MARCH 18, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their second regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 18, 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 Pa. State Assn. of Township Official’s seminar today highlighting changes in the new township code, which will take effect on May 7, 1996. He also announced that the Supervisors held an executive session on March 14, 1996 at the solicitor’s office to discuss various legal matters.

Re-Addressing Committee Report:

Fred Alston reported that the Re-addressing Committee has made significant progress toward the completion of re-addressing the township and expects to be finished by April 15th. Letters will be sent to all residents who live on currently unnamed lanes with two or more homes asking them to verify the assigned name. They will have four weeks to respond with alternative suggestions. Several addresses remain to be verified as well as new developments checked. The committee requests that the drafting of the ordinance be initiated concurrently with the completion of these tasks.

Citizen’s Forum:

Mr. Kohli stated that he received an inquiry about the A.T. & T. building on Valley Hill Road. A.T. & T. wants to put in side garage doors to access the building for storage. The Secretary was directed to locate information on the original conditional use approval dating back approximately 25 years when the property was transferred from Bell of PA to A.T. & T.

Merriwether Correspondence:

Mr. Sauser said that the township received letters from two residents last week outlining their concerns that the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for the Merriwether Subdivision were changed without their knowledge. They are concerned that the change will affect the footprint size previously required and could have an adverse effect on their property values. Mr. Oeste referred to a letter received by the Township today from D.C. Merriether, which responds to these concerns. Mr. Oeste said that he needs time to review the matter and suggested that it be placed on the April 1st agenda after he has had time to do so. He stated that he will advise the Board in writing prior to the April 1, 1996 meeting.

Intermediate Soccer Field Bid:

Chris Tully and Joe Rudich from the Phoenixville Soccer Club were present to review plans for the soccer field. The current drawing #S-1 dated 3/3/96 indicates a new intermediate field with the total prepared length shortened by 20 feet to 250 feet, which will reduce the impact of the field on the driveway that accesses the other field at the site. A swale is shown toward the bottom of the slope.

The snack bar will need to be moved, and Mr. Rudich stated that volunteers are prepared to do so. A stands of evergreens will need to be removed, but the Soccer Club is willing to take the responsibility of replacing them.

Mrs. Ewald asked if the Planning Commission had reviewed the plan and Mr. Kohli stated that Mark Connolly showed them the plan briefly at their last meeting and they approved of it conceptually but did not do an in-depth review. Mrs. Ewald stated that the Planning Commission should have the opportunity to review the plan. She stated her concern that the proposed field is encroaching on the hillside and the stream and reminded the Board that the possibility of obtaining additional acreage of 4 -5 acres from the Valley Forge Christian College is a distinct possibility that would change the ideal configuration of fields on the site. She stated that although she supports the efforts of the Soccer Club, she cannot support the plan for the intermediate field but would reconsider her position if the Planning Commission can approve the plan with good reason.

Mr. Kling suggested that the bid be presented as a design/build bid, and that unit pricing for cut and fill should be required, along with the type of fill supplied. He also suggested that the bidders provide their time schedules for beginning and completing the job. Mr. Sauser pointed out that the bid document needs a lot of work and should be revised and ready prior to the pre-bid meeting. Mr. Kohn stated that the drawing is sufficient as a program drawing, and that the bidders will have to submit details on specific grades. Mr. Kohli stated that the plans and revised documents should be received by all prospective bidders at least a day ahead of the pre-bid meeting. The pre-bid meeting was then scheduled for Wednesday, March 27th at 10:00 A.M. at the site. The bid submission deadline and bid opening date were scheduled for April 1st. The Secretary was directed to advertise the bid deadline of 3:00 P.M. April 1st and bid opening for 8:00 P.M. at the Elementary School.

Municipal Building Steering Committee

Mr. Sauser referred to a list of names of people interested in serving on the Municipal Building Steering Committee. It was determined to select a committee of 5 persons with 2 alternates. Mrs. Ewald suggested selecting the people based on a cross-section of residents to include various age groups, short, medium and long term residents, men and women, and also suggested that the committee should consist of people not currently serving in other capacities. Mr. Kohn stated his agreement and moved to nominate Bill Hochwind, Libby Pyle, Mary Jane Duncan, Bob Devlin, Russ Hanscom for the committee and Ruth Buckwalter and Scott Phipps as alternates to the committee. Mrs. Ewald moved to nominate Tom Kerrigan and Bob Davis as alternates. Mr. Sauser seconded Mr. Kohn’s motion. Mrs. Ewald moved to append this motion to add a third alternate, Bob Davis. Mr. Sauser asked for those in favor of Mr. Kohn’s original motion, and he and Mr. Kohn were in favor. He then asked for those in favor of adding Mr. Davis as a third alternate, and Mr. Kohn and Mrs. Ewald were in favor, with Mr. Sauser opposed. The Secretary was directed to contact the 8 appointees and request that Mrs. Duncan serve as interim coordinator and set up the initial meeting.

H.A.R.B. Applications

Mr. Sauser directed the Secretary to request that Mr. Naylor confirm in writing that they understand no action will be taken by the Board until plans are received and reviewed. He also directed the Secretary to request that Michael Kachmar and Cynthia Harrington confirm in writing their request that the matter of their application be moved to the April 1st agenda. If they are interested in proceeding more quickly, they can respond in writing to items they may wish the Board to review.

Great Valley Materials and Devault Crushed Stone

Mr. Oeste stated that Zoning Hearing Board applications for Great Valley Materials and Devault Crushed Stone are proceeding, with Great Valley Materials scheduled for March 27th at 8:00 P.M. at the Nature Center. Mr. Sauser authorized both Mr. Oeste and Mr. Kohli to attend. Mr. Oeste will also convey to the applicants that they may proceed with the Land Development Plans concurrently with the hearings. Further, Devault Crushed Stone will be advised that rather than requiring the full conditional use hearing procedure, they will be required to provide a demonstration of compliance with all existing conditional uses.

Mr. Oeste stated that the Zoning Hearing Board application for Great Valley Materials requests variances for noise, height of proposed and existing silos, height and setbacks of noise barriers, existing paved driveway, impervious surface coverage requirements, hours of operation and parking regulations. Mrs. Ewald requested that Mr. Oeste communicate to the Zoning Hearing Board that the Supervisors are vigorously opposed to providing relief on the setback requirements.

William Hochwind Property

Mr. Sauser referred to Mr. Hochwind’s solicitor’s letter regarding Lot 13 and Lot 14 of the Charlestown Meade subdivision, of which Lot 14 is landlocked. Mr. Sauser moved to propose that Mr. Hochwind submit a building permit for Lot 13 for review by Mr. Kohli. Mr. Kohn seconded the motion. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion. She stated her concern that by issuing a building permit for Lot 13, the township will create a condition for which it would incur a liability. Mr. Sauser stated his view that the condition already exists. He then added to his motion that Mr. Hochwind be advised to proceed with a variance request to the Zoning Hearing Board to remedy access for Lot 14 with the understanding that a variance would provide reasonable relief that the Township would not resist. Mr. Oeste suggested that it be made clear to the applicant that by issuing a building permit for Lot 13, the Board is not addressing the issue of Lot 14, referring to it as the water reservoir lot, and said he would like to draft language to accompany the Lot 13 building permit indicating that the future status of Lot 14 is yet to be determined. Mr. Kohn seconded the amended motion. Mrs. Ewald called for a roll call vote.

Mrs. Ewald voted no. She stated to Mr. Hochwind that he had been advised from the beginning that the merger of Lot 13 and Lot 14 was a condition of approval. There is not sufficient unconstrained land on either lot alone, and on that basis she voted against the motion as stated.

Mr. Sauser stated that there was no official action of the Township requiring a merger of these two lots and that the motion made was appropriate. Mrs. Ewald asked the Secretary to provide a full transcript of the matter being discussed. Mr. Sauser stated that it would be made clear that the Building Permit does not indicate any approval for Lot 14.

Mrs. Ewald stated that her recollection of the Charlestown Meade final approval process was that no building permit for Lot 13 would be issued without a resolution of this issue and that the current action may not be appropriate. Mr. Oeste referred to a memorandum from Mr. McErlane dated 11/3/93 which indicated only the language “unitl the issue was resolved” without being more specific. Mr. Hochwind stated that the Township withheld approval due to his list pedens. He stated that the Township helped create the problem, along with the builder, when the subdivision was approved. He stated that he purchased Lot 13 to create his own easement and has been up front with the Township on this issue since 1992.

Mrs. Ewald disagreed with Mr. Hochwind’s statement that the Township created the problem. She stated that Mr. Hochwind extinguished the existing easement along with the subdivision applicant and that the Board made it clear that this created a landlocked property. She stated that Mr. Hochwind knew there wasn’t enough land for 2 building lots and an easement. Mr. Hochwind acknowledges that he was aware that his title company extinguished the easement.

Mr. Sauser voted “Aye” on the motion.

Mr. Kohn stated that the plans indicate that the net out calculations for Lot 13 appear to be sufficient and there is a reasonable easement and crossing available for Lot 13 and therefore, he voted “Aye.”

Resolution #510

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Resolution #510 designating Linda M. Csete as the agent authorized to execute the forms and documents for obtaining financial assistance from the state government for relief from the Blizzard of 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn, Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary