FEBRUARY 5, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, February 5, 1996 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Surender S. Kohli, P.E., 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.


Mr. Sauser announced the passing of Harold F. Pyle in January, describing him as a lifelong resident, farmer, and former Township Supervisor of great character and fortitude. Mrs. Ewald reminisced about his wonderful sense of humor and his generosity of spirit, a man with a big heart who was always available to anyone who reached out to him for help.

Mrs. Ewald then announced the passing of Elwood Edgin, who provided volunteer services to the Township for mowing along the roads and other township property. She wished to recognize his generous services to the Township and extend heartfelt sympathy to his family.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of the Reorganization Meeting of January 2, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of the Business Meeting of January 2, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Sauser circulated a mark-up of the draft of minutes for January 15, 1996 and asked that this item be tabled until the next meeting to give the Board time to review his proposed changes.

Mr. Kohn moved to approve the January 1-31, 1996 Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried.

A revision of the Accounts Payable Report for February 5, 1996 was distributed. Mrs. Ewald questioned the addition of check #8440 to Business Page Inc., noting that in the past, she was able to procure a pager for the Township at no charge and wished to pursue this option. Therefore, Mr. Sauser moved to approve the original draft of the Accounts Payable Report for February 5, 1996, which did not include check #8440. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli reported that he visited several sites with Mr. Harrison of the Chester County Health Department in response to an anonymous complaint letter of unsanitary conditions in the township. They did not find evidence of these conditions in Charlestown. Mr. Kohli stated that he spoke to Dorothy Roddenbush, who inquired into the possibility of starting a kindergarten school in a Maryhill Road residence. Mr. Kohli informed her that this is not considered a home occupation and is not a permitted use. He also stated that he spent time with prospective buyers of a home near Route 29 & Yellow Springs. They are interested in setting up a coffee shop/restaurant. Mrs. Ewald asked about the status of the Charlestown Saloon (formerly Brownie’s Tavern) and Mr. Kohli stated that the County Health Department requirements had been satisfied and that he issued a temporary Use & Occupancy permit.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Churchill reported that representatives from Uwchlan Township presented a sketch plan for the 100 acre proposed Kravco Mall site at the PA Turnpike and Route 100 in Uwchlan. They are inviting comments from the neighboring townships until March 1st as the site will have regional impact. He remarked that this is the first time a neighboring township volunteered such a presentation and praised their spirit of intergovernmental cooperation. Mr. Churchill also stated that a sketch plan for 340 apartments on 32 acres of the Valley Forge Christian College was presented. He indicated that the Planning Commission reacted favorably to the use, however, it would require re-zoning of the Institutional District and issues of density and traffic access must be resolved. The applicant will return to the February 27th Planning Commission meeting to further the discussion.


Mr. Rittenbaugh reported that during January, snow removal and road clean-up was undertaken after the snowstorms and subsequent rain and flooding and included the clearing of drains and removal of downed trees and wires. Mr. Sauser noted that comments were favorable after the initial blizzard complaints of one lane access and blocked driveways, which were addressed in the recent newsletter.

Township contractor Durando Faggioli requested that the Board reconsider the Roadmaster’s decision to change anti-skid suppliers, who made the decision based on cost considerations. Mr. Faggioli emphatically stated that the material is inferior and contains construction and other debris that damages the equipment as well as cars on the road, especially tires. The Board decided to meet with the Roadmaster and inspect the materials before making a change.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reported 3 vehicle accidents, 3 calls to East Whiteland Fire Company for smoke, fumes, and electrical incidents, an investigation of hazardous materials on Phoenixville Pike, several downed wires, and 3 automatic alarms during the month of January. Traffic control was provided on Buckwalter Road and on Charlestown Road.

Parks and Recreation Board:

Mr. Connolly was not in attendance.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority:

Mr. Winckelman stated that operations ran smoothly with only minor problems caused by the flooding conditions during the month of January. He invited the Board to the VFSA meeting to be held on February 29th. Mr. Sauser congratulated Mr. Winckelman on his election to Chairman of the VFSA Board for 1996.


