The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 6, 1995 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John C. Martin, Jr., Chairman, John B. Sauser, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member (arrived at 9:00 P.M.), Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., 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 no announcements.

Mrs. Ewald requested that the minutes of October 2, 1995 and October 16, 1995 be tabled until they are re-circulated for the Supervisors’ review.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the October 1995 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Martin seconded and the motion carried.

Mr. Martin moved to approve the November 6, 1995 Accounts Payable Report. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli was not in attendance.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Martin announced that representatives from the Valley Forge Christian College are expected at the November 14, 1995 Planning Commission meeting to discuss their sketch plan proposing apartments on 35 acres at the College.

Roadmaster’s Report:

Mr. Hiller reported that a mud slide on Pine Drive was cleaned up, and that drains were cleared and intersections swept after heavy rains in October. Signs were replaced as needed throughout the Township.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reported that there were four vehicle accidents, four trees and wires fires, one fumes/smoke investigation, one automatic alarm and one industrial accident. Mr. Alston announced that he attended the Charlestown Emergency Operations Center Limerick drill, patrolled with TownWatch on Mischief and Halloween nights, and investigated an incident of improper storage of hazardous materials which has now been taken care of. The burning ban remains in effect, but is currently under review. He reminded residents to watch out for deer on the roadways during this time of year when deer are especially active.

Parks and Recreation Board:

Mr. Martin stated that following Mr. Kohli’s review of the intermediate soccer field bids, he advised the Board to reject all bids and re-bid the project in the Spring.

Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #5:

Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #5 in the amount of $120,375.00. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried.

Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #5: Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #5 in the amount of $126,187.45. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried.

Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #1 for Phase II:

Mr. Martin moved to approve Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #1 for Phase II in the amount of $25,302.00. Mr. Sauser seconded, and the motion carried.

Mr. Martin referred to Tom Oeste’s letter of Oct. 18, 1995 to Marc Kaplin authorizing the issuance of up to 25 Use & Occupancy permits to Charlestown Hunt provided that three conditions are met in addition to the satisfaction of all applicable ordinances and regulations. Mr. Oeste stated that there has been no response from Mr. Kaplin.

Pennsylvania State Police Presentation

Pennsylvania State Police representatives Lt. Dave Connor and Trooper Gomez were present to interface with the township residents and answered questions following their presentation. Lt. Connor stated that the primary job for the State Police is provide police services to townships with no municipal departments, such as Charlestown. In 1994, Charlestown represented 6 to 7% of the total incidents reported to the State Police at Embreville, including 80-90 traffic accidents. He said so far, 1995 appears to be similar to these statistics. The Embreville station has 55 officers, 29 of whom are patrol troopers. Mr. Sauser said he has seen a problem with ATV’s being driven on the township roads by youths after school. Ms. Solda asked if specific roads can be patrolled for speed violations, and Lt. Connor responded that they will do so if they receive calls or letters requesting this action. Another resident asked about 911 service, which Lt. Connor described, adding that enhanced 911 service should be available in the near future. Chuck Issacs asked about false burglar alarms, and Lt. Connor stated that over 99% of burglar alarm calls turn out to be false. Trooper Gomez stated that persons with repeated false alarms can be fined if a local ordinance is passed, but it would have to be enforced by someone appointed by the township. A resident asked about the average response time, which Trooper Gomez gave as two to twenty minutes. Mr. Martin asked if there are any regional police departments, and Lt. Connor stated that there are no regional, or combined, departments in Chester County, but many smaller municipalities contract with neighboring municipalities for part or full time police protection. A resident asked if the police have difficulty finding homes, and Lt. Connor replied that they do. He reminded residents to have their house numbers in a conspicuous location. He also reiterated the Fire Marshal’s comment about watching out for deer.

Citizen’s Forum:

John DiLello stated that there will be a meeting of the Civic Association with Carole Rubley at the Charlestown Elementary school at 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 12, 1995.

Mary Jane Duncan stated that Charlestown’s Emergency Services group received good reports for their part in the Nuclear Drill held October 24, 1995 and extended her appreciation to Bob Wert, Donald Allen, Fred Alston and other participants. She also thanked the residents who participated in the Townwatch patrol over Halloween and Mischief nights.

Lesia Hrysio referred to her letter of Oct. 30, 1995 regarding foundation cracks in her house caused by blasting at Charlestown Hunt. She stated that they were taking care of the problem but wished to know how to gain reassurance that there won’t be further blasting to cause damage after the house is fixed. (At this time, Mrs. Ewald arrived.) Mr. Oeste stated that if there is future damage, she will have to identify the source and deal with it at that time.

A resident complained about trucks traveling in convoys down East Valley Hill Road, often in the middle of the night, creating a noise problem. He asked when it can be expected to stop. Mr. Martin stated that no special permission is required for trucks to use this state maintained road. He stated that he will ask the township engineer to check with PennDOT about the duration of the project.

Mark Connolly asked if potholes in Charlestown Road in front of Swiss Pines can be filled prior to the beginning of winter. Mr. Martin said that the township will ask the roadmaster to request to PennDOT to do so.

Janet Baldwin stated that members of the Historical Society went to the Reading, Pa. meeting of the Pennsylvania Historical & Architectural Review Board meeting, during which time she learned of 50/50 matching Keystone Preservation Grants available to municipalities for the restoration of public-accessed historic buildings of up to $100,000.00.

Mark Connolly, Parks & Rec Chairman and Tim Mitchell of the Phoenixville-Marian Youth Center requested that the Township pass a resolution approving the filing of an application for Chester County Heritage Park and open Space Municipal Grant Program assistance for the construction of a competition field hockey field adjacent to the Peewee football field. Mr. Mitchell showed sketch plans to the Supervisors and the matter was discussed. There will be no cost to the Township, as the PMYC will supply the $5,000.00 in matching funds required. Mr. Martin moved to approve Resolution #501-95 approving the filing of the Small Improvement/Parks Facilities Grant, Round VIII. Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor. Mr. Sauser requested that a long range plan for these park facilities be submitted to the township for future consideration.

Mr. Connolly again requested that the Planning Commission review the Open Space, Recreation and Environmental Resources Plan and prepare proposed ordinances that take the recommendations contained in the plan into consideration.

Mr. Connolly asked for a discussion of the agreement with the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission regarding the stocking of trout in the Pickering Creek as part of the Delayed Harvest program presently being conducted on a trial basis. He stated that there have been problems with parking, and he recommends that until long range planning issues are addressed the relationship not be renewed. Mr. Martin asked Mr. Connolly to submit a letter to the Board outlining his position.

Mr. Martin stated that the proposed 1996 Budget has been prepared and contains a tax cut, changing the millage to 9.5 for 1996. Mr. Martin moved to approve the advertising of the proposed budget, and Mr. Sauser seconded. Two were in favor, and one was opposed. Mrs. Ewald stated her opposition to the budget at this time, stating that Mr. Martin and Mr. Sauser made the decision on the millage without consulting her. Mr. Sauser stated that the millage was discussed at the budget workshop session attended by all three supervisors and the township secretary.

Mr. Martin stated that a meeting will be held on November 13, 1995 at the Elementary School at 7:30 P.M. with the Re-addressing committee for a work session. The public is invited.

Mr. Martin called for a discussion on Sen. Jim Gerlach’s letter received October 30, 1995 asking for comments on Gov. Ridge’s proposed dismantling of the Department of Community Affairs. Since the services provided by the DCA will now be provided for by other departments, the supervisors concurred that they had no objections to the proposal. Mr. Martin will send a response to Sen. Gerlach.

Mr. Martin referred to Sen. Gerlach’s and Carole Rubley’s letter of October 18, 1995, requesting support for a draft resolution to keep the Phoenixville Spur project on PennDOT’s Twelve Year Plan and to immediately undertake a traffic needs study. Mrs. Ewald stated that she agrees with the need for an Origin and Destination study, but not with getting the project underway until research results and more in depth plans can be evaluated for their impact on Charlestown. The supervisors agreed that Mr. Martin will sent a letter to Sen. Gerlach and Carole Rubley with the Township’s response.

Tim Townes of Hough-Loew Associates was present to request input on a conditional use application he plans to submit for a 8,000 square foot brick day care center to be constructed on 1 1/2 acres at Lot 12 of the Commons at Great Valley in the NC District. Mrs. Ewald suggested that Mr. Townes look carefully at the traffic flow patterns, taking into consideration the children’s safety. Mr. Townes will proceed with filing a Conditional Use Application.

Frank Iacobucci Jr. was present to discuss changes to the overall development plan for Charlestown Oaks, last revised 9/25/95. He presented these changes to the Planning Commission on October 10, 1995. The plan indicates a reduction of two units, one from a 6 unit group and one from a 4 unit group making them 5 units and 3 units respectively in order to build larger townhouses more attractive to today’s townhome buyer. The units are located in the area of Victoria and Brandywine Roads. He expects to market these larger homes in the $180,000 - $240,000 range as opposed to the $120,000 - $140,000 range previously expected.

Mr. Iacobucci then requested a waiver from the ordinance requirement that a binder course be placed on Brandywine Road before beginning construction. Because they will be starting during the winter season when asphalt plants are not operating, he would like to be able to put down a stone course only.

Mr. Iacobucci indicated the spot near the intersection of Brandywine Road and Victoria Road where they would like to position the sales trailer.

The Supervisors provided comments on these changes and suggested that the applicant submit a revised plan to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Iacobucci then asked whether he can modify the right of way line in the private courtyard areas. He explained that in order to maintain 30 foot front yards, he would like to use the existing curb line as the right of way line. This would allow him to increase the unit size from 40 foot to 52 foot without changing the setback requirements, which would require a zoning variance. Mrs. Ewald directed him to meet with Mr. Kohli and the Planning Commission on this issue.

Mr. Martin stated that there will be no meeting November 20th, since the Board is meeting on November 13th with the re-addressing committee. He also proposed to hold a meeting on December 18th in addition to the December 4th meeting in order to close out the Accounts Payable for the year.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary