MARCH 4, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 4, 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 that he attended the Chester County Emergency Management meeting last Saturday which outlined the procedure for obtaining federal funds from FEMA to reimburse the township for the costs incurred during the blizzard. to open each road, one lane in each direction for emergency access. Mr. Sauser stated that the Notice of Intent required by FEMA from the township has been filed.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 5, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 19, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 26, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the February 1-29, 1996 Treasurer’s Report. Mrs. Ewald seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for March 4, 1996. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli stated that he has issued a stop work order to Mr. Matsinger, who was placing fill at the back of his property near Charlestown Road and Coldstream Road without an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit.

Mr. Kohli noted that the PennDOT has begun stormwater management work on the Turnpike and should improve run-off problems for nearby residents.

Mr. Kohli reported that a complaint from Mrs. Gorman regarding Realen Homes Construction Co. stockpiling junk metal, soil and other discarded materials at the Charlestown Hunt site but very close to her property line should be resolved shortly. Realen has arranged for a hauler to clean up the area.

Mr. Kohli stated that he has now received a complete conditional use submission from Mr. Kielinski and will issue him a temporary Use and Occupancy permit.

Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Kohli to follow up with the Pa. Turnpike Commission regarding its promise to stabilize the driveway access to the turnpike tower, as runoff from this driveway is causing damage to the adjoining road. She stated that it’s important for them to put the milling down as promised before the spring rains begin.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Kling reported that a sketch plan for apartments on 32 acres of the Valley Forge Christian College was again discussed with issues of density and traffic at the forefront.


Mr. Rittenbaugh reported that during February, snow removal and road clean-up was undertaken after the snowstorms and that the stockpile was replenished. Pothole repair will begin shortly. Mrs. Ewald stated that during one of the snow storms, wires down on Rees Road caused a resident to be without electricity, phones, or heat for a period of four days while PECO worked on the problem. She requested that in the future these instances be more closely monitored and the residents without power be checked on to see if they need assistance. The Spring Road tour has been scheduled for Thursday, April 11, at 8 A.M.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reported 2 dwelling incidents, one barn, 3 vehicle accidents, one trees and wires, 2 automatic alarms, one call for traffic control and one industrial rescue during the month of February. Mr. Alston attended a Hazardous Materials First Responder refresher course. He also reported that prior to the demolition of the Rebecca Bones house on Whitehorse Road, the house was offered to the East Whiteland Fire Company for training purposes, but an inspection determined that it was not suitable for this purpose.

Parks and Recreation Board:

Mr. Connolly reported that he met with Jean Akers of Tom Comitta’s office to review the plans for the intermediate soccer field bid package and found them acceptable. He later met with Mr. Kohli, and had the field staked out over the weekend. While at the site to stake out the field, the Parks & Rec Board reconsidered the placement of the new field. As originally planned, it would require a great deal of fill and therefore, cost. He now believes it would make better use of the park to reverse the positions proposed intermediate field with the present Pee Wee Football field, which was never professionally constructed but made by volunteers. This change would require moving the snack bar, which the Soccer Club is willing to do on a volunteer basis. He believes that this change will allow the township to develop both fields for less that the cost of the intermediate filed alone at the earlier planned position. He now has the field staked both ways so it can be reviewed and discussed. Mrs. Ewald stated her interest in visiting the site. Mr. Kohli stated that he has not been able to review the plans as he would like and has requested that Mr. Connolly bring him a large scale plan with additional details. Mr. Connolly stated that the bid package has been prepared and was available at the township office starting this morning, where two potential bidders have picked it up.

In other Parks & Recreation related matters, Mr. Connolly stated that he expects to hear from the County soon in regard to a field hockey field construction grant. He also stated that the PTO at Charlestown Elementary School is expected to contact the Township soon about launching a new playground.

Mr. Connolly requested that when working with PennDOT on the Route 29 bridge near the Ice Dam that a request be made to install sidewalks for pedestrians on the bridge as it is part of the Pickering trail system and represents a safety issue. The Supervisors responded that they intend to do so.

Mr. Sauser stated that he is still trying to resolve the question of whether it is a requirement of the Parks & Recreation Board that one of its members be appointed by the School Board, and that this is the reason the current vacancies remain open.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority:

Mr. Winckelman stated that the VFSA had another quiet month with everything running smoothly.

Citizens’ Forum:

Mrs. Baldwin asked if PennDOT could be contacted regarding the poor condition of Foster and Seven Oaks Roads, both badly in need of resurfacing. Mr. Sauser stated that the Roadmaster is aware of the problem and is planning to communicate with PennDOT.

Mr. Sauser responded to a question on the re-numbering of township properties by stating that the committee is close to completion, and that they are planning a presentation in the next few weeks.

Mr. Sproule requested some guidance on his land development plan for which there is a question on whether a zoning variance is needed. Mr. Oeste responded that he and Mr. Kohli need to discuss the matter with the Board and will respond by March 18th to Mr. Sproule.

Altemose Appeal

Mr. Sauser announced that Judge Gavin rendered his decision on the Altemose appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. Judge Gavin affirmed the Board of Supervisor’s decision by stating that the Township Zoning Ordinance is not exclusionary and adequately provides for multi family housing. The Altemoses have appealed to the Commonwealth Court.

Great Valley Materials/Devault Crushed Stone

Michael Furey, Esq. and William E. Corson were present to discuss these two land development applications by Allan G. Myers Co. Mr. Furey stated that he met with Mr. Kohli and Mr. Oeste to go over several issues for both applications. Mr. Oeste suggested that the Board and Mr. Kohli meet with him to determine how to proceed, noting that a hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board has been scheduled for March 27, 1996 for Great Valley Materials.

Conditional Use - Berry

Mr. Sauser read a letter drafted by Mr. Oeste to Robert Berry Jr.’s attorney Steven Speece, responding to his offer for modifications to his property as offset to any effects caused by the proposed change in driveway location. Mr. Sauser moved to

approve the draft letter as written, and Mr. Kohn seconded. All were in favor. Mr. Oeste stated that he will contact Mr. Speece to discover whether his client wishes to schedule a conditional use hearing.

Former General Store Property

Mr. Sauser stated that the Township’s historical restoration architect consultant, Dale Frens, had been asked to review the plan and application of Cynthia Harrington and Michael Kachmar and has responded with a report to the Board. The applicants requested time to review the report in order to be ready to discuss it at the next meeting, which will be placed on the agenda for March 18, 1996. Mr. Kohli stated that in the meantime, he will issue a permit to allow the interior work to proceed. Mr. Sauser strongly recommended to the applicants that they consider their overall plans very carefully in order to protect themselves from the possibility that one of the many approvals and permits they seek , some from sources outside the Township’s control, are not granted in the manner they expect.

Municipal Building Steering Committee

Mr. Sauser stated that several residents have shown an interest in joining this committee, which would deal with the separate but related issues of communicating with the consultant on the Markley feasibility study, and considering the needs and requirements of a township office in general terms.

Per Capita Tax Refund

Mr. Sauser referred to a letter of February 13, 1996 from Andrew Viscuso regarding Dr. Grahm Jackson, a resident requesting a per capita tax refund for several years when he was mistakenly paying for two persons instead of one. Mr. Sauser referred to a letter on file dated August 28, 1990 from Mr. McErlane, which states that by law, a person may only obtain a refund by filing a written, verified claim within three years from the date of payment. Therefore, Dr. Jackson is permitted a refund of $30.00 for the past three years of overpayment.

Broadwater Lane Issues

Mark Connolly requested that the Board review and consider his letter of February 26, 1996 in which he enclosed a draft agreement between the Connolly and Charlestown Hunt Associates. He requested that the Board assure that the agreement meets and satisfies the need for the emergency access road to the Charlestown Hunt development. Issues include the proper placement of the security gate to limit access to the emergency road by trail users and width of the cartway.

Mr. Connolly stated that there are stakes on the site indicating that there are plans to construct Broadwater Lane closer to the Stonorov property and off the Rectinwald’s property. Mr. Kohli stated that Charlestown Hunt Associates had been directed to stake the site for the proposed road, review it with all interested parties, and submit a revised plan to the Township. This has not occurred.

Mr. Sauser stated that the solicitor will review the Connolly’s draft agreement.

Schuylkill River Corridor/Green Valleys Association

Mr. Connolly stated that the Planning Commission has been invited to attend meetings of the Green Valleys Association and Schuykill River Corridor where the subject of water resources and their use as planning tools will be discussed. Mr. Connolly stated that Green Valleys has digitized a map of the township as part of their study of the French & Pcikering Creek and that the map will be made available to the Township. He stated that this organization is looking for financial consideration. Mr. Sauser stated that the Township recommended approval of the study to the DEP, which enabled them to receive funding.

Garvin Property

Mr. Sauser stated that before recommending approval of the plans for the Garvin property, which was reviewed by the HARB Board, the applicant, Russell Naylor, must complete his submission to the township. The Secretary was instructed to contact Mr. Naylor and make this request.

Escrow Releases

Mr. Sauser moved to approve Charlestown Brae Phase II On-Site Escrow Release #3 for $63,399.50 and Charlestown Brae Phase I Escrow Release #7 for $6,025.00. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Sarah Winckelman commented that the Charlestown Brae site and surrounding area is becoming very littered, and that she has noticed increased dumping along Howell Road as well. Mr. Sauser stated that a spring clean up will be organized shortly., and that in the meantime, he requested that Mr. Kohli discuss the problem with the foreman at Charlestown Brae.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve Devault Foods Inc. Escrow Release #3 for $45,068.84. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Charlestown Oaks

Mr. Kohli went over the revised Charlestown Oaks plans with the Board, indicating that 2 units were dropped from one of the townhouses. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the revised plans and Mr. Kohn seconded. All were in favor.

Mr. Sauser referred to Mr. Colegreco’s request of March 4th to the solicitor for a 90 day extension of the time limit in which to record the Final Plans as the current extension expires on March 25, 1996. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the extension. Mrs. Ewald moved to condition the approval of the extension on the agreement of Charlestown Oaks Inc. to pay interest at the simple rate of 8% per year on the $100,000.00 contribution to be made at recordation as stated in the original settlement agreement between the Township and Charelstown Oaks Inc. Mr. Sauser seconded

Mrs. Ewald’s motion and all were in favor. Mr. Oeste was asked to communicate this action to Mr. Colegreco.

Community Map Co.

Mr. Sauser stated that he will contact this company regarding their offer to produce a township map funded by local business advertisers.

Frens & Frens Proposal - Feasibility Study

Mr. Sauser stated that the Frens & Frens proposal is approximately 10% over the $10,000.00 granted for the feasibility study. He wishes to see the study performed without exceeding the grant amount. Mrs. Ewald stated that she does not wish to sacrifice quality by imposing a limit. Mr. Sauser will discuss the matter with Dale Frens and plans to have the proposal signed by March 18, 1996.

Bill Hochwind - landlocked property

Mr. Sauser stated that Mr. Oeste will respond to Bill Hochwind’s inquiry as to possible relief for his landlocked property by March 18, 1996.

Executive Session

The Board scheduled an Executive Session with Mr. Kohli and Mr. Oeste for March 14, 1996.

HARB Meeting

Mrs. Baldwin stated that the HARB Board plans to meet with Tom Comitta to discuss the ordinance for combining the HARB Board and Historical Commission. Mr. Sauser stated that he did not believe Mr. Comitta’s input was needed, and moved to direct the HARB to meet without him to discuss the merge of the two boards. There was no second.

Regarding the current ordinance, Mr. Oeste commented that whether or not the merge of the two commissions takes place, the current HARB ordinance needs to be reviewed and revised for clarity.

Mr. Sauser moved to adjourn, Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary