The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, July 10, 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. Mr. Sauser arrived at approximately 8:40 P.M.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:05 P.M.


There were no announcements.

The Chairman moved to approve the minutes of June 5, 1995. Mrs. Ewald seconded and the motion carried.

The Chairman moved to approve the minutes of June 15, 1995. Mrs. Ewald seconded and the motion carried.

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

The Chairman entertained a motion to approve the July 10, 1995 Accounts Payable. Mrs. Ewald so moved. The motion was seconded by Mr. Martin and the motion carried.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli reported that construction has been moving ahead at the Charlestown Hunt and Charlestown Brae sites. With regard to Charlestown Hunt, Mr. Martin asked how the additional $75,000 in building permits and use & occupancy fees, determined in 1987, would be recalculated for the present time. Mr. Oeste said they would be recalculated in current dollars, depending on when each unit is finished, and paid to the township on a prorated basis as each use & occupancy permit is issued. Mr. Kohli discussed with Bob Dwyer the question of the Broadwater Lane emergency access. Mr. Dwyer agreed with the understanding that no certificates of occupancy and therefore no settlements can take place before the emergency access is constructed. Mrs. Ewald asked for the status of a home being built on Green Lane without a building permit. Mr. Kohli responded that after notification, work has stopped and the owner has not yet submitted a permit. Mr. Martin mentioned the Nature Center’s interest in building a 6 to 10 foot high boardwalk type structure for observation purposes and asked what would be required. Mr. Kohli said a building permit would not be required but that the plans should be reviewed for structural safety purposes.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Churchill was not in attendance.

Parks and Recreation Report:

Mr. Connolly was not in attendance.

Roadmaster’s Report:

Mr. Hiller reported that the 2nd roadside mowing took place in June, and that signs have been replaced and potholes repaired throughout the township. Downed trees and hanging vines were removed where needed. Two drains were re-constructed along Buckwalter Road and grading has been done on Wells Road with the leveling course put down on one side. Maryhill and Crestvu Roads were prepped and paved. Green Lane is scheduled to be paved next upon notification of those residents whose properties will be affected by the road widening. It has yet to be determined whether all work can be done within the right-of-way or whether some easements will be needed. Mrs. Baldwin supplied a partial list of the residents in question. Paving of Blackberry Lane will be postponed until the costs associated with the Green Lane project can be determined.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reviewed his June Report. During June there was one vehicle accident. Precipitation was 3” below normal in June and 8” below normal for the year. Mr. Alston stressed that it is dangerous to burn at this time, and that extreme care must be taken with any permitted burning.

Citizen’s Forum:

Nicholas Fiore asked when work is to begin on the Phoenixville Pike intersection. Mr. Kohli stated that he is working with PennDOT and that a May meeting brought up a number of utility related questions that will require another plan revision on which he is now working. He has requested of PennDOT that the project be put out for bid this construction season. Mr. Martin stated that Mrs. D’Ambrosio, a Sidley Hill resident who had called the township office, was not present but wished to discuss the speed limit on her road after she discovered that since there are no signs the speed limit is considered to be 55 MPH, a rate that she believes to be excessive. Mr. Kohli said that since it is a residential road, signs at 35 MPH can be posted without a speed study being necessary. Mrs. Ewald stated that also on Sidley Hill Road, the entrance to the turnpike tower has not yet been paved and is damaging the road. She asked Mr. Hiller to check with the PA Turnpike foreman about it.

Charlestown Hunt Phase I Plan Revision:

Bob Dwyer of Realen Homes was present to submit a plan to reduce the number of units in Building 7 from six to four. He stated that he received Mr. Kohli’s review letter and agrees to all conditions. Mr. Kohli reminded the Board that the two end units on the original six unit building are one story flats which are counted as apartments by the state. By removing these two units, the apartment mix is reduced. Mr. Dwyer stated that they are attempting to accommodate the real estate market which now demands higher end, larger townhouses. Mrs. Ewald stated that after consulting with the township solicitor, she may participate in all discussions relative to Charlestown Hunt and raise any issues she wishes, but will not vote. Mrs. Ewald made it clear that she will not vote on any individual issue unless Realen’s attorney waives his objection entirely and allows her to vote on all issues. At this time, Mr. Sauser arrived and a brief review was undertaken of the previous discussion. Mr. Martin moved to approve the Charlestown Hunt Phase I Plan Revision dated 5/31/95 subject to Mr. Kohli’s letter of 6/13/95. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.

Charlestown Hunt Fencing:

Mr. Dwyer related Realen Homes’ interest in substituting a vinyl fencing material for the wood fencing shown in the plans. He stated that this material was unavailable when the project was first undertaken, and they now wish to take advantage of what they feel is a better material. Although the vinyl siding is more expensive than wood, it is maintenance free. Mr. Martin stated that this request is basically a field change request, which should go through the review process beginning with the Planning Commission.

Charlestown Hunt Billing Issue:

The Board agreed to credit Realen Homes with four hours of engineering time charged to his project that related to Sycamore Lane and PSW issues after Mr. Dwyer brought the charges to the township’s attention in a letter to the Secretary last month.

September Meeting Date:

Since the first Monday of September is Labor Day, Mr. Martin moved to change the September meeting to the 11th instead of the 4th. Mr. Sauser seconded, and all were in favor.

VFSA Regional Act 537 Plan:

Mr. Martin referred to Joe Bateman’s letter of June 14, 1995 requesting the designation of an individual from the township as a representative in the Regional Act 537 Plan process. The representative would have to attend two or three meetings per month during the work day for a six to eight month period. Mr. Martin suggested that he speak with the two Charlestown members of the six member VFSA board to see if one of them is able to attend. Mr. Kohli said he would be willing to attend if needed.

Ruth Buckwalter:

Mr. Martin suggested that the Board plan to make a presentation to Mrs. Buckwalter during one of the fall meetings to commemorate her years of service to the Township.

Nature Center Lease:

Mr. Martin noted that the lease for office space rental with the Great Valley Nature Center expires on Oct. 31, 1995 and has been extended in the past for six month intervals. Mr. Martin moved to extend the current lease to April 30, 1996 with the same terms and conditions applying. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Legal Assistance Program:

Mr. Martin referred to a letter dated June 15, 1995 from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Officials, which described its new legal assistance program for assisting with the legal costs of individual townships on matters with statewide impact for a fee of $50.00 per year. After some discussion, it was decided that Mr. Martin would contact PSATS for clarification of the letter, which was written in somewhat vague language.

House Bill 702:

Mr. Martin referred to a letter dated June 14, 1995 from Carole Rubley’s office which accompanied proposed changes to the 2nd Class Township Code and requested a response. After some discussion, the Board decided that Mr. Martin would write a response indicating some concern over Item #2 which deals with the decriminalization of ordinance violations, believing it would make them more difficult to enforce.

Auction of General Store:

Mr. Martin said that the auction is scheduled for July 25, 1995. Mrs. Ewald suggested the Board contact the auctioneer and request that any bidders be aware that this property is located in the historic district and must comply with all historic district ordinances and regulations. Mr. Oeste noted that there is no minimum bid set for this property. Mrs. Ewald suggested that an executive session be held following the meeting to discuss this issue.

Legislative Initiative Grant:

Mr. Sauser and Mr. Martin both stated that they had followed up with the status of the township’s approved grant and were told that the paperwork reached the Comptroller’s office prior to the June 30th deadline. However, there is some question over whether the focus of the grant can be changed at this point as the township wishes, and efforts to do so are continuing.

Deer Removal:

Mr. Martin referred to a number of complaints received at the township office regarding a dead deer which was not removed in a timely fashion. There is some question over whether the State Game Commission is responsible for this problem and it will be checked into.

