The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 5, 1995 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John C. Martin, Jr., Chairman, John B. Sauser, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary and those on the attached attendee list.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M.


There were four announcements, beginning with Mr. Martin stating that Joseph Ryan, attorney for the Altemoses, filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Common Pleas on June 2, 1995.

He also announced that the next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held at the Charlestown Elementary School at 7:30 P.M. Thursday, June 15, 1995 to hold the Comcast/Metrophone Conditional Use Hearing and to handle any other matters if needed. There will be no meeting on June 19, 1995.

Mrs. Ewald stated that she attended the Phoenixville Chamber of Commerce seminar on transportation to which PennDOT was invited, stating that there were approximately 60 people present. The Mont Clare Bridge restoration was discussed in detail along with other matters, and she commended the Chamber on their interest in these issues.

Mr. Sauser announced that PECO is donating two crimson maple trees to the Township in cooperation with National Arbor Day and arrangements have now been made for them to be planted at the park with a dedication ceremony to follow.

The Chairman moved to approve the minutes of May 1, 1995. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the minutes of May 22, 1995. Mr. Sauser so moved. Mr. Martin seconded and the motion carried.

The Chairman moved to approve the May 1995 Treasurer’s Report. Mrs. Ewald seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the June 5, 1995 Accounts Payable. Mrs. Ewald so moved. The motion was seconded by Mr. Martin and carried unanimously.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli referred to a letter from Joseph Eastwick, owner of a 3.8 acre property on Sycamore Lane, for which he requested a waiver from the 4 acre minimum requirement for permitting a horse. He requested that his non-conforming use be grandfathered since the prospective buyer of the property wishes to continue the use. Although the barn had not been used to stable a horse for the past two years, Mr. Eastwick stated that this was due to refurbishing the barn and was not his intention to abandon the use. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the non-conforming use for one horse only. Mr. Martin seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Kohli will send a letter notifying Mr. Eastwick of the decision.

Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #1 as stated in Mr. Kohli’s letter of 5/30/95. Mr. Sauser seconded, and all were in favor.

Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #1 as stated in Mr. Kohli’s letter of 5/30/95. Mr. Sauser seconded, and two were in favor.

Mr. Kohli stated that a wall has been constructed on the Boucher property on Mine Road which extends into the right of way and presents a danger to motorists as well as causing difficulty and potential damage to road equipment such as snow plows. The Chairman said that the Board will visit the site and come to a decision at the June 15, 1995 meeting.

Mr. Kohli stated that Realen Homes is requesting a sequencing delay for Charlestown Hunt, namely, that the emergency access road onto Broadwater Lane would be constructed later in Phase I than previously indicated due to the time needed to resolve a legal issue involving this access road traversing private property for which no easement was previously obtained. Mr. Oeste stated that according to the settlement stipulation, the road must be completed before Phase I ends. Mr. Kohli stated that no Use & Occupancy permits would be issued prior to its completion. Mr. Connolly identified himself as the litigant involved with this issue and reviewed the status of his negotiations with Realen Homes Inc.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Churchill was not in attendance.

Roadmaster’s Report:

Mr. Hiller reported that during the month of May, the majority of items listed on the Spring Road Tour report were achieved with the exception of the paving projects to be determined later. Numerous missing signs were replaced, and he is currently looking into the installation of signs reading “Not a Through Road” with specified times posted. Potholes have been filled. The first roadside mowing was completed in early May, and the second mowing will begin shortly. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Kohli to give a cost estimate on widening and paving Green Lane between the bridge and the widened area to see if it can be included with the Liquid Fuels projects. She also noted that Maryhill Road is in poor condition and should be considered for paving as well.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reviewed his May Report. During May there were three vehicle accidents, 1 field and woods fire which consumed 7 acres and is currently under investigation, and 2 fumes and smoke fires. Mr. Alston stated that the lack of proper addressing was again an issue this month.

Mr. Martin referred to the May 25th correspondence received from the Chester County Association of Township Officials regarding Act 45 requiring the ambulance company closest to a call respond to that call. He suggested that the Board and Mr. Alston review the matter further and discuss it at a later time.

Parks & Recreation Report:

Mark Connolly announced that an extensive spring clean-up was performed at the Revolutionary War Cemetery including the first application of poison ivy control. He requested guidance from the Board on a maintenance plan, indicating that he believed 8 cuts at approximately $200.00 each would be the best blending of value and aesthetics since regular attention to the grounds translates into easier mowing and less wear on the equipment.

At Charlestown Park, he requested that the Board contact the Valley Forge Christian College and attempt a cooperative effort in maintaining the picnic area. He said that much of the mowing at the park is now being handled by volunteers. Mr. Martin suggested that Mr. Connolly direct the maintenance of this area until the VFCC can be contacted.

Mr. Martin asked about the status of the new soccer field project approved by the county for inclusion in their Round VI 50/50 grant program. Mr. Connolly stated that the matching funds campaign undertaken by the Soccer Club is on target and that the project is in the engineering phase with earth moving expected in August. Mrs. Ewald referred to a nearby field that was sodded instead of seeded at a reasonable price. This field was ready for play much sooner than a seeded field would have been. Mr. Connolly said he will check into this possibility. Although the Round VII grant program is underway, Mr. Connolly said that no project is being considered to submit to the county.

Mr. Connolly reported that he repaired two swings on the Playground in March, but that two are missing. He offered his time in installing new swings if the Township would cover the cost of equipment only. He stated that Bill Jones has distributed the wood chips left by PECO under the swings on the playground, which the Phoenixville Area Recreation Department had requested be moved. Mr. Hiller stated his concern that these chips don’t meet safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission which requires double shredded mulch. The Board will review the original specifications regarding maintenance and safety requirements included in the grant proposal to the County that funded the playground construction. Mr. Martin asked about the condition of the wood in the playground equipment, and Mr. Hiller stated that water sealing is necessary to prevent splintering. Mr. Martin asked about a problem reported to the office on June 2, 1995 regarding slats on the playhouse roof being too far apart, and Mr. Hiller stated that he took care of the situation on the day of the call.

Mr. Connolly reported that Liz Anderson, a Parks & Rec Board member, is currently working on a plan to connect the open space via trail to the Nature Center. He then invited the Board and residents to attend the Parks and Recreation Board meetings held at 7:30 P.M. on the 4th Monday of the month at the park.

With regard to Paul Hogan’s May 2, 1995 letter of resignation from the Parks and Recreation Board, Mrs. Ewald stated that she refuses to accept his resignation.

Mr. Martin made a motion to change the July meeting from the 3rd to the 10th in order to allow a long Independence Day weekend. Mr. Sauser seconded , and the motion carried.

Mr. Kohli distributed the road bids that he reviewed following the May 1, 1995 meeting and recommended that as they were all in order that the bids be awarded to the lowest bidders in each of the three categories. Mr. Martin moved to accept Glasgow Inc.’s bid for stone. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Martin moved to accept Glasgow Inc.’s bid for bituminous material, FOB plant. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried . Mr. Martin moved to accept Delaware Valley Paving Company’s bid for labor and equipment. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

Citizens’ Forum

John DiLello raised a number of questions concerning the cost of maintenance at Charlestown Park. He questioned the Township’s obligation to have a park that is used extensively by non-residents and stated his opinion that the park is unaffordable. Mr. Martin responded that the township does have a 30 year obligation to use the land for outdoor recreation as part of the agreement when the VFAH vacated the site in 1977 and distributed several parcels, one of which was granted to Charlestown Township and is now the Park. He further stated that all improvements at the park have been done with grant money and matching funds raised privately by the Phoenixville Area Soccer Club, leaving maintenance as the main expense to the township. Mr. Martin also noted that the park serves as a buffer for the residents at the northern portion of the township. Mrs. Ewald stated that with the Open Space Plan adopted in 1991, the township is required to have both passive and active open space, with the passive open space totaling 100 acres. She commended Mr. Martin for his part in the creation of the park and his creativity in making it what it is today. She also pointed out that countless volunteers have donated thousands of hours both in performing actual maintenance work at the park and in fundraising activities.

Michael Main was present along with Thomas Main and Joe DiBella for a presentation of the Whitehorse Meadows final plan to subdivide 87 acres into 11 lots located off Whitehorse Road. The lots range between 2 acres and 3 acres each, with the exception of Lot 11, which consists of 55 acres and is slated for further subdivision in the future. This later development of Lot 11 would require an access onto Howell Road, for which an agreement has been reached with the Robinsons granting this access and is presently in the hands of the attorneys. The Homeowners’ Documents are also being drawn up at this time and they will be provided to the township. Mr. Oeste noted that maintenance of the common roadway and stormwater management must be detailed in these documents, which should be separate from the documents created for the future Lot 11 subdivision. Mr. Main addressed the waiver on the plan for a 1,027.5 ft. cul-de-sac which exceeds the maximum length of 1,000 feet. A second waiver involved a 3:1 grading slope instead of the required 2:1 slope along the new road in order to align the curb cut of the road with the optimal sight distance onto Whitehorse Road. Mr. Kohli stated that third waiver which would allow Lot 11’s delineation of steep slopes and net lot area calculations to be submitted with the Lot 11 subdivision application.

Mrs. Ewald asked whether the township Historical Commission had reviewed the site, and Mr. Main responded that since there are no structures on the property, they had not been involved. Mr. Kohli stated that the Planning Module includes a submission to the Historical Commission in Harrisburg, which will direct the Applicant in the event that historical artifacts are discovered on the site.

Mrs. Ewald asked about the disposition of the wetlands on the property, and Mr. Main responded that their consultant, Del Val Soil and the Army Corp of Engineers are in agreement that the wetlands are properly delineated. He further stated that there is no intrusion on the wetlands by the cul de sac road or, on Lot 11, by the intended cul de sac road to be proposed in the future.

Mrs. Ewald asked whether there are equestrian trails and if their maintenance can be incorporated into the plan as part of the approval. Mr. Main stated that any trails are situated on Lot 11 and he would consider the request at the time a plan was submitted for further subdivision of this tract. Mrs. Ewald stated that she believes there are in fact trails on Lots 1 through 10 and Mr. Main agreed to check into it. Mr. Martin voiced his disagreement with requiring the provision of equestrian trails.

Mr. Martin moved to approve the final plan for Whitehorse Meadows and the granting of the 6 waivers listed on page 6 of 14 including four waivers regarding the steep slopes and wetlands on Lot 11, a waiver for the cul-de-sac which exceeds the maximum length; and a waiver of the 2:1 slope requirement for the access road. The approval is to be conditional upon the placement of a note on page 12 of 16 and the title sheets stating that this subdivision does not indicate approved development of Lot 11 beyond that shown on the plans and further subject to the preparation and submission of homeowners documents and the creation of a homeowners’ association acceptable to the township and the township solicitor. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion, and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Resolution #497-95 for Plan Revision for New Land Development for Whitehorse Meadows. Mr. Martin seconded, and all were in favor.

A brief discussion was held regarding an ordinance changing the speed limit on Mary Hill Road from 35 MPH to 25 MPH, and it was determined that such an ordinance could not be passed since the traffic study didn’t support the change.

Greg Souder and Bob Plucienik of Chester Valley Engineers presented the S.G. Souder revised final plan for a 65 acre 6 lot subdivision off Charlestown Road. The revision reflected the consolidation of 3 of the 8 lots into a single lot under agreement of sale to the Great Valley School District. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the revised final plan. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

All business was completed at 11:05 P.M. Mr. Martin moved to adjourn the meeting, Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary