Board of Supervisors
Business Meeting
July 15, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their second regular monthly meeting on Monday, July 15, 1996 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John B. Sauser, Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, 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. Sauser announced that he attended the joint meeting hosted by Rep. Carole Rubley for East Pikeland and Charlestown Townships last week and at this meeting he learned that PennDOT will be paving Coldstream Road in its entirety this summer. He commented that attendance by Charlestown residents was minimal.

Historical Commission Chairwoman Janet Baldwin announced the passing of Edward L. Hausner, Jr., a longtime resident of the Township who was active in the Historical Society, was the first president of the Great Valley School District, and served the community in many other capacities.


Mrs. Ewald moved to defer approval of the minutes of June 3, 1996 and June 17, 1996. Mr. Sauser seconded and the motion carried.

Kachmar-Harrington H.A.R.B. Application

Mr. Sauser stated he believed that, in principal, the drawing submitted by Ms. Harrington at the June 17, 1996 meeting satisfied his concerns regarding the facade of the historic building referred to as the Old General Store.

Mrs. Ewald asked if a re-submission of the application had been made to the H.A.R.B. which incorporates the recommendations of consultant Dale Frens, and Ms. Harrington responded that she has not done so. Mrs. Ewald said that it appears Frens & Frens were involved with the selection of colors only, but she understood that they would be consulted on the issue of the facade itself, indicating what had been removed and what restoration is planned. She further stated that she would like to see any approvals, such as Labor & Industry approval, as they become available.

Mrs. Ewald stated that the H.A.R.B. must hold a public meeting to review the plan, which has not taken place.

Mr. Sauser said that the certificate of appropriateness can’t be issued on the basis of the drawing alone, that a narrative detailing the restoration process must accompany it.

Re-numbering Ordinance:

Mr. Sauser gave some background on the work done by the re-numbering committee, originally formed in 1991 and re-instated in October 1995 to complete a proposed plan to assign addresses for each township residence or building using a logical, uniform approach in order to facilitate emergency services. Since Mr. Kohn could not attend this evening’s meeting, he sent a memo requesting that action on this issue be deferred until he can participate.

Mrs. Ewald said she spoke with a representative of the Three Ponds Civic Association, who questioned the re-numbering of Three Ponds Lane where the properties are all deed restricted from further subdivision and therefore don’t need large gaps between each house number, which the proposed numbers provide. A letter was received today from Rouse/Chamberlin voicing the same concern for Whitehorse at Charlestown (Charlestown Brae). Large house number gaps may suggest the township is anticipating future subdivision. Mr. Alston stated that the gap between numbers was based on the distance from driveway to driveway and is uniform throughout the township. This makes it easier for emergency personnel to locate a residence by more accurately judging the distance to a specific address. Mrs. Ewald suggested that a disclaimer be written into the ordinance indicating that the numbering plan is not related to zoning.

Mr. Philips explained that the committee worked under the premise that all numbering would be based on a uniform scheme so that no question of fairness could be raised, but that the committee has no problem with the Board making minor adjustments and changes where deemed appropriate.

Mrs. Ewald also asked the committee to investigate the possibility of obtaining a postal address of “Charlestown, PA 19460” as opposed to “Phoenixville, PA 19460” noting that similar changes have been made in other local communities, such as Frazer and East Fallowfield. Mr. Kuhn responded that when he looked into this earlier, the Southeast National Post Office was discouraging, but suggested he appeal to the Lancaster office. He offered to look into the matter further.

A Church Road resident asked if there was a possibility of changing the name of the road itself, as the multiple Church Roads in the county cause a great deal of confusion. Mr. Philips responded that this is possible.

Equipment Road Bids 1996-97

Mr. Sauser asked for input in designing revised specifications for the equipment road bid. Mrs. Ewald suggested removing the paragraph at the bottom of Page 4 of the 5/23/96 bid specifications document, which begins with “Township shall not be charged for equipment idle time.” Mr. Kohli stated that in the past, all equipment was bid with an operator.

Mrs. Ewald suggested that the specs require that the contractor be PennDOT approved, which ensures that the contractor is qualified to perform the work.

Mrs. Ewald stated that a requirement that the contractor own the equipment be placed in the specs in order to assure the fastest response time. Mr. Sauser stated that since a performance bond is required, owning the equipment is not necessary. Mr. Kohli suggested that the Board could select specific major equipment items which must be owned by the operator.

