The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 12, 1994, at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault.
|Present:||John C. Martin, Jr., Chairman; John B. Sauser, Vice Chairman; Irene W. Ewald, Member; Surender S. Kohli, P.E.; Thomas F. Oeste, Esq.; Ruth W. Buckwalter, Secretary; those on the attached list of attendees and others who chose not to sign the list.|
At 8:05pm, the Chairman called the meeting to order.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the August 1, 1994 minutes. Mrs. Ewald so moved, Mr. Martin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the August 1994 Treasurer’s Report. Mrs. Ewald so moved, Mr. Martin seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
The Chairman asked if there were any additions or corrections to the September 12, 1994 Accounts Payable. Mrs. Ewald stated that check #7751, made out to the Attorney for the Zoning Hearing Board, must be paid but that she would like to write a letter to Mr. Hagner expressing disappointment in his performance regarding the Envirotest Partners decision. With that provision, Mrs. Ewald moved for approval of the September 12, 1994 Accounts Payable. The motion was seconded by Mr. Martin and unanimously carried.
Zoning Officer’s Report: Mr. Kohli submitted his written report of permits issued during August, 1994. Other items would be discussed later on the agenda.
Announcements: Mrs. Ewald had 5 announcements: 1) Aug.6 - she attended the retirement dinner for State Police Trooper Gene Biagiatti who was the liaison between the State Police and Charlestown Township. 2) Aug.13 & 14 - 2 tornado hits in the Township, the tornado hit of the 13th was classified as an FI tornado (wind force between 80 & 90 mph) which prompted the County Emergency Services. Mrs. Ewald commended all the volunteers who manned the stations for 2 days. 3) Aug. paving of Sidley Hill Road revealed that the road going up to the Turnpike communication tower was creating a lot of siltation into Township drainage pipes. The Turnpike Commission has agreed to mill the road to stabilize it. 4) Mrs. Ewald attended State Committee meetings and noted that one issue the public should be aware of is the proposed concept of electing state judges by “districts” as opposed to “at large”. 5)
Mrs. Ewald attended the opening of the PMYC season.
Planning Commission Report: The Planning Commission did not meet during the month of August. Mr. Oeste read the Planning Commission’s agenda for September 13.
Mr. Martin reported Representative Carole Rubley will be holding a Town Meeting at the Charlestown Elementary School on Thursday, October 6. Emission testing is on the agenda. Mr. Sauser will attend. Mrs. Ewald reported that she spoke to Mrs. Rubley by phone and told her that bringing in the people from Envirotest to present to the Township emission testing at a time when the Board has this case under appeal was in very poor taste. Mr. Martin reported that another issue to be presented at this meeting is the employer trip reduction program which basically states that if you work for a group of 100 or more people, you must car-pool. Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Martin are in agreement on opposing both of these issues.
Roadmaster’s Report: Mr. Hiller reviewed and submitted his written report of activities for July/August. Buckwalter Road, Green Lane and Sidley Hill Road were paved. Roads were cleaned up after the tornados including state roads. The Roadmaster met with Delaware Paving and John Fetterman to discuss the drainage problem at Tyrone and Marian Roads. Mr. Kohli said he understood Mr. Fetterman prefers an inlet placed rather than a trench drain. Mr. Kohli will get prices for both types of drainage. It was noted that Tinkerhill Road does not appear on PENNDOT maps. Mr. Kohli submitted his estimate for paving Tinkerhill Road. Mr. Martin addressed the problem of a large hole at Ravenhill and Township Line Roads. Mr. Kohli said that a guardrail is needed there. Mr. Hiller will contact PENNDOT about this matter. The drainage problem at Oak Lane was discussed. Mr. Hiller stated he tried to contact the person who made the complaint but was unable to speak with him. Mrs. Ewald said she would write a letter. Road sign replacements were discussed, Mrs. Ewald referring in particular to the Bodine and Valley Hill Roads area where stripping road signs is prevalent. Mr. Kohli will be in touch with Jack Loew regarding the missing sign at Whitehorse Road and Rt.#29. Mr. Martin spoke to the Roadmaster about the gate to the Township property being unlocked. Mr. Hiller will get in touch with Delaware Paving asking them to remind their crew to lock the gates.
The next item discussed was the Township’s Certificates of Deposit for the Phoenixville Pike improvement. Linda Csete, Township Treasurer, stated that T-Bills offer a slightly better interest at this time. The Supervisors asked Mrs. Csete to check out rates for both in time for the September 19th Board meeting.
Fire Marshal’s Report: Mr. Alston submitted his written report listing 72 incidents in the Township, most of them directly related to the tornados. He reported that since PENNDOT milled the hairpin curve on Rt.#29 there have been no accidents due to wet roads until last Friday night. One accident has been reported since then compared to sixty reported accidents last year.
