The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their first meeting of the month on Wednesday, September 8, 1993, at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault. The date was changed from the first Monday of the month due to the Labor Day holiday and was so advertised in The Phoenix and Daily Local News.
|Present:||Irene W. Ewald, Chairman; John C. Martin, Jr., Vice Chairman; Vincent G. Kling, Sr., Member; James E. McErlane, 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 8:00 pm.
Announcements: the Chairman announced the following: Aug. 25 – there was a site meeting at the Schulze property, a proposed 2 lot subdivision, attended by Mrs. Ewald, Messrs. Kling, Kohli, Colagreco and the Schulzes. Mr. Martin noted he had visited the site earlier. Aug. 30 – there was a field meeting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Popovitch concerning a sewer easement on the neighboring property serving the Panilquin subdivision, the purpose of the meeting was to review what was being proposed and how it would or would not effect the Popovitch property. This meeting was attended by Mrs. Ewald, Mr. Kohli, Mr. and Mrs. Popovitch and their neighbors. Sept. 2 – there was a meeting with the Horseshoe Trail Road residents who requested an update on the Schulze subdivision status. Sept. 2 – there was a meeting concerning the Valley Forge Army Hospital called by the Technical Review Committee and attended by Mrs. Ewald, Woodward Clyde representative, Army Corps of Engineers and representatives from Schuylkill and Charlestown Townships. Mrs. Ewald noted that the feasibility study and documents on the remedial investigation would be on the Supervisors’ September 20th agenda, comments are due the 24th or 27th of this month. The Chairman announced that the Applicants for the Charlestown Meadows PRD have made a formal request to have the public hearings suspended and the hearings not to be resumed until the Applicants formally give notice they wish to continue. They requested work sessions with our consultants to try to come up with a revised Preliminary Plan submission. Also, they submitted a document releasing the Supervisors from any motions for recusal if they should comment on the Plan during the work sessions.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the August 2, 1993 minutes. Mr. Martin so moved, Mr. Kling seconded, the motion so carried. Mrs. Ewald abstained because she was unable to attend that meeting.
Martin so moved, Mr. Kling seconded, the motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the August 24.1993 minutes. Mr. Kling so moved, Mrs. Ewald seconded, the motion so carried.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the August. 1993 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Martin so moved, Mrs. Ewald seconded, the motion so carried.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the September 8. 1993 Accounts Payable. Mrs. Ewald moved for approval. Mr. Martin protested the legal expenses from telephone calls. Mr. Kling stated he agreed with Mr. Martin that an enormous amount of time is spent on telephone calls and he would like to have confirmation before approval. The motion died for lack of a second. Mr. Martin suggested the Accounts Payable be deferred to the end of the meeting.
Zoning Officer’s Report: Mr. Kohli will submit his record of permits issued during the month of August at the September 20th Board meeting.
Planning Commission Report: There were no meetings of this commission during the month of August.
At this time, the Chairman announced that John Good, Attorney for Charlestown Oaks, had contacted her at 3:00 pm this day and requested Charlestown Oaks be taken off tonight’s agenda and be put on the September 20th agenda.
Roadmaster’s Report: Mr. Hiller reviewed his work for the month of August which included replacing a guardrail on Pickering Road, reworking the headwall and culvert on Pickering Road, removing items dumped at Peakes Pike road, filling potholes on Buckwalter and Maryhill Roads, completion of second mowing in the Township, reporting trees on wires at Pickering and Pickering Dam Roads to PECO which were removed and attending a training exercise of the Emergency Management Team. Dumping in several areas of the Township was discussed. Mr. Kling reported that PENNDOT did a poor job of tar and chip on Pikeland Road. He reported 4 accidents have taken place due to loose gravel. Mr. Hiller suggested we approach the State Police for their evaluation of the conditions and perhaps they would contact PENNDOT because of the safety aspect. Mrs. Ewald noted that complaints were received at the office from drivers reporting damage done to their vehicles by loose gravel. She requested Mr. Hiller to write to each one informing them that Pikeland Road is a PENNDOT road and list names and addresses of whom to contact on this matter. After further discussion, Mr. Kling recommended the Supervisors consult Counsel on the matter.
Parks and Recreation Report: The Chairman announced that Mr. Connolly requested his report be deferred to the September 20th meeting.
Fire Marshal’s Report: Frederick Alston reported: 1 dwelling fire, 2 automatic fire alarms, 1 brush fire, 1 hay bale fire, and 7 vehicle accidents were reported to the Fire Companies during the month of August. He also reported that the blood drive held in the name of Steve Mulhollan, Chief Engineer for East Whiteland Fire Company, was a resounding success. A written report on the above listed items was submitted to the Secretary for the Township files.
Mr. McErlane had previously notified Mr. Martin that he would be a little late for the meeting, so the Eastwick matter was deferred until his arrival.
Mrs. Ewald gave an update on Rt.29. The State Police, East Whiteland and Kimberton Fire Companies have been documenting accidents that have been reported in Charlestown Township. She reported that in 1992 there were 116 auto accidents, 33 of which occurred at the “S” curve on Rt. 29 between Hollow Road and Dickson Drive. During the first seven months of 1993, 91 accidents occurred, of which 42 were at that same curve. Mr. Alston noted that 5 more have since been recorded, making a total of 47 so far this year. Mr. Martin suggested asking PENNDOT to reconsider their refusal to score this section of the road. He also suggested posting “high accident area signs. Mr. Kohli noted that PENNDOT has refused to score the road because PENNDOT has only 2 accidents recorded on that curve. However, they have agreed to post signs, but Mr. Kohli hasn’t seen any yet. The matter was further discussed. Mr. Martin feels the Supervisors should notify PENNDOT of the documented number of accidents and, if they are not willing to take steps, the Township should post “high accident area” signs.
Eastwick Preliminary Plan: Mr. McErlane stated that after the August 24th public work session, John D. Snyder, Esq., wrote a revised Order on which there are a few open issues. Primarily among them is the offer to combine lots 8-B and 9 as 1 lot, if accepted by the Three Ponds people. At this time, Morris C. Kellett, Esq., representing the Applicants, stated that he had seven items of the Order that he would like to discuss which included: 1) Posting of financial security for the construction of common driveways and associated stormwater runoff control and the replacement of trees; 2) architectural standards – Vincent Kling, Jr., will review and modestly edit the standards of the Merriwether Plan. Mr. Kellett submitted copies of the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions and referred to Page 3, item 3, on this subject; 3) building envelopes – Mr. Kling, Jr. and Mr Kohli both drew building envelopes on the plans, Mr. Kohli’s lines marking the smaller envelope. To use Mr. Kling’s envelopes, the owner would be required to request a conditional use approval; 4) Three Ponds Homeowners have stated their desire for a 100 ft. buffer. Robert Cottone objected to taking footage from his property for a buffer zone for the Three Ponds residents; 5) lots 8-B and 9 to be merged and referred to a lot 9; 6) Equestrian Trail – lots 9 and 12 (amended to “lot 11” 10/20/93) shall remain subject to an equestrian trail provided that the entry and exit points shall coincide with the location of the existing trail, that the lot owners shall not be required to clear or maintain the trail and that the lot owners not be held liable; 7) no sand mound shall be used for the initial on-site sewage systems of any new dwelling and only as a replacement system provided that there is no feasible alternative as certified by the Township Engineer. Robert J. Carey, Esq., representing Mary Ellen Joos, an adjacent property owner, reviewed his requests regarding stormwater conditions which could effect the Joos property.
At this time the Chairman called for a 10 minute break to read and review the foregoing material. The meeting reconvened at 10:05pm. Item #5 on page 2 of the Order, having to do with each of the proposed lots remaining un-subdivided for a period of 15 years, was reviewed. Mr. Carey requested that the maintenance of stormwater management and basins and a maintenance obligation on lot 8-A be articulated in the final document. Mrs. Ewald made a motion that the Supervisors grant conceptual Preliminary Plan approval, subject to the refinement of the Order to be reviewed on September 20th and circulated no later than September 15th. Mr. Martin seconded the motion and it so carried. (Mr. Kling, Sr., had recused himself when the application was first submitted.)
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the Sewage Facilities Planning Module for Charlestown Oaks as Resolution #469-93 and the Sewage Facilities Planning Module for Merriwether as Resolution #470-93. Mr. Martin so moved, Mr. Kling seconded. – The motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman raised the issue of readdressing in the Township done by RAM, the company contracted by Chester County for the purpose of numbering for the 911 system. She noted many errors in road names and mapping which need to be reported back to the County. The Supervisors agreed that there is no need to renumber Three Ponds, Bell Circle, Marian and Benburb Roads and other roads that are fully developed and have a simple numbering scheme. As an illustration of RAM’s numbering, she noted that one block of 30 houses went from no.16 to no.511. Mr. Martin said Pickering Dam Road is a very short road, yet the numbers range from 52 to 1073. Mrs. Ewald suggested using Mr. Alston’s record of a previous effort to renumber which had its shortcomings, but perhaps the two could be merged and then make a counter proposal to the County. In the end, only the Township has the power to readdress, she said. Mr. Kling noted this was not a very satisfactory piece of work and suggested someone from the Township do the job. He expressed concern regarding how numbers flow when going into neighboring townships. Mr. Martin agreed that there is a lack of logic to the County’s numbering. Mrs. Ewald would like to communicate to the County that there are problems and then follow up with the help of a few Township residents on this job.
The Chairman again raised the issue of Conrail projects because there is apparently interest in contracts with Warner Quarry with respect to adding a crossing across Rt.29 in the vicinity of the Hough/Loew project on Rt.29. Also, we currently have a proposal to re-open Warner Road, there is the issue of the railroad over in the Industrial Park and, finally, the Buckwalter Road crossing. There is a need to look at the entire railroad system with respect to our roads. Mr. Kling suggested having the Chester County Planning Commission review these projects and Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Martin agreed to this.
The next item on the agenda was the Sunshine Law Amendments. The Chairman reported this is a new law which states that the Supervisors must provide a reasonable period of time during each meeting for residents and taxpayers to address the Board on any matter (Act 20, 1993). A formal policy should be established. Following a discussion on this subject, the Chairman requested Mr. McErlane to prepare a written policy for adoption at the September 20th meeting.
The Secretary requested a formal motion from the Board to approve mailing invitations to bid on salt supplies for the winter months. Since the expenditure is under $10,000, it is not necessary to advertise for bids. Mrs. Ewald moved for approval, Mr. Kling seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
The next item on the agenda was the request of Bonnie Rogers to operate a Day Care home at 7 Charlestown Road. Mr. Kohli stated that this is not considered a home occupation and is not allowed in the residential district. However, it is allowed in the LI district with regulations that apply. The Chairman stated that it is the sense of the Board that this is not appropriate in the RI district, but there are some homes in the LI district that could be used as such. Mr. Kling feels this matter should be left to Mr. Kohli and Mr. McErlane to see if they can make this situation amendable. Mr. Martin noted that this would be inconsistent with past rulings. Mrs. Ewald requested Mr. McErlane to review this to see that it is consistent with our other applications for home occupations. Mr. Martin added it would be helpful if Ms. Rogers brought in a letter of agreement from the neighbors. Ms. Rogers was instructed to send Mr. McErlane a copy of her license and other information pertaining to her operation of a Childcare Home.
The Chairman reminded Messrs. Martin and Kling that the Valley Forge General Hospital Feasibility Report and the Remedial Investigation Report needed to be reviewed for discussion at the September 20th Board meeting.
At this time Mr. Martin raised the subject of a $6,000 overrun on the Open Space contract with Thomas J. Comitta. The contract specified “at a cost not to exceed $20,000”. Mr. Martin stated there were no documented change orders regarding this $6,000 and Mr. Kling stated that the Supervisors should have been notified before he exceeded the contracted amount. Mrs. Ewald stated that Mr. Comitta submitted his bills as the work was done and the Board approved payment of each bill submitted.
The overrun was brought to the Supervisors’ attention when the Township Treasurer did an accumulative summary. Mr. Martin and Mr. Kling agreed the overrun should be split between the township and Thomas Comitta Associates.
The Chairman brought the September 8, 1993 Accounts Payable to the floor. Mr. Martin moved to approve the Accounts Payable, with the exception of checks #7358 and #7342 which will be taken up at the September 20th meeting. Mr. Kling seconded the motion, it so carried.
All business completed, the meeting adjourned at 12:15 pm.