Mrs. Ewald asked about the removal of a fallen tree on Blackberry Lane, which was on the road for two days. Mr. Sauser stated that he was unaware of any problem on Blackberry Lane. Mrs. Ewald asked about the tree down on Tinkerhill Road, and Mr. Sauser stated that he called Lord’s Tree Service to remove it. Mrs. Ewald stated that Mr. Sauser has no authority to contract roadwork nor to expend Township funds without the approval of the Board.

A resident reported that high weeds along the intersection of Hollow Road and Route 29 are making it dangerous to pull out onto Route 29. Mr. Sauser said the Roadmaster will investigate.

Mrs. Ewald moved to extend the road equipment contract with the contractor of record until the new contract is awarded. There was no second.

Citizen’s Forum:

Mr. Kuhn asked why Mrs. Ewald’s motion was not seconded, stating that it’s dangerous not to have a road contractor during this gap between contracts. Mr. Sauser responded that the situation is under control and that extending the contract would remove pressure from the Board to re-bid and that extensions might simply continue to be made.

Lesia Hrysio asked about an article appearing in the Evening Phoenix in which Realen Homes indicated they are investigating an emergency access for Charlestown Hunt off Buckwalter Road. Mr. Sauser responded that he is unaware of any such proposal.

Liz Willow asked for the township’s position on Realen Homes’ recent petition to the Court regarding the Hunt emergency access. Mr. Sauser stated that the matter must be discussed in executive session.

Holmes - Request for Public Water Access:

Mr. Sauser referred to a letter dated June 21, 1996 from Mary Holmes Jones requesting public water service for her 2.4 acre single family residence at 289 Whitehorse Road, which is a rental property for which the current well is inadequate. She notes her concern that drilling a new well will be extremely expensive and may not solve the problems of capacity, quality and pressure.

After some discussion, Mr. Sauser directed the secretary to contact Mrs. Holmes and respond that since her property is not within the franchise area for public water, she must first pursue the option of an on site system.

Appointment to the Parks & Recreation Board:

Mrs. Ewald moved to appoint Al Derkas to the Parks and Recreation Board and Mr. Sauser seconded. The motion carried.

Walsh Conditional Use Application:

Mr. Oeste stated that since the Walshs’ conditional use application indicates that they would like to build an addition onto their home that disturbs very steep slopes, they must first obtain a zoning variance. Mr. Philips reported that the Planning Commission recommended approval of the conditional use with the understanding that steep slopes were involved, but not very steep slopes. Mrs. Ewald requested that Mr. Philips memo the Board explaining the Planning Commission’s action. She also requested that Mr. Kohli inform the Walshes that the French & Pickering Creek Trust must review the plan as their input is required since an easement is involved. Mr. Oeste suggested the Walshes be asked to waive the time requirement for the conditional use hearing, since the matter will first go to the zoning hearing board.

Frens & Frens Preliminary Architectural Program Report:

Mr. Sauser stated that the preliminary architectural program report has been received from Frens & Frens, which was developed with input from the Township Secretary-Treasurer and the Municipal Office Steering Committee. Mrs. Ewald stated that she has lengthy comments to make and would like more time to write them up and circulate them.

Mrs. Ewald asked how many times the committee met, and Mary Jane Duncan responded that they met three times.

Conditional Use Hearings: Berry and Kielinski:

Mr. Sauser said that a letter requesting a continuance was received from Mr. Berry’s attorney, and therefore, the hearing would not take place this evening.

A letter was also received from Mr. Kielinski’s attorney requesting a continuance. Both hearings have been re-scheduled for September 16, 1996.

Zoning Issues:

Mr. Kohli stated that he is still trying to reach Mr. Jones, whose property lies next to the A.T. & T. Tower on Valley Hill Road concerning work being performed without a permit. Mrs. Ewald suggested that he be notified that a cease and desist order will be sought if he doesn’t respond.

FEMA Flood Maps:

Mr. Sauser asked for the status of the updated FEMA flood insurance maps, and Mr. Kohli stated that the requested documents were sent by the Township Secretary to FEMA for review and so far there has been no response.

Mr. Sauser announced that the next Board of Supervisors meeting will be on August 5, 1996 at 8:00 P.M.

Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn and Mr. Sauser seconded. All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary