Chairman announced that the VFAH has scheduled a community meeting at the Phoenixville High School on Oct. 15. The agenda for this meeting was read aloud by Mrs. Ewald.
Durando Faggioli stated that he would like to repair the Quonset hut located on the VFAH grounds and use it for storage of antique cars/road equipment, but he has been unable to find out whom to contact for permission. Mr. Martin suggested he contact the Solicitor for the Phoenixville School District. Mrs. Ewald remarked on the potholes by the entrance gates off Township Line Road. Mr. Faggioli offered to donate the needed repairs.
The Chairman requested Mr. Kohli to orally review the status of Charlestown Oaks. One of the problems is springs coming up where building sites had been proposed. The site was walked by Mr. Kohli, Mrs. Ewald, Mr. Ziegler, Mr. Winckelman and Charlestown Oaks engineer. The sensitive areas were noted. Mr. Kohli instructed the engineers to re-think the layout and come back with a new schematic plan. The site will then be walked again before the final plan is submitted.
Brooke Cottman displayed his subdivision plan saying it had been approved in 1989. When he went to the bank for financing, the bank refused him because the plan was not signed. The 1989 Board of Supervisors would not sign the plan until a financial agreement had been arranged and he was unable to do this without a set of signed plans for the bank. Now he was asking the Board if the requirement of the Municipal Planning Code applies to his development because in 1989 this was not in effect. (Mr. Kohli noted that Mr. Cottman had agreed to a $2500 contribution for impact fees.) Mr. Cottman was asking for a solution to his dilemma. Mr. Oeste noted two items that now come into play: 1) plans must be recorded within 90 days, under the M.P.C. - Mr. Cottman didn’t do this. 2) A Resolution from the Board to waive this could alleviate the problem. However, Mr. Oeste said the Board cannot legally record the plan without the financial security being in place. He noted the Board could give a Resolution stating the recording of the plan is contingent on filing the financial security. Mr. Ewald asked Mr. Cottman to submit 2 copies of the plan so that the Engineer and the Solicitor could have an opportunity to review it. He would then be placed on the Nov. 11 agenda. Mr. Cottman agreed to this. The matter was tabled until November 11.
To this date, no answer has been received from PENNDOT to letters written by Senator Baker and James E. McErlane, Esq., re Newcomen Road. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Oeste to word a Resolution to vacate the road. Mr. Oeste – “The Charlestown Supervisors resolve that the Township Solicitor prepare the necessary documentation to vacate a portion of Newcomen Road for action of the Board, that portion being approximately 2.2 miles located between Route 401 and the PA Turnpike.” Mrs. Ewald so moved. A discussion ensued. Mr. Martin felt the cost of vacating, which would be over $2,000, was too expensive and the motion died for lack of a second. Mr. Martin will write a polite letter to PENNDOT requesting an answer to former letters on this issue.
The S.P.C.A. contract was tabled until after the Budget meeting.
The Secretary called attention to a letter received at the office from Elizabeth Newman requesting the Township write a letter to PENNDOT for a “hidden drive” sign to be placed on north bound Charlestown Road before Swiss Lane. Mrs. Ewald noted that she had a request for a written letter to PENNDOT re. the placing of a guardrail. The Secretary was instructed to write these letters to PENNDOT.
Mr. Martin briefly explained the Recreational Improvement and Rehabilitation (RIRA) grant procedure. After a discussion, the forms were given to Mr. Elmer for the Parks and Recreation Board to follow through.
The Chester County Open Space Municipal Grant was brought to the floor by Mr. Martin. A lengthy discussion followed. Mrs.-Ewald said she would like to see the Township’s Planning Consultant complete this request for a grant. Mr. Martin felt the Supervisors, with the help of the Planning Commission, should be able to handle at least the application form and, if necessary, put the contract out for bids.
The Chairman made the monthly correspondence available to the floor.
All business completed, Mr. Martin moved to adjourn, Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned – 10:45pm.