The Board of Supervisors held their first meeting of the month on Monday, December 6, 1993, at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault.
|Present:||Irene W. Ewald, Chairman; John C. Martin, Jr., Vice Chairman; Vincent Kling, Sr., Member; Thomas F. Oeste, Esq.; James E. McErlane, Esq.; Surender S. Kohli, P.E.; Ruth W. Buckwalter, Secretary; those on the attached list of attendees.|
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:20 P.M..
Announcements: The Chairman announced the following meetings: Nov.18 - Mrs. Ewald attended the Supervisors Convention at the Great Valley Hilton; Nov.19 - Mrs. Ewald attended a meeting with Representative Carole Rubley and Edward McCann of PENNDOT regarding matters concerning PENNDOT; Dec.2 - Mrs. Ewald, representing Charlestown Township, Herman John and Ted Ryan, representing Schuylkill Township, met with the Chester County Health Dept. as a follow up to the VFAH investigation, particularly how it related to Hodgkins disease; Dec.2 - Mrs. Ewald attended the dedication of the new Playground equipment at Charlestown Park; Dec.4 - Mrs. Ewald attended a Town Meeting hosted by Representative Rubley at the East Whiteland Township building to discuss Tax Reform and Growth Management issues.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the minutes of November 1, 1993. Mr. Martin so moved, Mr. Kling seconded, the motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the minutes of November 15, 1993. Mr. Martin moved for approval, Mr. Kling seconded, the motion carried unanimously.
At this time, Mr. Kling stated that he was very distressed over the letter received regarding the condition of Pikeland Road and requested Mrs. Ewald to report on what was decided and what was observed during the meeting of November 19th about the very poor work PENNDOT did on that road. Mrs. Ewald read aloud a letter to Representative Rubley from Edward McCann, of PENNDOT, which addressed the problems on Pikeland Road and Rt. #29. She noted that, at the November 19 meeting with Mr. McCann, he was aware of the tar and chip work done on Pikeland Road by the contractor. Mr. Kling said the road is still covered with loose gravel causing accidents and damage to vehicles. Mr. Kling requested an appointment be made with PENNDOT to make an inspection and he would like to be present at that inspection.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the November 1993 Treasurer’s Report as presented. Mr. Martin so moved, Mrs. Ewald seconded, the motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman deferred the Accounts Payable until later on the agenda.
Zoning Officer’s Report: Mr. Kohli submitted his written report of Building and Occupancy Permits issued during November. Mr. Kohli reported he had inquires about: 1) zoning issues on the Faith Robbins Property which is to be marketed and subdivided; 2) the Flex Building and if that could be further developed; 3) the existing Pond at Green Lane on the Coryell property - Mr. Kohli contacted the Soil and Conservation people on this matter; 4) the lot behind this Pond on Green Lane which is part of the Coryell Farm - Mrs. Ewald noted that this had never been subdivided; 5) he discussed the. Evasew Property with a real estate agent representing a group who wish to purchase this lot and use a piece to build a church. Mrs. Ewald reported she had a letter from DER stating that the Turnpike had an underground storage tank that leaked and contaminated the soil. She also asked Mr. Kohli about the Pine Drive Property being connected to public sewage. Mr. Kohli replied that the owners requested the connection. Mr. Martin asked Mr. Kohl if a response from Steve Van Vliet had been received. Mr. Kohl responded “no”, he inspected the site and found hay-mulch had been thrown on that area. He will consult with Mr. McErlane on the matter. Mr. Martin also asked if Mr. Kohl had inspected the flooding at 3 Marian Road. Mr. Kohli responded he had and that the job superintendent knows a berm and a swale should be done. Mr. Kohli will follow up on this.
Planning Commission Report: Mr. Churchill reported that at the last meeting of the Planning Commission, they met with John D. Snyder, Esq., to discuss the process of the Curative Amendment. At this time, Mrs. Ewald noted that the December 13th meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be canceled because neither Mr. Martin nor Mr. Kling will be available. Mr. Churchill further reported that the Planning Commission recommended approval of the Stewart Subdivision with the stipulation that all conditions on Mr. Kohli’s and Mr. Comitta’s review letters be met. Spring Oaks preliminary plan was discussed and approved subject to conditions of Mr. Kohli’s letter of November 1, 1993.
Road master’s Report: Mr. Hiller submitted his monthly report of activities for the files. He toured the Township roads for flooding and washout problems after the heavy weekend rainstorm. Heavy flooding hit Buckwalter Road and he recommended a larger pipe be installed to hold the volume of water. Mr. Martin said this should be a shared expense with Schuylkill Township and suggested Mr. Hiller speak with his counterpart in that Township. Mr. Hiller felt that this was a job for both Townships’ Engineers. He also noted Problems on Howell Road and Tinkerhill, due to an accumulation of leaves. Mr. Hiller then addressed the issue of Pikeland Road noting that he had talked to PENNDOT and was informed that the road would be swept. However, at the time of the sweeping, the road was also being striped, so the middle of the road was not swept. Mr. Hiller said he would try to set up a meeting with Mr Tritle of PENNDOT and notify Mr. Kling of the time and place for the inspection of Pikeland Road. A discussion ensued on how much authority the Roadmaster had and Mr. Hiller then requested a written job description defining his authority and exact responsibilities.
Parks & Recreation Board Report: Mark Connolly reported the following items: 1) Chip Downing is leaving the area and the Board is looking for a replacement. Mrs. Ewald requested, for the files, a letter of resignation from Mr. Downing. 2) The primary project is the new soccer field - the current estimate for completion is $25,000. There is a $15,000 grant from the County, the Soccer Club will come up with the balance of $10,000. Mr. Connolly stated that the major portion of the grant money will be used for top soil which will cost over $10,000. He raised the question of the necessity for bids. The Chairman asked Mr. McErlane to advise Mr. Connolly on the matter. 3) Soccer Club has put a new roof on their clubhouse. 4) Soccer Club is proceeding with the BMX area improvement. 5) Paul Hogan has taken on the project of the gates for security purposes. 6) The Parks & Recreation Board recommended doing away with the miniature golf area due to the inability to maintain both the course and the grounds. 7) the Horseshoe Trail placement. Mr. Connolly submitted the Executive and the Biennial Reports with the request to change the Biennial clock to the calendar year.
Fire Marshal’s Report: Mr. Alston submitted a written report on his activities during the month of November which included 3 controlled burnings, 1 chimney and 1 automatic fire alarm, 3 vehicle accidents. Since Rt. #29 has been milled, there have been no accidents reported to the Fire Marshal on that portion of Rt .#29.
Citizens Forum: John DiLello asked why the Township is so interested in keeping the lime operation at the Warner Quarry from closing down. Mrs. Ewald replied that the Quarry had been posed for a major expansion and the Chester County Economic Development Council was asked to explore the reason for the sudden decision to close down this operation. She stated that 60 people had their jobs terminated, some of which were Charlestown residents. Mr. Kling feels that closing this operation would be a blessing because of the lime dust coating the area and the blasting which causes cracks in nearby homes. Mr. Martin stated that lime dust is detrimental to the health and safety of residents and that Mrs. Ewald was entirely out of order in acting on this without the consent of the other two Supervisors. Marcia Solda asked about the status of the Eastwick Plan. Mrs. Ewald stated it was in litigation. Mr. Kling said he felt Mrs. Solda should have an update and began to read the December 3rd letter written to the Supervisors from Fred Fromhold, Esq.. Mrs. Ewald over-ruled Mr. Kling, Mr. Martin declared Mrs. Ewald out of order and, as Vice Chairman, he took over the meeting and read the letter. Mr. McErlane said that the letter is a matter of confusion between Morris Kellett, Esq., and Mr. Fromhold. On another subject, Mr. Martin expressed his concern about the voucher system which has been expanded in PA and entire municipalities can shop themselves to decide which school district they want to go to. He explained that West Pikeland desires to leave the Downingtown School District and become a part of the Great Valley School District, the reason being lower taxes for West Pikeland. The result of this action would be increased taxes for Charlestown residents.
The Chairman brought to the Board’s attention the Indemnification Agreement and the Plans having to do with Bridge #178. The County sent back a Release Form to be approved by the Township and requested the Township to select the designer and architect. Mr. Kling noted that the preliminary drawing is totally deficient in showing the off-site impact of this work. After further discussion, Mr. Kling moved for approval of the concept as indicated by both documents, but before any engineering work is done, the off-site impacts be part of this concept. Mrs. Ewald amended the motion to include the signing of the Release Form and authorize Mr. Kohli to work with the Board. With this amendment, Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The Chairman requested Mr. Kohli to get a copy of the plan that is 98% completed for the next Board meeting.
The next item on the agenda was the Charlestown Hunt. Mr. Martin reported that this plan is bogged down in the Chester County Court. He noted that the first meeting of January, 1994, the Board will have a quorum and can then address all aspects of the Hunt.
The Ordinance revision, having to do with the number of dwellings sharing a common drive, will be advertised for the December 20th meeting of the Board.
At this time, the Stewart Subdivision Preliminary Plan was presented by Gabrielle Procario, Chester Valley Engineers. This plan proposes to divide 33 acres into 5 lots consisting of 4 new lots of approximately four acres each with the remaining lot of approximately 1 7 acres to include the Stewart’s existing home. Mrs. Procario showed the overplan and narrated the following items: 1) use of underground seepage beds for storm water control, 2) the area zoned LI-2 will not be developed, 3) the proposed schematics of each lot. Mr. Kohli requested that the LI-2 area be deed restricted and so noted on the plan. Shared driveways, as recommended by Mr. Churchill and Mr. Comitta, were discussed at length, the Stewarts being much opposed to this. Traffic leading onto Union Hill Road was another issue. In conclusion, the Chairman requested the Stewarts to obtain the Historical Commission’s Report, address the landscaping plan and consider the common drives. The Supervisors will schedule this plan for the December 20th meeting. Mr. Kling stated that he felt the shared common driveways is a very unreasonable request for this plan.
The Accounts Payable were inserted at this point in the meeting by the Chairman who moved for approval with the exception of check #7462, which will be held back subject to review. Mr. Martin seconded the motion, it so carried.
The next item on the agenda was the Schulze Plan. Mr. McErlane reviewed a letter he wrote to Mr. Colagreco which addressed the issues as yet unsettled. The Chairman noted that the Board had just received a copy of the letter and would like time for review. Therefore, she requested Gary Schulze to give a letter of time extension to the Secretary and scheduled the plan for the December 20th Board meeting.
The Chairman introduced the new Resolution setting forth rules and regulations for public comment (citizens forum) as amended, noting that this copy includes rules governing the use of audio and audio/video recording equipment at public meetings. Mr. McErlane reviewed the rules. Mr. Martin stated that item #2 of page #1 should eliminate the word “Chairman” and that item #1 of page #2 sounded unconstitutional and an infringement upon freedom of speech. This matter was tabled until January, 1994.
Cable TV regulation: Mr. McErlane reported that there is legislation which allows municipalities to become FCC-certified to regulate basic tier cable television rates and customer and equipment rates. A brief discussion followed on whether or not the Township should be certified. Mr. Martin asked Mr. McErlane to find out the cost of this process.
The next item on the agenda was a letter from Louis Moskowitz requesting a one year time extension on his Conditional Use for his property on Union Hill Road. Mr. Kling made the motion for approval, Mr. Martin seconded, the motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman brought up the subject of the appointment of an independent auditor. The Chairman asked the Board to support the process which has been professionalized over the past four years by using an independent auditor. Mr. Martin moved for the elected auditors to perform their statutory duties, Mr. Kling seconded the motion. The Chairman requested the minutes to reflect that Messrs. Martin and Kling voted “yea” and Mrs. Ewald voted “nay”. The motion so carried. The Chairman will notify the elected auditors.
Action on the Charlestown Meadows was reported by the Chairman who noted that the Board had met with Charlestown Meadows representatives back in September or October. Since that time, the Board has heard nothing regarding this plan. The Chairman recommended the Supervisors give notice to the applicant that the time limit for this extension should be six months. May 1st should be the date they retheir intention to continue and should be renewed or the plan should be denied for the reasons outlined in the public record. Mr. Kling objected to this action. Mr. Martin suggested the Board give the extension provided that the applicants give the Supervisors a report every six months. Mr. McErlane assured Mrs. Ewald that there was no obligation under the law to take action on this once it is suspended.
Mr. Martin asked when the 911 system would be in effect. Mrs. Ewald responded it is suppose to take effect by the end of the year for the entire County.
Escrow Release #3 for Charlestown Meade was approved by a motion made by Mr. Martin, Mrs. Ewald seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman announced that the Valley Forge Sewer Authority meeting with Partnership municipalities will be held in January. The Authority inquired what dates are agreeable for the three Supervisors to attend. Mrs. Ewald suggested each Supervisor notify Mrs. Buckwalter with the dates open for this meeting.
The Chairman noted that there is a question on the joint maintenance agreement with Schuylkill Township. The primary difference is that Schuylkill Township would be responsible for all maintenance and repairs on Ashenfelter Road and that Charlestown would be responsible for all maintenance and repairs on Buckwalter Road. After a brief discussion, Mrs. Ewald requested Mr. Kohli to take a look at both roads and make a recommendation.
At this time, Mr. McErlane brought up the Rosewood Subdivision Plan. He noted that more than 90 days have passed since this subdivision plan was filed in the Recorder’s office and was recorded without approval of the Township. There is a question of an outstanding bill. Mr. Kling moved for approval, Mrs. Ewald seconded, the motion carried unanimously.
All business completed, Mr. Kling moved to adjourn the meeting. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion. The motion so carried. The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 11:30 pm.