NOVEMBER 1, 1993

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their first meeting of the month on Monday, November 1, 1993, at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault.

Present: Irene W. Ewald, Chairman; John C. Martin, Jr., Vice Chairman; James E. McErlane, Esq.; Surender S. Kohli, P.E.; Ruth W. Buckwalter, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:02 pm.


Mrs. Ewald stated that the extra meetings held last month include:
  1. Oct 13 - the State Police did a display with radar at the approach to the curve on Rt. 29 between Dixon Drive and Hollow road. They will repeat this action between November 22 and December 5.
  2. Oct 15 & 29 - Mrs. Ewald, Mr. Kling, Mr. Kohli and officials from the County Emergency Services inspected the AT&T building and tower on West Valley Hill Road to have a better understanding of an adaptive re-use.
  3. Oct 15 - Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Kohli met with William Hochwind concerning some issues raised having to do with the former Army Hospital water tower property.
  4. Mrs. Ewald, Mr. Martin and Mr. Alston had a ride on a high car with Conrail. Mr. Martin reported that the only significant part of the ride was going through the Township where one could see there was a relatively steep grade of 2 to 3% which causes the cinders and sparks to fly out and set fires.
  5. Oct 30 - Annual Fall Road Tour, the 3 Supervisors, the Township Engineer and the Roadmaster toured the Township roads.
  6. Oct 30 & 31 - Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Kling participated in patrolling for Townwatch.

Mrs. Ewald also reported:

  1. the resubmitted RIRA grant application was approved and the County has awarded the Township an emergency grant for playground equipment to replace the former unsafe equipment.
  2. the Eastwick Application is on appeal. Mr. Martin stated this should be discussed at public meeting and suggested putting this on the November 15 agenda.
  3. Mr. Mondzelewski of LauraBrooke has filed a Curative Amendment against Charlestown Township challenging the validity of the Township Ordinances. At this time, Mrs. Ewald stated for the public record that she felt some remarks made by Mr. Martin with reference to LauraBrooke were inappropriate.

The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the minutes of September 20.1993 with the following amendments: page 2, paragraph 3 “$15,000” should be “$15,000,000” and page 3, paragraph 4 “conservancy” misspelled. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes as amended and Mr. Martin seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the minutes of October 4.1993. Mrs. Ewald moved for approval, Mr. Martin seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The Chairman moved to approve the October, 1993 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Martin seconded, the motion carried unanimously.

Mrs. Ewald made a motion to approve the November 1 1993 Accounts Payable as presented. Mr. Martin questioned check #7415 (Blue Streak Courier Service). This was explained as well as check #7402. Mr. Martin seconded the motion for approval. The motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Officer’s Report: Mr. Kohli submitted his written report of permits issued during the month of October. He noted someone had raised the question of selling Christmas trees in the LI District for a period of one month. The Ordinance is not clear on this and Mr. Kohli will discuss it with Mr. Churchill. Another item had to do with the Faith Robbin’s property. The Robbins would like to sell the property and the question was on subdividing. Mr. Kohli recommended a sketch plan be brought to the Planning Commission. Mr. Martin raised a question on the Van Vliet situation (an unauthorized cut to Whitehorse Road to serve lot 1 2A). Mr. Kohli stated he discussed this with John D. Snyder, Esq., who said that the first step initiates with the Zoning Officer, so he will follow up on that.

Planning Commission Report: Steve Winckelman reported that the Schulze subdivision and the Spring Oaks subdivision were discussed. The Schulze plan was recommended for approval by the four members present plus Mr. Kling’s proxy vote. Mrs. Ewald stated there is no quorum by proxy, it can’t be done. Mr. Martin questioned if the Supervisors would be able to deal with the Schulze plan without a recommendation from the Planning Commission according to Act 247. Mr. McErlane advised the plan has to be referred to the Planning Commission for the opportunity, but it is not necessary for them to make a recommendation.

Roadmaster’s Report: Mr. Hiller submitted his report on the 1993 Fall Road Tour to the Secretary to be typed and distributed. He also submitted his report of meetings and work accomplished during the months of October and November.

There was no one present to give a report from the Parks and Recreation Board.

Fire Marshal’s Report: Mr. Alston submitted his written report for the Township files, During the month of October, there were one rubbish fire, one helicopter landing and five vehicle accidents reported to the Fire Companies that serve the Township. An attendee questioned if any monitoring was being done at Yellow Springs Road and Rt. 29. He reported there has been an increase in the volume of traffic in that area resulting in an increase of accidents. Mrs. Ewald explained that the increase in traffic is the result of Clothier Spring Road and North Valley Road being closed for the water company’s project in the adjoining Township.

Citizens Forum: John DeLello stated that at the last Board meeting, he mistakenly spoke against Key ’93 (see minutes of Oct 1, 1993). He has since been given more information on this and feels he spoke prematurely against the project for which he now apologized, especially to Mrs. Eleanor Morris and Mr. Kling.

The next item on the agenda was the Merriwether Plan. Ronald Nagle, Esq., and Robert Plucienik, P.E., represented the Applicant. Mr. Nagle said that according to Mr. Kohli’s October review letter, the plan is now ready for final approval from the Supervisors. The letter from Mr. Kohli indicates that the previous engineering issues have been resolved. They are still waiting to hear from PENNDOT. The covenant and restrictions and easement documents have been sent to Thomas F. Oeste, Esq. After further discussion, Mrs. Ewald made the motion to approve the Merriwether Plan, subject to compliance with the review letters from Mr. Kohli, Mr. Comitta and Mr. McErlane. Mr. Martin seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The Chairman introduced the proposal of Local Tax Reform sent to her by Representative Rubley. Mrs. Ewald noted that Mrs. Rubley will be holding a Town Meeting on December 4th at the East Pikeland Township building for residents of East Pikeland and Charlestown Townships for the purpose of discussing this issue. Mr. Martin stated that this proposal limits the options of local government rather than giving local government additional options. He cited: 1) freezing real estate rates as of September 1, 1993, and replacing lost dollars from an earned income tax. 2) $25 per person municipal service tax would abolish our present $10 per capita tax and the occupational privilege tax. This proposal would not be beneficial to Charlestown Township. Mrs. Ewald agreed and noted she is also concerned about protection and fair taxation of farm land and questioned how the State of PA can apply a single law on taxation that is appropriate for all the different types of municipalities.

Growth Management was the next item on the agenda. Representative Rubley sent a copy of the draft legislation for review and comments. Mr. Martin opined the 20 page document could be summarized in two concepts: 1) seems to be the land planners full employment act. 2) seems to emasculate the Township planning authority and give more authority to the County and State. Mrs. Ewald agreed that essentially it takes away local control and she will write to Mrs. Rubley encouraging her to oppose this legislation. This document is available to the public through the Township office.

Schulze Subdivision Plan: Louis Colagreco, Esq., represented the Schulze family. Gerianne DiPiano, an attendee, stated that Mr. May, Esq., was unable to attend this meeting tonight to represent the Tredyffrin Township residents of the Horseshoe Trail. Mr. Jordan Cox, a neighbor of the Schulze family and a resident of Charlestown Township also requested an opportunity to speak. At this time, Mr. Colagreco reviewed Mr. Kohli’s letter of October 26 point by point: 1) agreed to widen Horseshoe Trail 2) ingress, regress and egress to Horseshoe Trail to be reviewed by the Board 3) agreed that the owners of lot 1 and lot 2 are responsible for maintenance of Horseshoe Trail within their lots 4) Chester Valley Engineers found no wetlands on the property, a certification will be forthcoming 5) requested the Supervisors approve the resolution for the sewage planning module 6) requested the Board review and comment on Mr. DiPiano’s letter 7) the Chester County Planning Commission’s letter of review and comments has been received for the Board’s review 8) technical issues raised in Mr. Kohli’s previous review letter have been addressed satisfactorily. Mr. Colagreco then reviewed Michael DiPiano’s letter of September 7th which listed the following concerns: 1) timely completion of the home 2) road maintenance 3) use of home. Mrs. Ewald opened the meeting to the public for comments. Mrs. DiPiano and Mr. Cox expressed their concerns. A discussion followed. In conclusion, Mrs. Ewald said that she would like a written proposal from the Schulze family on how they would work together with their neighbors to preserve the beauty and quality of life on the Horseshoe Trail and also to address the issues raised by their neighbors at this meeting. Mr. Martin said he would agree to the plan on the condition that the Zoning Ordinance was amended to allow for a fourth or fifth lot with road frontage to use a private driveway if the alternative is an additional road cut into the existing public road. Mr. McErlane was requested to draft an amendment for review by the Charlestown Planning Commission. Mrs. Ewald stated that upon receipt of the letter of proposal from the Schulze family and the amendment to the Zoning Ordinance, she would be willing to approve the Schulze plan with conditions. Copies of the Schulze proposal should be sent to Mr. DiPiano and Mr. Cox. The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the resolution of the Planning Module for the Schulze subdivision. Mr. Martin moved for approval, Mrs. Ewald seconded, the motion so carried.

Gilbert Thompson’s Property was briefly discussed, Gilbert Thompson Jr., represented his father, who is out of town. The issue here is that the number of tax parcels do not correspond with those of the Township files and Mrs. Ewald stated that if a subdivision was made, it did not come through the Township and this needs to be addressed. Mr. Thompson Jr. requested this project be deferred until December. Mrs. Ewald suggested the Thompsons consult with their Attorney, Lou Colegreco, regarding the parcels of land and then reschedule a meeting.

The next item on the agenda had to do with questions raised by William Hochwind about a one acre parcel off Maryhill Road which formerly was owned by the Federal Government. According to Mr. Hochwind, the parcel was sold at auction in 1990 and is now owned by two title companies. Mr. Hochwind claims he has an agreement of sale with the two Companies and is planning to build his home there. Ronald Agulnick, Esq. representing John Panizza, developer of a 13 lot subdivision at Coldstream and Maryhill Roads, said his client has an agreement of sale to buy the parcel. Questions we raised over an easement allowing access to the site. Mr. Agulnick said Drew Alleva, an adjacent landowner, would like to purchase the lot from his client and add it to his parcel. Mr. Alleva said he had no plans to develop the lot. Mr. Agulnick stated there no longer is an easement to the parcel, it just doesn’t exist, the parcel is landlocked. The Chairman told the parties involved to settle the dispute themselves. Meanwhile, the Board would not approve any building permit for lot 13 of the Panilquin subdivision nor for the parcel in dispute.

Animal Control Agreement: The Chairman compared the cost of the SPCA contract of $1,425/$1,485 offered to the Township for 1993 with the cost of Mr. Hiller’s animal control service of under $200 for 1993. She then proposed the Board decline the 1994 SPCA contract and rollover Mr. Hiller’s contract for 1994. Mrs. Ewald moved for approval, Mr. Martin seconded, the motion carried unanimously.

The Chairman noted that last June, the Township Board of Supervisors approved a transfer of $2,000 from account 409.32 to account 459. That was $2, 000 from the open space maintenance fund to the Historic Commission for the purpose of hosting the Historic Commission Network for the historic tours and dinner in the Township. Likewise now, from account 414.10 to account 459, a sum of $1,500 be transferred from planning that Tom Comitta does (which is way under budget) to the Historic Commission for purposes of researching the historic properties. Mrs. Cremmers is going to do this research on an interim basis. Mrs. Ewald motioned to approve the transfer of funds, Mr. Martin seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

At this time, the Chairman set 7:30 pm Monday, November 8th at the Township office as the time and place for the first preliminary work session on the 1994 Budget. She invited John B. Sauser to attend. Mrs. Ewald will notify Mr. Kling of this meeting.

The Chairman announced that she heard that the Army Corps of Engineers intends to have a meeting on November 9th to address the Hodgkins Cluster. She has not had official notification of this as yet.

The Chairman opened the Correspondence to the public.

Escrow Release #2 for Charlestown Meade , in the amount $18, 384.80, was submitted for approval. Mrs. Ewald moved for approval, Mr. Martin seconded, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. McErlane advised the Board to make a formal referral of the LauraBrooke Curative Amendment to the Planning Commission for their review and a report back. Mrs. Ewald so moved, Mr. Martin seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

All business completed, Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn. Mr. Martin seconded the motion, it carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 10:55pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Ruth W. Buckwalter