Mr. Sauser noted that due to an oversight, Mark Connolly’s term on the Parks & Recreation Board expired 12/31/94 and had not been addressed at the 1995 Reorganization meeting. Therefore, he moved to nominate Mark Connolly for reappointment to the Parks & Recreation Board for a five year term to begin retroactively on January 1, 1995. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor. Mr. Sauser directed the Secretary to notify Mr. Connolly and express the Board’s appreciation for his excellent work in the past and hope that he will continue it in 1996 and beyond.

Citizens’ Forum:

Mrs. Baldwin commended Durando Faggioli for the great job his company did for the Township during the January blizzard and other storms.

Spring Oaks - At Grade Rail Crossing:

Having been reviewed by both the Township Solicitor and Engineer, the Supervisors signed the application to the Public Utility Commission for an at-grade rail crossing on Warner Lane along with the agreement between the Township and J. Loew Associates which states that J. Loew Associates will cover all costs associated with the application and implementation of the project.

Presentation of the East Pikeland Township Environmental Council - Cooperative Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program:

Sue Koepp-Baker and Daze Kronmueller provided information on East Pikeland’s hazardous waste disposal program, to which they are inviting neighboring smaller municipalities such as Charlestown to join them in order to minimize the costs for all concerned. Ms. Koepp-Baker stated that last year, the program cost East Pikeland approximately $5,000, but with more participants, the cost should be reduced for each of them. Also, East Pikeland is applying for a state grant that will cover half the cost of the program, and they will take care of all related paperwork. Ms. Koepp-Baker then provided information to the Board on the availability of 904 Performance Grants from the County, which are available to municipalities that recycle based on tonnage of recyclable materials reported. She said it is possible that Charlestown could cover the costs of joining them in this project with the 904 Grant funds, as East Pikeland does. Mr. Sauser stated that although there is no provision in the budget for joining this project, the possibility of obtaining 904 funds may make it possible. He requested a list of materials that are considered household hazardous waste and thanked Ms. Koepp Baker and Mr. Kronmueller for extending the invitation and providing the related information.

Intermediate Soccer Field Bids:

Mr. Sauser stated that he spoke to Tom Comitta, who met with Mark Connolly about the proposed soccer field, for which the positioning may be affected by plans at the Valley Forge Christian College. Mr. Sauser will advise Mr. Connolly to bring Tom Comitta’s recommendation to the Board. Mr. Kohli requested that he have an opportunity to review the plans before the project is put out for bid.

Mrs. Ewald stated her concern that the overall design of the park be considered when planning the addition of this playing field so as not to lose the uniquely beautiful park setting in the process.

Bridge on Route 29 near Ice Dam on Pickering Road:

Mr. Sauser briefly reviewed all correspondence relating to the Ice Dam Bridge recently sent to the Township. He explained that Mrs. Crowell first made the Township aware of work being done by PennDOT on the Bridge, which is Township property, at the January 15th meeting. Mrs. Ewald said she has been in contact with Kurt Carr at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, who requested a map they can review to possibly re-open the case. Mr. Sauser stated that a more coordinated effort is needed to review the correspondence and direct this investigation on the Township’s behalf and suggested a member of the Planning Commission. Mr. Churchill agreed to seek out an interested member for this task.

Former Baughman General Store Property:

Cynthia Harrington was present to discuss her application to the HARB Board for approval of alteration plans for this historical structure. Mr. Sauser referred to Mr. Wilson’s letter, which stated that the HARB Board did not formally meet to review the plan, but recommended approval of the plan. Mr. Sauser noted that aside from maintenance and paint colors, the major change involved the removal of stucco from the front stone facade, which was done without approval from the Board of Supervisors, citing Section 708 of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Kohn stated that he was dismayed to find the stucco had been removed and would prefer to see a similar material replaced. Ms. Harrington stated that she was misinformed concerning the correct procedures and believed she was clear to proceed. She stated that she wishes to point the stone and not replace the stucco. Mrs. Ewald stated that she wouldn’t consider approving a Certificate of Appropriateness without a proper review by the HARB Board, which should include input from both Mr. Kohli and the Planning Commission. Mr. Sauser related his concern that the finished product meet a genuine historical perspective to fit into the context of the Historical District. After some discussion, the Board decided to consult with its Restoration Architect and give the applicant its recommendations at the March 4th Supervisors’ meeting.

John Garvin Property:

Mr. Sauser stated that he requested clarification of this HARB application from William Wilson and asked Mr. Wilson to contact Russell Naylor.

Joint Meeting of HARB and Historical Commission:

Mr. Sauser stated that he wished to discuss the possibility of merging the HARB Board and the Historical Commission. Mr. Oeste stated that since the HARB has a different function, he would advise that the HARB be made a subcommittee of the Historical Commission, as the HARB meetings require a quorum of persons of specific disciplines, such as architect, realtor and building inspector. A meeting date was selected for Monday, February 26, 1996 at 8:00 P.M. The Secretary was directed to advertise and see if the school is available for the meeting location.

Government Surplus Equipment:

The Secretary was directed to obtain more information on the federal government’s fax notification that various supplies were being made available at no cost to municipalities to aid in the management of the recent flood disaster.

Charlestown Brae Escrow Releases:

A question on the recordation of Charlestown Brae plans was raised, and Mrs. Ewald moved to condition Escrow Release #1 & #2 for Phase II On-Site, and Escrow Release #3 for Phase II Rees Road Improvements on the resolution of the problem. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Charlestown Hunt Escrow Release #7:

Mr. Sauser moved to ratify Escrow Release #7 for Charlestown Hunt. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.

Revision of Time Clock for Devault Crushed Stone and Great Valley Materials:

Mrs. Ewald moved to accept the time extension requested by Michael Furey, Esq. on behalf of Devault Crushed Stone and Great Valley Materials to May 13, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

PSATS Convention:

This item was tabled until February 19, 1996.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority Meeting:

Mr. Sauser stated that he plans to attend the February 29, 1996 meeting.

Cellucci Subdivision:

Mr. Sauser referred to Mr. Cellucci’s letter of January 16, 1996 to the Township requesting an extension on his final plan approval for his land development plan and directed the Secretary to pull the file and get dates on the previous extensions granted.

Core Area Transportation Consortium: Mr. Sauser asked the Secretary to distribute correspondence from the Core Area Transportation Consortium.

Robert Berry:

Mr. Sauser referred to Mr. Speece’s January correspondence to Mr. Oeste proposing certain compromises in return for permission to access Church Road instead of the Merlin Road access specified on the approved plan. The Board recessed for a brief Executive Session to discuss this matter. Following the break, Mr. Sauser stated that the Board will meet again in Executive Session to construct a counter proposal for the solicitor to communicate to Mr. Berry’s solicitor.

Mrs. Ewald reminded Mr. Berry that Lot 7, as an open space parcel, was required to be merged with an adjacent lot, and this has not yet been done.

Other Matters:

Jim Mitchell asked for additional facts on the Valley Forge Christian College proposal for apartments involving Pennrose Properties Inc. Mr. Sauser, having attended the recent Planning Commission meeting where this was discussed, related the information.

Mr. Sauser stated that he requested a formal submission from William Hochwind for Mr. Oeste and Mr. Sauser to review in order to determine what process to follow in seeking relief for a land locked parcel. Mr. Oeste will contact Mr. Hochwind’s attorney to request escrow funds to cover the costs of review.

Mr. Kohn moved to recognize Mark D’Ambrosio’s and James Fox’s efforts in coming to the aid of Harry Nyce last month, who was stricken by a heart attack and for whom they performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor. A formal presentation will be made at an upcoming Supervisors’ meeting.

Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn, and all were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary