The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, August 1, 1994, at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault.
|Present:||John C. Martin, Jr., Chairman; John B. Sauser, Vice Chairman; Irene W. Ewald, Member; James E. McErlane, Esq.; Ruth W. Buckwalter, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list.|
At 8:05pm, the Chairman called the meeting to order.
Mr. Martin turned the meeting over to Mr. McErlane who opened the Thomas Aquilante Conditional Use Public Hearing. Mr. Robert Kohn, Registered Architect, represented Mr. and Mrs. Aquilante. A Court Recorder took the minutes. At the conclusion of the presentation, Mrs. Ewald said she would like to take this under advisement. Mr. Sauser preferred a determination, perhaps approval at this meeting. Mr. Martin moved for conceptual approval subject to Mr. McErlane’s draft of a written decision to be reviewed by all parties and final decision made at the next Supervisors’ meeting. Mr. Sauser seconded the motion, the motion carried 2 to 1. The Chairman closed the Conditional Use Public Hearing.
The Chairman opened the Board of Supervisors’ meeting.
The Chairman entertained a motion on the July 11, 1994 minutes. Mrs. Ewald questioned the paragraph on page 4 of the minutes regarding the appointed Committee for the deer population issue. Mr. Sauser said that he had contacted Vincent Kling and Ernest Pyle to serve on the Committee formed to assess the situation and review and submit the application. Both gentlemen have agreed to serve. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the July 11, 1994 minutes. The motion was seconded by Mr. Martin and unanimously carried.
Mr. Martin moved for approval of the July 11, 1994 Treasurer’s Report. Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Sauser seconded the motion. Mrs. Ewald noted that the Township was reimbursed $83,123.00 from the Federal Emergency Management Association for snow removal during the past winter. She credited Linda Csete, Township Treasurer, for the outstanding documentation accompanying the application for reimbursement. Mr. Martin agreed that Mrs. Csete did a fantastic job and proposed the Board consider awarding her a bonus. The approval of the Treasurer’s Report carried unanimously.
Mr. Martin moved to approve the August 1, 1994 Accounts Payable. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Ewald and carried unanimously.
Zoning Officer’s Report: no report, Mr. Kohli on vacation
Planning Commission Report: no report. At this time Sarah Peck stated that she had submitted to the office by FAX a time extension to November 7th for the Charlestown Brae Subdivision Plan. Bridge #178 was deferred to the next meeting.
Roadmaster’s Report: the Roadmaster was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.
Fire Marshal’s Report: Mr. Alston submitted his written report of his activities for the month of July. Ten incidents were responded to by the fire companies. Mrs. Ewald added to the report that the accident on Whitehorse Road involving a motorcycle was a fatality, in fact, the third fatality in a year. She noted that the area where this accident occurred is known as a deer crossing and this fact was relayed to the Police for their investigation. Mr. Alston submitted a copy of a Resolution having to do with emergency vehicle highway and bridge restriction exemption. This Resolution would allow any emergency vehicle to take the most direct route to its destination. Mr. Sauser questioned the wisdom of any vehicle using a bridge if that vehicle exceeds the weight limitations. Following a brief discussion, Mrs. Ewald suggested Mr. McErlane draft a re-wording of this Resolution to include fire, road maintenance and National Guard vehicles. The Chairman deferred this matter to the September 12th Board meeting.
Citizens Forum: Lucy Bonnington, President of the Charlestown Historical Society, expressed the appreciation of the Society for the generous check given by the Supervisors for repair and maintenance of the Rapp House. Wendy Kaeck, 119 Charlestown Road, expressed concern about a recent accident at the intersection of Pikeland and Charlestown Roads. She has five children who have to cross Charlestown Road to get on the school bus. She would like to see “stop” signs on Pikeland and Charlestown Roads; a three way “stop” would be ideal. After discussing the traffic problem, Mrs. Ewald asked Mrs. Kaeck to send the Supervisors a letter requesting the signs, this letter to be forwarded to PENNDOT by the Supervisors who would ask PENNDOT to review the intersection and come back with a recommendation. John Hrinkevich gave the history of his project which he started in March and would like to get moving. He asked for some sort of conceptual approval so he can start his driveway. Mrs. Ewald noted that his plan has not been approved by the Planning Commission as yet, nor has he properly submitted his plan according to the Ordinance. Mr. Sauser had some questions regarding the two driveways and brought out the fact that the Township Engineer was on vacation and has not as yet reviewed the plan. Andrew Viscuso, Township Tax Collector, stated that the Great Valley Board of School Directors voted to collect the school property taxes this year instead of having the Township’s elected Tax Collector do the job. Mr. Viscuso sees this as an illegal action and asked the Supervisors to write a letter to the School Directors supporting his position. Mrs. Ewald stated that, as an individual tax payer, she would be glad to write a letter to the Directors in support of Mr. Viscuso. Mr. Sauser would like to have a legal opinion. Mr. Martin would rather the Board of Supervisors did not take a position since the School District is their landlord and they give us a favorable lease rate. He said it was up to individual residents to send letters to the School Board.
Charlestown Brae – John Featherman introduced Dr. and Mrs. Conovers as a possible buyer of the Rebecca Bones site. Janet Baldwin stated that the Historic Commission met with the Conovers and are in favor of their proposal regarding the ruins on site. She added that the Conovers are interested in restoring the springhouse rather than the Bones house. Alternative ways to aid in the restoration/stabilization were discussed. Mr. Featherman requested a date be set for the Conditional Use Hearing for Charlestown Brae. Mr. McErlane suggested the Board get back to Mr. Featherman and Ms. Peck with a suitable date. Referring to his letter of August 1st, Mr. Featherman brought up Resolution #485-94, adopted June 27 by the Board, which addressed the widening of Rees Road. In the letter he protested a further change to the Resolution. After a brief recess to discuss the matter, Mr. Martin moved to approve the compromise as stated in the August 1 letter on page 2 beginning at paragraph 3 and also including the 4 bullets on page 4. Mr. Sauser seconded the motion. Mrs. Ewald opposed the motion stating that she is offended by anyone who throws a document before the Supervisors that night and expects them to make a decision before going over the document. The motion carried by a 2 to 1 vote. (The August 1st letter will be attached to Resolution #485-94 in the Charlestown Brae file.)
The Chairman moved to reschedule the September 5th (Labor Day) Board meeting to September 12. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sauser and so carried. The Secretary was instructed to advertise the change.
Reservations for the Fall County Convention were tabled until the November meeting per Mrs. Ewald’s request.
The next item of business was the deer management report. Mr. Sauser reported on the meeting he attended at Valley Forge Park with Carole Rubley and the Task Force. He informed the Board that both Vincent Kling and Ernest Pyle will serve on the Township’s Ad Hoc Committee and that he also wants to contact Greg Nesspor. The first step, he stated, was to get organized and address what has to be done and assign responsibilities on various issues. Mrs. Ewald stated that there was one problem she is asking the Ad Hoc Committee to address and that is the deer population at the Pyle farm. She has been contacted by the family because the deer have eaten so much of the corn crop that they may not have sufficient to feed their cattle over the winter. She said that legal and health reasons prevent the family from shooting the deer and they request that the Township Board of Supervisors consider designating the Ad Hoc Committee to actively participate in culling the herd. Mr. McErlane was consulted to see if some exception to the Game Commission regulations could be arranged to assist this family. Mr. McErlane will look into the matter. Mrs. Ewald also asked Mr. McErlane to find out what the penalties are for violating the regulations and simply sending someone in to do the job. She feels that the Township should have the authority to take action where appropriate.
Breakfast with the Chester County Chamber of Commerce will be attended by Mr. Sauser. To date, he has been unable to contact them.
The Chairman reported that the Zoning Hearing Board came up with a decision on Environtest Partners which he believes might be contrary to what the Township Engineer recommended. Following a discussion, Mrs. Ewald moved to appeal the decision. The motion was seconded by Mr. Martin. Mr. Sauser opposed. The motion carried on a 2 to 1 vote.
