Board of Supervisors
The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their second regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 18, 1996 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.
|John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Vice 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 8:10 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Mr. Sauser announced that all three supervisors and Mr. Kohli attended the Fall Road Tour on November 10th and that notes for maintenance and repair needs were noted.
Mrs. Ewald announced that a decision favorable to the Township has been reached by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on the Altemose appeal. Partially reading from the decision, Mrs. Ewald said that the decision was based on case law and indicated that the Township provided a fair share of multi-family dwellings, including apartments. She interpreted the decision as being very supportive of the Township’s position, and asked the solicitor if the Township can take any measures to recover legal and other expenses incurred due to the Altemoses’ amendment challenge. Mr. Oeste responded that the Township may consider filing a petition with the Court of Common Pleas, and the Board requested that he look into the matter further.
Mrs. Ewald announced that Clarkson and Eleanor Wentz were honored by the Board of Supervisors at the Great Valley Nature Center’s annual fund raising dinner and auction on November 17th for their role in environmental education, commitment to family and the community, support of the Nature Center, the Girl Scouts of America and other groups. She praised the 50 years of leadership they’ve provided to the community.
Mrs. Ewald congratulated and commended the achievement of Township resident Chuck Isaacs, whose exhibit of American photography has now opened at the Smithsonian.
Mrs. Ewald congratulated long time Civic Association Treasurer Catherine Jenkins, who will celebrate her 90th birthday on November 25th. She also offered belated best wishes to Elizabeth Stonorov, who celebrated this milestone earlier in the year. Mrs. Ewald referred to Mrs. Stonorov, “Miss Betty” as a great inspiration to her.
Mr. Sauser tabled the approval of minutes from October 7, 1996 and October 21, 1996 to the December 2, 1996 meeting.
Mr. Sauser moved to approve check #8692 to Anderson Signs Inc. in the amount of $600.00, representing a 20% down payment on the private lane signs recently ordered. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
Janet Baldwin announced that Jane Dorchester gave a presentation on the history of Charlestown Village to the Charlestown Historical Society on November 6th, and presented the Board with a tape recording of her talk. Mrs. Ewald said the recording would be a nice addition to the Township’s records. Mrs. Baldwin said that Ms. Dorchester is available to make a presentation to the Board if they wish to schedule one.
Peter Segal announced that the meeting is being video recorded on equipment loaned from Harron Cable, and will be broadcast Sunday night at 7:00 P.M. on channel 2.
Bob Dwyer of Realen Homes was present to bring forth a request in his letter to the Board dated November 18, 1996 in which he requests that up to 90 Certificates of Occupancy be permitted in place of the current limit of 64 certificates while the Broadwater Lane issue is being settled and the access road constructed. Mr. Sauser read the letter in its entirety. Mr. Dwyer anticipates a time period of three weeks needed to construct the lane after the construction plan and E & S permit are granted. Only a stone base would be in place before spring, at which time stormwater management controls would be worked out and warmer weather would allow paving to take place.
Mr. Kohn moved to grant Realen Homes’ request to allow the issuance of up to 90 Certificates of Occupancy contingent upon a walk through of the site, issuance of the Erosion & Sedimentation Control permit by Mr. Kohli along with his approval of the construction plan, and the closing of the former Hughes driveway to take place when the new access is connected. Mr. Sauser seconded. Mr. Kohn and Mr. Sauser were in favor. Mrs. Ewald abstained from voting.
Mr. Sauser referred to the Public Official’s Liability Insurance Policy requirement that the Board adopt a sexual harassment policy, for which several sample policies were provided by BABB Inc. Mrs. Ewald referred to a confidential memo by Mr. McErlane which gave recommendations for simplifying the language of the policy. Mr. Oeste stated that he has a draft policy prepared which he would like to discuss with Mr. McErlane before submitting to the Board. The item was tabled until the December 2, 1996 meeting.
Mr. Sauser stated that a third letter has now been received by the Township from potential candidates for the part time position of Roadmaster. Mr. Kohn said that he would still like to see an advertisement run in the paper before settling on a candidate. The Board directed the Secretary to run the ad beginning November 20th and to start setting up interviews for the candidates.
Mr. Oeste stated that the Driveway Declaration document sent to him for review is satisfactory. Mr. Kohli stated that a corresponding note has been added to the plan indicating that a deed restriction is in place limiting the use of the driveway to two parcels. Mr. Oeste stated that the deed conveyancing this newly subdivided lot must also contain this note.
Mrs. Ewald asked whether the Township would enforce the deed restriction or whether the Armstrongs plan to involve a conservancy. Dave Bideman responded that he will investigate the possibility of dedicating the right of way to a conservancy, and in the meantime he will ensure that the note is placed in the deed.
Mr. Kohli indicated that the Sewage Facilities Planning Module is ready to submit to the DEP.
Mr. Kohn moved to approve the Armstrongs’ two lot Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Sauser stated that the Township needs to advertise the Ordinance to approve the Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement with West Whiteland Township which will give West Whiteland Township the responsibility of maintaining the access road into this development, which originates in Charlestown but serves only West Whiteland lots with the exception of one lot in Uwchlan Township and one in Charlestown Township. The Ordinance was tabled until the December 2, 1996 meeting.
Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Preliminary/Final Plan for Whiteland Ridge acknowledging that Charlestown Township is not obliged to maintain the access road. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Sauser moved to pass Resolution #515-96, the Resolution for Plan Revision for New Land Development in the form of the Sewage Facilities Planning Module for the Whiteland Ridge Subdivision. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Oeste stated that this ordinance needs to be advertised. Mr. Sauser tabled this item until the December 16, 1996 meeting.
Mrs. Ewald referred to several residents’ requests for changes to the approved Numbering Plan. Mr. Kohn suggested that the Re-numbering Committee meet to review all requests and provide recommendations to the Board. Mr. Sauser tabled this item until the December 2, 1996 meeting to allow the Committee time to meet and develop recommendations.
Mrs. Ewald also requested that the Committee review the reflective paint color to be used in making the signs as several residents have questioned the aesthetic appeal of the yellow reflective paint originally selected.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Ordinance #74-96 amending the Charlestown Township Zoning Ordinance Article XI, Flood Hazard District, to conform with changes to the National Flood Insurance Program Regulations. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.
Mr. Sauser stated that the solicitor has advised the Board on how to proceed in appointing an independent auditor. He also stated that he spoke to two of the three elected auditors and that no recommendations for an independent auditor have been received from them yet. Mr. Sauser referred to the question of a cap on the remuneration to an independent auditor. Mr. Oeste clarified that there are two methods of making the appointment. The first requires that a petition be signed by 25 taxpayers requesting an independent audit. The Board then appoints an auditor whose payment is restricted to the combined maximum payments of the three elected auditors, which at $700.00 each amounts to $2,100.00. The second method allowed by the 2nd Class Township Code is for the Board to advertise at least thirty days prior to the reorganization meeting that an independent auditor will be appointed. The Board may then appoint the auditor at the re-organization meeting with no payment ceiling required. The second method is the one being undertaken by the Board.
Mr. Sauser questioned the expense of hiring an independent auditor and the need to have one appointed, especially in light of the fact that the Auditor General’s office recently sent a letter acknowledging that the 1995 audit performed by the elected auditors was in good order.
Mrs. Ewald questioned the participation of auditor John Martin, who participated in the audit of the 1995 books after having served as Supervisor in 1995. Mr. Sauser responded that Mr. Martin limited his participation in the audit to the Tax Collector’s records and did not audit any records that involved actions taken by the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Ewald stated that since as a Supervisor, Mr. Martin approved the spending of tax collection moneys, his participation remains improper. She added that he also made a presentation of the Audit to the Board of Supervisors in the Spring of this year for 1995. Mrs. Ewald cited information she obtained from the State Auditor General’s office, which Mr. Sauser dismissed as bits and pieces of federal government standards literature.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #3 for Phase III On-Site Improvements in the amount of $31,836.50, Escrow Release #8 for Phase II On-Site Improvements in the amount of $10,295.00, and Escrow Release #6 for Phase II Rees Road Improvements in the amount of $1,062.50. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.
Referencing his letter of November 18, 1996, Mr. Kohli recommended that the Escrow Release Request #3 for the Commons at Great Valley be approved in the amount of $161,890.15 per Hough-Loew’s October 14, 1996 request. Mr. Kohli noted that funds for the Phoenixville Pike improvements in the amount of $191,270.20 will be maintained in the escrow fund until the completion of these improvements.
Mr. Kohli moved to approve Commons at Great Valley Escrow Release #3 as stated in Mr. Kohli’s November 18, 1996 letter. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.
Frank Iacobucci Sr. and Frank Iacobucci Jr. were present to discuss revised final plans for the Charlestown Oaks subdivision. Mr. Iacobucci (Jr.) stated that he is ready to post the bond immediately for Phase I and Phase II. The revised plans indicate a reduction in the number of total units brought about by expanding the individual townhouse size while retaining the same footprint, thereby reducing the number of units in a cluster. The road right of ways were also reduced as previously approved by the Board, in order to allow more variety in architectural style and positioning of the homes. He estimates a total unit reduction of 35 to 45 from the originally approved 288 units. Mr. Iacbucci stated that they wish to begin with the entrance road and storm sewer system improvements.
Mrs. Ewald asked about road closings on Phoenixville Pike and Yellow Springs Road. Mr. Iacobucci (Jr.) stated that the Phoenixville Pike closing won’t take place until spring, and that Yellow Springs Road will not be closed at all, per the original plan.
Action on this item was tabled until the December 2, 1996 meeting.
Mr. Sauser referred to the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commissions’ letter reminding the Township that the Final Report is due shortly. He stated that Frens & Frens have notified the Township that their work is substantially complete and they are ready to meet with the Board. The Final Report will be placed on the December 2, 1996 agenda, and the Secretary was directed to request that Frens & Frens send all supporting documentation to the Township as soon as possible for the Supervisors’ review.
The status of the Conditional Use application for Robert Berry was discussed. Mr. Oeste will contact Mr. Berry’s attorney and request clarification of the application status.
The Conditional Use Hearing for Spring Meadow Farms was scheduled for the December 16th Board of Supervisors meeting. Mr. Oeste will advertise.
Mrs. Ewald reminded the public that the Green Valleys Association will present their Water Resources Study to the Township at the December 2, 1996 meeting, and she invited everyone to attend.
Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn at 9:40 P.M. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.