Citizens Forum: Tina Daly called attention to Lincoln Road which is turning into a dumping ground. Other roads in the Township were also cited for trash problems. The Chairman authorized the Roadmaster to clean up these areas. Tom Alleva again stressed to the Supervisors that he did not want to see either side of Rees Road altered at the location of his property. Elaine Harrington stated that the Charlestown Highlands site is again having a problem with mini bikes, bikes on trailers, beer parties, bon-fires and trash dumping. She requested the Supervisors notify the property owners and request the property be cleaned up, posted for no-trespassing and install a fence. Mrs. Ewald advised Mrs. Harrington to have her Homeowners Association write a letter to PECO, who owns the property, and mail it to the Township. The Supervisors will forward that letter with a cover letter from the Township. Mrs. Harrington also requested a flashing sign be installed at Rt. #401 and Newcomen Road. Mr. Kohli pointed out that PENNDOT will have to give approval but the Township will have to pay the cost. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Martin to write the letter to PENNDOT, Mr. Martin agreed to so do. Bob and Debbie Kenney, 230 Mine Road, asked for clarification on the Zoning Ordinance regarding the new house being built next door to them. He complained of all the trees being taken down contrary to the Rolling Meadows Subdivision Plan approval. Mr. Kohli reviewed the plan Mr. Kenney showed and said there was no violation. Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Kohli will meet with the Kenneys at the site. Bob Devlin asked the Board if anything was scheduled on the LauraBrooke plan. Mr. Oeste said another argument is scheduled for November 17th. Mr. Sauser noted that the Solicitor for the Township filed for dismissal because the applicant did not file the brief within the specified period.
The Chairman announced that the Valley Forge Christian College is holding a meeting with Township representatives on Tuesday, September 20th to bring an up-to-date report on their plans for refurbishment.
Parks & Recreation Board: Mark Connolly submitted two copies of the grant application form that he filed with the County. He reported that the Soccer Club has offered to pay the Township’s portion of the grant application and has presented a reseeding plan for the new soccer field which will commence this month. The Board is considering expanding the lower parking lot. PMYC has offered to do a complete tree maintenance project. Signs to direct traffic to the playing fields are needed and Mr. Connolly asked the Supervisors to address the issue of using the Township Line road entrance. Mrs. Ewald stated that this was the only entrance owned by the Township. Mr. Connolly reported that Paul Hogan has offered to lay out and direct volunteer efforts in placing barriers throughout the park due to unwanted traffic driving through 24 hours a day. Reporting on the eagle scout foot-bridge crossing of the Pickering Creek in the open space area, Mr. Connolly said nothing is left but the deck. At this time, Mr. Connolly said he had been informed that action had been taken on the PA Fish Commission. He noted that the Parks & Rec Board’s efforts and their charter has been questioned in that the Supervisors never consulted his Board on the issue. A lengthy discussion ensued.
The Chairman moved on to the subject of Bridge #178. Mr. Oeste reported he talked to Robert Elicker, County Solicitor, and that basically the County’s objection is that since they are bidding the project they don’t feel anyone else should have the authority to approve specifications. However, he said, the County Engineering Department is willing to have the Township involved in every stage of the project. Mr. Oeste has taken their agreement and penciled in a few changes which he asked the Board to look over. Mrs. Ewald has seen the changes and finds them acceptable. Mr. Kohli commented on the project and Mr. Oeste was asked to put these comments in the agreement and circulate it for the signatures of the Supervisors.
The Chairman asked Mr. Aquilante if he read and is satisfied with the decision regarding his property. Mr. Aquilante said yes. Mr. Martin moved to approve the letter of September 12th addressing the Conditional Use Application of Mr. Thomas Aquilante and granting such Conditional Use subject to the conditions stated. Mrs. Ewald so moved, Mr. Sauser seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
The three Ordinances on the agenda were tabled until the October 3rd meeting.
Charlestown Brae: The Chairman scheduled the Conditional Use Public Hearing for September 19th. Mrs. Ewald noted that a time extension to November 7 was submitted for this plan. It was noted that there is a septic system on the Brae property which belongs to the neighboring house. This will be resolved at the public hearing.
Mr. Martin moved for approval of the Merriwether Escrow Release #1. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Ewald and carried unanimously.
The Merriwether Escrow Release #2 was tabled until the next meeting in order for the Board to have the opportunity to review the document.
The deer issue was briefly discussed. Mrs. Ewald noted that we are approaching the hunting season so the Pyle family will make their own arrangements to have their land hunted.
Bell Atlantic requested the Board’s permission to install an helipad. The Chairman noted that they had made this request a year ago. Mrs. Ewald recalled that at that time Bell Atlantic was advised to use the Keystone helipad less than 4 miles from their building. It is the consensus of the Board that the request be opposed. Mr Sauser suggested they seek other alternatives within the corporate area that would service the entire Great Valley Corporate Center. Mrs. Ewald added that a Bell Atlantic helipad would be very close to two schools. Mr. Martin stated for the record that by unanimous decision the Board of Supervisors refused Bell Atlantic’s request for a helipad. Mr. Martin will notify Bell Atlantic of the Board’s decision.
Valley Forge Sewer Authority: The Chairman reported that Mr. Bateman, VFSA, had called and said that without the Pre-treatment Ordinance, the VFSA cannot bring any type of criminal actions. Mr. Kohli questioned the penalty section and would like to consult with Mr. Oeste on the matter. The Ordinance was deferred to the Oct. 3rd meeting. Another item discussed was road maintenance over sewer trenches. The VFSA wants to adopt a state standard which is a 2 year maximum maintenance requirement. Mrs. Ewald reported that there is a sink-hole on Pine Drive which seems to be located between two manholes. Mr. Martin reported that Vincent G. Kling,Sr., the Township’s representative on the VFSA Board, has not been attending the meetings. It was decided that Mr. Martin would contact Mr. Kling before appointing a replacement.
The next item was the request for a Zoning Hearing on a Bed and Breakfast proposal at Whitehorse and Ashenfelter Roads. Mr. Kohli read from the Zoning Ordinance the section which defines “Bed and Breakfast”. The Board was unanimous that this was not a permitted use. Mr. Oeste was authorized to represent the Supervisors at the hearing.
Open Space Park Grant: The Chairman reported that this was applied for over a year ago to purchase the Baughman Farm. The seller is not interested in selling the property. Therefore, the Township needs to turn back the money to the County. This was accomplished by Resolution #489-94. Mr. Martin moved for approval, Mr. Sauser seconded the motion, Mrs. Ewald opposed. The motion carried by a 2 to 1 vote.
Mrs. Ewald reported that the Chiccino family would prefer a shade tree be planted in memory of Margaret Chiccino, a former Township Secretary. Mrs. Ewald will consult with the family on a date for the planting ceremony.
Revolutionary War Cemetery: Mr. Martin briefed the Board on the condition of the oak tree at the cemetery. In addition, a large evergreen tree is growing into the oak tree. Robert Duncan inspected the oak tree and said it is a very healthy tree despite some damage. It was suggested that the shade tree in memory of Mrs. Chiccino replace the evergreen tree. The Great Valley Presbyterian Church, owner of the cemetery, the Chiccino family, the Churchill family and the Parks & Rec. Board need to be notified before action can be taken.
The lease with the Great Valley Nature Center for the Township office was approved for a 6 month renewal. Mr. Martin moved to approve the renewal, Mr. Sauser seconded the motion, Mrs. Ewald abstained from voting. The motion carried 2 to 1.
The salt specifications will be prepared by Mr. Kohli for the September 19th meeting. Mrs. Ewald noted that the bid should include any overages that the Township might need.
The Building Permit extension requests were granted to those whose permits had expired before their projects were completed.
Rosewood Farm Escrow Release #7: Mrs. Ewald reported she had several complaints from homeowners in this subdivision claiming they were not aware that some of the things being done on their property were required. Mr. Kohli replied that the only thing being done was the road on the road property and the trees to be planted on the road right-of-way.
Michael Morgan showed the Supervisors a subdivision plan entitles Baily’s Hunt. Mr. Kohli stated that this plan is in West Pikeland, there is no proposed construction for the small portion of ground in Charlestown Township. A note will be added on the plan stating this fact.
Wyndham Lane residents want to know when the road is going to be paved. Mr. Kohli stated he has a meeting with the developer and the road work should be completed in the next 2 weeks.
The next item for discussion was Charlestown Hunt. The Chairman noted that this case is now before Judge Wood and therefore the Township has no authority at this time. Mr. Kohli reported the Hunt is asking for changes in the site plan and they also want to put a sales trailer on the property.
The contribution to the State Police Camp Cadet was discussed. Mrs. Ewald reported that this year two of the major contributors were unable to support the program due to financial losses. Her recommendation to the Board was that in honor of Gene Biagiatti’s retirement the Supervisors make a one time contribution in the amount of $5,000. Mr. Sauser does not feel it is incumbent upon government to be in philanthropic endeavors. The matter was deferred to the next meeting. Mr. Oeste was requested to obtain information on the Camp Cadet financial status.
Mr. Sauser reported on two items: 1) he attended the Breakfast meeting of the Chester County Transportation Group. Lee Whitmore put together a report. The major topic of discussion was about implementing and, with costs, the municipalities boundaries which involved Rts. #100, #113 and #30. Although this does not effect Charlestown, it will eventually take in Rt. #29 and the Great Valley Corporate Center. The program will be totally computerized. The Secretary was asked to make a copy of Mr. Whitmore’s report for each Supervisor. 2) Steve Raider, PECO Energy, spoke with Mr. Sauser regarding the installation of new lines coming from Three Ponds to Devault. Mr. Sauser informed him that all property owners must be notified before PECO begins any tree trimming or tree taking and that easements must be obtained before poles are placed on private properties.
Mrs. Ewald declared the meeting adjourned - 11:25pm.