The next item before the Board was the development of Charlestown Highlands (formerly Charlestown Meadows) by John Panizza. Mrs. Ewald informed Mr. Panizza that she would like to see the concept of the Meadows pursued, i.e. the PRD concept. (At this time the Chairman reported that the Supervisors met in private session with Messrs. Kohli, McErlane, Oeste and Churchill on Tuesday, July 12 at 8:00am to get legal advice for the purpose of considering the pros and cons of re-zoning the Charlestown Highland property). Mrs. Ewald further informed Mr. Panizza that if he plans to pursue the Meadows Plan, he is not currently the Applicant, therefore the letter he sent requesting certain considerations should be done in a plan application process. Mrs. Ewald read a letter from Adwin which documented Mr. Panizza as being part of their team. She then requested Mr. Panizza to give the Supervisors a similar letter documenting the Meadows Plan as his plan and withdraw the present plan. Mrs. Ewald made the motion that the concept of the Meadows plan be the way in which this plan proceeds as opposed to other options previously presented. Mr. Martin seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously. Further discussion was held regarding new plan submission, waivers, sewers, public meetings and public hearings.
An Hazardous Material Ordinance submitted by the Fire Marshal was considered by the Supervisors. Mr. Sauser commented that the tone of the proposed Ordinance is too heavy handed and does not allow much protection for individual and property rights. He reviewed some of his questions on the various sections of the Ordinance. After further questions to Mr. Alston, Mrs. Ewald urged the Board to adopt the Ordinance as presented. A lengthy discussion followed. The Chairman deferred the Ordinance to September.
Conditional Use Hearing for John Hrinkevich and the Charlestown Brae are scheduled for September 19th. Mr. McErlane will advertise the Hearings.
The Fire Control Ordinance, written and submitted to the Board by the Fire Marshal, was reviewed. The key issues are the burning of leaves and the violation fine. The Chairman tabled the Ordinance until the September 12th meeting.
Mr. Sauser reported he followed up with the Fish Commission who replied that if the Supervisors can get an application in to the Commission, they will do what is necessary at the field office level and get it to the next meeting of the Commissioners in time to begin a stocking program next fall. Mrs. Ewald stated she thought most of the Township was adamantly opposed to this. Mr. Sauser moved to have the Supervisors write a letter to the Fish Commission authorizing them to stock a section of Pickering Creek running through the Township property with the following provisions in the approval: 1) that they have a 1 to 2 year period, at the Township’s election, 2) that they make no improvements in and around the area of fishing, 3) if the Township elects, at the end of the 1st or 2nd year, they will then be given an extended period, which will be negotiated, for some given improvements such as parking areas and so forth. After this time, the Fish Commission will want a lock-in before making any investment. Mr. Martin seconded the motion. Mrs. Ewald was strongly opposed to the motion. The Secretary called the roll on the vote: Mr. Sauser - aye, Mr. Martin - aye, Mrs. Ewald voted against it for the following reasons: 1) it is irresponsible in terms of the deed restrictions on that property, 2) the sense of the community at that last meeting was adamantly opposed to it, 3) that there are no provisions for toilet or parking and that will be imposed upon a very natural pristine setting or in the back or front yards of people who live adjacent, 4) she absolutely does not agree with the representation that somehow a better class of people will be coming in. The motion carried by a 2 to 1 vote.
Mr. McErlane related the following items of business for the Supervisors attention: 1) Charlestown Hunt wants to make some minor changes and have submitted 1 set of 6 sheets of the plan to him. 2) He needs an official Resolution for the Recorder of Deeds to accept the van Vliet’s Deed of Dedication to be recorded. 3) Charlestown Oaks CREW appeal - CREW took an appeal to the Commonwealth Court from the decision of throwing them out of court. Mr. McErlane wants to confirm that we are not participating in the appeal and must file a letter with the court.
Mr. Martin moved to adopt Resolution # 488-94 accepting the Deed of Dedication of Steven and Helena van Vliet for right-of-ways for Mine, Whitehorse, Union Hill and Tinkerhill Roads. Mr. Sauser seconded the motion. Mrs. Ewald opposed because she did not have the opportunity to read the documents. The motion carried 2 to 1.
The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 12:30am.