The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, September 11, 1995 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.
|John C. Martin, Jr., Chairman, John B. Sauser, Irene W. Ewald, Member, James E. McErlane, 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.
Mr. Martin announced that the Supervisors and Mr. Kohli toured the Stinson Markley property on August 28, 1995.
Mr. Martin reviewed the events leading to Judge Wood’s order that the township sign escrow release documents for Charlestown Hunt’s Escrow Release Request #3, stating that the township was given no choice but to sign them even though doing so violated the Sunshine Act since this business was not conducted during a public meeting.
Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes of August 7, 1995. Mrs. Ewald seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the August 1995 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Martin moved to approve the September 11, 1995 Accounts Payable Report. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Kohli reported that a number of residents have complained about the real estate signs posted for Charlestown Hunt and Whitehorse at Charlestown, especially at the intersection of Phoenixville Pike and Route 29. He has spoken with representatives from Realen Homes, reviewing the sign ordinance with them and requesting that the signs be removed as needed to comply. Further, both developers have been placing temporary directional signs to their sites throughout the township and have been asked to desist in this practice. Mr. Kohli stated that preliminary plans for Bridge 178 are now available and suggested that the Board review them as soon as possible.
The Planning Commission did not meet during the month of August.
Mr. Hiller reported that the widening and paving of Green Lane is now complete. There was some discussion on whether Blackberry Lane would deteriorate further if paving was delayed until next year. It was determined that Mr. Hiller and Mr. Kohli would review the conditions and get back to the board if this project cannot be postponed until 1996 with some patch work and crack sealing taking place this fall. Mr. Hiller also noted that he reviewed the annual Snow & Ice Agreement with PennDOT and it appears to be in order. The Fall Road Tour was scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 1995 at 8:00 A.M. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Hiller to examine the subsidences on Pine Road before the Road Tour takes place.
There was no report.
Mr. Alston reported that there were two trees and wires fires, one automatic fire alarm, one field and woods fire, one assist by the Fire Police, two vehicle accidents, one cycle accident and one forcible entry responded to by the fire companies. Mr. Alston announced that due to the drought conditions, a ban on all outside burning, in accordance with Fire Control Regulations Ordinance #10-68, Article I, Sections 1 and 3, and was put into effect by September 7, 1995, by which time the ban was advertised in both local papers and a notification sent to all residents.
Janet Baldwin asked if the township ordinance included any restrictions on the barking of dogs, as 5 dogs at the Equestrian Center between Green Lane and Yellow Springs Road are outside as early as 5:00 A.M. creating a disturbance. Mr. Kohli stated that there are no restrictions in the FR district. Priscilla Crowell expressed her appreciation to the Board for their quick response in taking care of several items brought to their attention at Charlestown Park this past summer. Chuck Issacs asked whether a newsletter would go out soon and Mr. Martin responded that one would be sent during October.
Mr. Martin read Mr. Oeste’s September 7, 1995 letter to the Board in its entirety which stated that provisions in the Eastwick Subdivision plans and in the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions clearly prohibit the construction of a driveway on Parcel 8 to service Lot 7. Mr. Martin moved to direct Mr. Oeste to contact Robert Berry’s attorney, Steven E. Speece with the Township’s request that his Conditional Use Application be withdrawn. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Sauser stated that, as a member of the Joint Municipality Board for the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, he wished to have the supervisor’s choice of options made on the re-allocation of sewer flows returned to the Authority by Tredyffrin Township before he attends the September 28, 1995 meeting where a vote will be taken. Option I would be a first come, first served arrangement. Option II would return the capacity to the lessors, of which the VFSA is one. Option III would prorate the capacity and distribute it to the VFSA members only. Mr. Sauser noted that at the August 7, 1995 Board of Supervisors’ meeting, Mr. Winckelman, member of the 6 member sewer authority board, stated his preference for Option II. Mrs. Ewald’s preference was for Option III. Mr. Sauser moved to select Option II for the upcoming vote, and Mr. Martin seconded. Two were in favor, 1 opposed.
Mr. Martin stated that an audit by a Certified Public Accountant is required for 1994 due to the federal funds received for the snow and ice emergency of that year. Two proposals were submitted, and there was some discussion on how they met the requirements of the audit as defined by PEMA circulars and Mr. Oeste’s July 19, 1995 letter interpreting them. Mrs. Ewald moved to accept Emory Todd, CPA as the 1994 PEMA funds auditor, and Mr. Sauser seconded. All were in favor.
Mr. Martin moved to redeem the proceeds of C.D. #80600002206 and wire the entire amount to the PLGIT Special Fund account due to the higher interest that can be earned through PLGIT. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Martin read a letter from Gannett Fleming, consultants to the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, dated August 28, 1995, which stated that as part of their alternative evaluation for the Regional Act 537 planning effort, the Valley Forge Sewer Authority is required to assess the viability of a satellite treatment plan utilizing spray irrigation discharge within the VFSA service area. A list of approximately 15 sites in Charlestown Township was included with the letter. The VFSA requests the township’s input by Oct. 1st on the use of these sites as spray irrigation fields before they contact the individual land owners. Mrs. Ewald suggested that the township contact the property owners before they are notified by the VFSA in order to inform them of the issue. After some discussion, it was determined that Mr. Martin will write a letter to the VFSA stating that the Board does not consider spray irrigation via a Charlestown site to be a viable alternative, citing logistic unfeasibility, liability issues, and the fact that this option was not considered in the township’s Act 537 Plan.
Mr. Martin said that Lots C and D of the Stinson Markley property were donated to the Charlestown Historical Society in Mr. Markley’s will. Lot C is vacant, and Lot D contains a house, barn, spring house and stone privy. There are some limitations on the use of the property included among the Stinson Markley Will, Codicil, and the easement recorded against the property, some of which appear to be in conflict with one another. The Board toured the property on August 28, 1995 to consider whether, if permitted, the township would benefit by using one of the structures on Parcel D as a township office. It was determined that due to its small size and the inaccessibility to the handicapped, the house would not be suitable for this purpose. However, the barn has possibilities, as does the possibility of constructing a new building. It is not clear whether it would be permissible to lease the barn from the Historical Society since the will states that the property should be used for a religious, charitable, scientific or educational purpose. Mr. Oeste’s letter of September 8, 1995 to the Board recommends that a Petition be filed with the Orphans Court seeking to amend the terms of the Will and the Easement for the desired purpose. Mrs. Baldwin stated that, although the will established a trust fund, the income from which is to be distributed to the Charlestown Historical Society for the maintenance of the property, additional funds would be necessary. She stated that the Historical Society would like to see the Township lease the barn on a long term basis in order to support the property. She envisions a park or recreation area, now lacking in this area of the township, and possibility involvement from the Great Valley Nature Center, which could possibility utilize the house and pond. Paul Stanley, also a member of the Historical Society Board, asked if the township would be willing to provide a letter of interest for the First Fidelity Bank, Trustee, as they will be looking for an answer soon as to whether the Historical Society will accept the property. Mr. Martin stated that, although interested, the Board would be unable to do so at this time.
Mrs. Ewald moved to re-apply for the Legislative Initiative Grant previously award the Township for the purpose of a feasibility study for the Stinson Markley property. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Ewald asked the Chairman to check as to whether costs could be incurred before the Grant was issued and then reimbursed, in order to proceed more rapidly.
Mr. Sauser moved to donate $600.00 to the Community Visiting Nurses. Mrs. Ewald moved to donate $800.00 to the Community Visiting Nurses. Mr. Martin seconded Mr. Sauser’s motion, and two were in favor, one opposed.
Michael E. Furey, attorney for Devault Partners, L.P. and William E. Corson were present to discuss their proposed Land Development Plan and appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. After inviting the Board for a site visit, Mr. Furey requested a postponement of the hearing until after the Land Development Plan is approved. He offered an explanation for the construction of a parking lot without the proper permits or approvals, for which they were cited by the Zoning Officer under an enforcement notice dated July 24, 1995. Mr. Furey stated that Devault Crushed Stone was under the mistaken impression that this construction was covered under a conditional use approval granted in 1988, though they now realize this was an error. They believe that by going ahead with the Land Development process now, they could alleviate the greater part of the enforcement notice, leaving the issue of encroaching into a 20 foot setback. To solve this problem, they suggest purchasing a portion of the property they encroached upon, which belongs to the township. Mr. Martin stated emphatically that the Board expects the Zoning Hearing to continue as scheduled. Mrs. Ewald responded to Mr. Corson’s suggestion that a portion of the neighboring township-owned property had been offered for sale to the Quarry previously was an absolute negative. She stated that the applicant has no respect for the township, having proceeded in the same manner at Great Valley Materials in constructing first and obtaining approval afterwards, and were now attempting the same thing at Devault Crushed Stone. She indicated to Mr. Corson that he has again placed the Township in a difficult and unacceptable position. Mr. Sauser noted that, based on the past situation at Great Valley Materials, in which a silo and modular building were constructed without a land development plan, allowing a postponement of the hearing would be unfair to others in the township who follow the rules.. Mr. Martin moved to allow Devault Crushed Stone to move ahead with their Land Development Application concurrently with proceeding as scheduled with the Zoning Hearing Board. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Oak Hill Road dedication subject to the clarification of the issue raised in John J. Renninger of Stief Concrete Work Inc.’s letter of August 21, 1995 to the Board and any other similar letters which must be resolved before the recordation of the dedication and release of escrow moneys. Mr. Martin seconded, and all were in favor.
Mr. Martin moved to approve Resolution #499-95 accepting the deed of dedication for Oak Hill Road. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor..
Mr. Martin moved to accept the Deed of Dedication for Jamie Lane and to approve the First Amendment to Declaration of Covenants, Easements and Restrictions, and Letter of Credit and Improvement Maintenance Agreement. Mr. Martin moved to approve Resolution #500-95 accepting the Deed of Dedication for Jamie Lane. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Martin moved to approve Escrow Release #4 for $101,671.50. Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Charlestown Brae Escrow Agreement Phase Two as outlined in Mr. Oeste’s letter of September 8, 1995. Mr. Martin seconded, and all were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the re-recordation of the Charlestown Brae plans, which had an easement, considered a field condition added to them. Mr.Martin seconded, and all were in favor.
Mr. Martin moved to ratify the release of Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #3. Mr. Martin seconded, and the motion carried. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.
Due to Mr. Kohli’s receipt of the escrow release request on September 7, 1995, he did not have sufficient time to review the request before the meeting. This item was tabled until the October 2, 1995 meeting. The Board directed the Secretary to contact Realen Homes Inc. and request that in the future, all escrow release requests be sent to the township office for forwarding to the engineer’s office as required by the MPC.
Mrs. Ewald stated that she has had an opportunity to review the preliminary plans for Bridge 178 from the county engineer. While some adjustments are needed, she believes the plans are generally good. She requests that the other Board members review the plans and recommending it for approval subject to Michael Churchill’s approval and signing off.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 P.M.