Phoenixville Area Transit Study:

Mr. Martin referred to Sen. Gerlach’s and Rep. Rubley’s letter dated June 23, 1995 proposing a committee be formed with one elected official from the municipalities listed in the letter to act as the Phoenixville Area Transportation Study Committee. Each municipality would enact a resolution supporting the establishment of the committee. Mrs. Ewald stated her concerns that such a committee would take power away from the community which has the right to decide how the issue should be dealt with. She referred to the task force composed of Upper Providence, Schuylkill, Phoenixville, East Pikeland, Charlestown and possibly West Pikeland, which met for a series of meetings for 6 to 12 months and made several determinations. First, the conception of the Phoenixville Spur developed 20 years ago is no longer compatible with the growth and development and traffic patterns of today. Therefore, a new origin and destination study is needed so a more relevant spur plan can be developed. PennDOT and the Chester County Planning Commission agreed, and Mrs. Ewald said she believes the funding is in place and the study is underway. She noted that many members of the group felt that a corridor from Rt. 113 to the Coatesville Bypass seemed to make sense but a study is needed to back it up. It was determined that a review of the task force minutes should be undertaken and contact made with the other members for discussion. Mr. Sauser stated that the township will respond to Sen. Gerlach explaining that the township is reviewing the subject. He suggested joining the committee in the meantime. Mr. Kohli will contact Lee Whitmore at the Chester County Planning Commission to see if the proposed study is underway.

Merriwether Subdivision:

After Mr. Kohli and Mr. Oeste both indicated that they each found the documents to be acceptable, Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the deed of road right of ways for the Merriwether Subdivision. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #2:

Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #2 for $381,262.00. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.

Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #2:

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #2 for $108,358.60. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried.

Charlestown Meade Escrow Release #6:

Mrs. Ewald asked whether there are outstanding easements, and Mr. Kohli responded that the easements are to be dedicated to the homeowner’s association. Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Meade Escrow Release #6 for $30,357.50, Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor.

Rosewood - Road Dedication

Mrs. Ewald asked for the status of the Rosewood Lane ownership question, and Mr. Oeste said he was still looking into it.

Merlin Road -Speed Limit:

Mr. Martin stated that there was a request to look into reducing the speed limit on Merlin Road from 35 MPH to 25 MPH. Mrs. Ewald said that PennDOT approval, and therefore, a traffic study, would be required in order to do this. She stated her concern that a traffic study might have the opposite effect of actually increasing the speed limit. Marcia Solda, a resident along Merlin Road, said that people travel the road at 60 to 70 MPH and that it is a serious problem. Mr. Martin directed Mr. Kohli to write to PennDOT and request a speed study.

Size of the Planning Commission Board:

Mr. Martin moved to reduce the size of the Planning Commission Board from 9 to 7 members. Mrs. Ewald seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Martin directed Mr. Oeste to advertise the ordinance required for this reduction.

Environmental Advisory Commission:

Mr. Martin proposed the creation of an Environmental Advisory Commission and circulated information to the other members of the Board, asking that they review it for future discussion.

Charlestown Oaks Recordation Extension:

Mr. Oeste referred to a letter dated July 10th, 1995 that he received from Lou Colegreco, requesting a 60 day extension for filing the plan with the Chester County Recorder of Deeds, which is required to be undertaken within 90 days of the township’s final approval in order to prepare the necessary escrow documents. Mr. Martin moved to approve the request and to authorize Mr. Oeste to the notify Recorder of the extension. Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor.

Douglas Miles Property:

Mr. Kohli stated that Mr. Miles has applied to the DER for a driveway permit accessing Hollow Road, presumably with the intention of subdividing. Mrs. Ewald suggested that the DER be notified that there is no plan approved or even filed with the township for this proposal.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority:

Mr. Sauser reported on a joint meeting of the VFSA, stating that a decision is needed from the Board regarding the allocation of flows resulting from the Tredyffrin Township diversion. He outlined three options including (1) the return of the excess capacity to the remaining lessors prorated to their current shares; (2) dividing the excess capacity among the current lessors and including the new users, on a prorated basis in proportion with their current reserve, or (3) providing the excess capacity to applicants on a first come first served basis. Mrs. Ewald directed the Secretary to place this item on the August 7 agenda. She further requested that a report from the township’s VFSA joint board representatives be added to future agendas.

Single Audit Act:

The Secretary asked whether it had been determined yet whether the Township is subject to the Single Audit Act with regard to the snow and ice funds received in 1994 from PEMA. Mr. Oeste responded that he had not yet reviewed the matter.

All business was completed at 10:10 P.M. Mr. Martin moved to adjourn the meeting, Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary