The first regular business meeting for January was held January 6, 1997 at the Charlestown Elementary School. John B. Sauser, Robin J. Kohn, Irene W. Ewald, James E. McErlane, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 P.M.


There were no announcements.

December Accounts Payable

Mr. Sauser moved to ratify check #8751 dated December 16, 1996 for the Roadmaster’s salary. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of December 2, 1996 with the correction of a typo in the word “lifetime” on page 5. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of December 16, 1996 as submitted. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for December 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

January Accounts Payable

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable for January 6, 1997. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Zoning Officer’s Report

Mr. Kohli stated that the Building Permit Report for December has been submitted. Mrs. Ewald asked for the status of several matters. First, she referred to the December 18, 1996 letter written by William and Kim Coyle regarding water that runs down Valley Hill Road, across Green Lane Road and into their yard. Mr. Kohli stated that he will visit the site and make a recommendation to the Board.

Second, Mrs. Ewald referred to a letter sent to Mr. Overstreet on Union Hill Road from the Department of Environmental Protection regarding his request for permission to install two 42 inch RCP culverts to replace an existing failing driveway culvert. She asked if this would infringe on the township road right of way. Mr. Kohli stated that the pipe is located under Mr. Overstreet’s driveway and runs water into the creek, which is the reason DEP approval is needed. Mr. Kohli stated it is not in the road right of way.

Third, Mrs. Ewald asked if Mr. Kohli is following up on a letter from the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company. Mr. Kohli stated that he’s been in contact with them and is waiting for them to send plans to the township.

Fourth, Mrs. Ewald asked if anyone has responded to Wayne Lanning’s letter which brought up concerns over the condition of Newcomen Road. Mr. Thompson stated that he has sent a letter to PennDOT regarding the matter.

Fifth, Mrs. Ewald asked for the status of Woodward-Clyde’s investigation into the location of the Buckwalter Mine on the Charlestown Hunt property. Mr. Kohli responded that they are on site and the investigation is proceeding.

Sixth, Mrs. Ewald asked for the status of recent Charlestown Hunt violations, which Mr. Kohli said have been taken care of.

Seventh, Mrs. Ewald asked for the status of the request for rezoning of a parcel at the intersection of Whitehorse Road and Route 29 for a Wawa convenience store. Mr. Sauser stated that this will go first to the Planning Commission.

Last, Mrs. Ewald asked for an update on Broadwater Lane. Mr. McErlane stated that he was unable to reach Mr. Kaplin today to discuss proceeding with grading and constructing the stone base on the portion of the access road located on Realen property that connects to the existing end of Broadwater Lane. Mr. Kohli stated that clearing on their property is also underway.

Mr. Kohli stated that some outstanding issues with the settlement between Realen Homes and the Andersens appear to be resolved. Mr. Sauser stated that one of these issues was the Andersens’ interest in obtaining access to the easement out to Charlestown Road so they could later develop their property. Ellen Behrle stated that the Andersons have not received the agreed upon settlement as of today, and commented that the lienholder has now signed the non-disturbance agreement which Realen was late in seeking.

Mr. Churchill asked if the issue of alignment of the access road has been resolved. Mr. Kohli responded that this will be resolved in the spring.

Planning Commission Report

Mr. Churchill reported that at the December 10, 1996 meeting, the Planning Commission met with Pennrose Properties and discussed a sketch plan from Robal Associates. He added that the Planning Commission recommended denial of the Somerset plan due to the developer’s refusal to submit a review extension and continue negotiations. Since that meeting, the developer has reconsidered and a meeting with him has been planned to discuss the matter further.

Roadmaster Report

Jim Thompson reported that plowing and cindering took place on December 6, 1996, fall and winter clean up was performed and drains cleared due to flooding.

Fire Marshal Report

Fred Alston reported that in December there were one trees and wires fire on Bodine Road, one wires fire on Pikeland Road, one automatic alarm on Pikeland Road and several accidents. He provided year end statistics for a review of 1996 and praised the efforts of the volunteers and professionals who serve the Township.

Parks and Recreation Board

Mr. Connolly requested the Board’s assistance in contacting Gregg Nesspor to determine whether he’s interested in continuing as a member of the Parks and Recreation Board. Mr. Connolly stated that he’s been unable to contact Mr. Nesspor, who has not been attending the meetings. Mr. Sauser offered to speak with him.

Mr. Connolly said that the Parks and Recreation Board plans to pursue trail maintenance during 1997 in cooperation with the Great Valley Nature Center. He also stated that he looked into resident requests for a crosswalk across Coldstream Road to the Park and has some preliminary cost estimates including one quote of $1,700.00. He offered to work with Mr. Kohli and PennDOT on putting in a crossing if the Board is interested. Mrs. Ewald stated that due to the speed and volume of traffic on Coldstream Road, she has misgivings on constructing a crosswalk. Mr. Sauser agreed.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Mr. Winckelman reported that the financial report for 1996 showed a profit. He stated that later this year, work will be done in the area of Pothouse Road.

Citizen’s Forum

Stephen Schlichter asked for an update on Pennrose Properties, and Mr. Sauser stated that discussions are underway with the Planning Commission but no formal hearings have been scheduled.

Mark Connolly presented the Board with a copy of the executed Broadwater Lane agreement between the Connollys and Realen Homes.

John DiLello reported that the problem of double utility poles on Charlestown Road has yet to be resolved. Mr. Sauser stated that Bell Atlantic is the responsible party but he has been unable to get them to respond.

Ellen Behrle reported that excess gravel on the road is causing dangerous conditions at both Sycamore Lane and the Union Hill and Whitehorse Road intersection. Mrs. Ewald added that the Hollow and Pikeland Road intersection has a similar problem and should be reported to PennDOT.

Buckwalter Road Numbering

Mr. Sauser stated that he has spoken to Chester County Emergency Services and Charlie McCarthy at Schuylkill Township regarding the problem on Buckwalter Road, where both sides of the road were assigned odd numbers. Mr. Sauser explained that Schuylkill originally assigned the numbers on both the Schuylkill and Charlestown sides of Buckwalter Road, and the Charlestown re-numbering committee was given a list of the Charlestown side addresses only. The addresses were reviewed for adherence to Charlestown’s re-numbering plan and it was determined that the numbers worked well with the plan. Unfortunately, the Charlestown re-numbering committee made the false, but logical, assumption, that Schuylkill township had numbered the Schuylkill side of the road with even numbers. Mr. Sauser stated that he has spoke with Emergency Services about a solution.

Mr. Blau, a Buckwalter Road resident, asked why the Post Office wasn’t contacted with the change of address. Mrs. Ewald responded that they were given a printout and computer disk immediately after the ordinance was passed. Other Buckwalter Road residents were present and voiced their dissatisfaction.

Mr. Kohn suggested sending a letter to Schuylkill Township asking for their cooperation in resolving this issue.

Berkheimer Earned Income Tax Bills

Mrs. Ewald told residents that Berkheimer Associates erroneously mailed earned income tax bills to everyone in the Phoenixville zip code area, which includes many Charlestown residents. She told them to disregard the bill if they are not subject to the tax due to their place of employment, since Charlestown Township does not have an earned income tax.

Chester County Heritage Park and Open Space Municipal Grant Program

Mr. Sauser moved to sign the Round VIII contract with the Chester County Parks and Recreation Department under their Heritage Park and Open Space Municipal Grant Program. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor. This $5,000.00 grant will be matched by $5,000.00 from the Phoenixville Area Youth Club for the construction of a field hockey field.

Charlestown Oaks Final Plan

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the revised Charlestown Oaks Title Plans, Sheets S100 through S104 dated 2/3/92 and last revised 12/6/96, pending Mr. McErlane’s review of the escrow documents and Charlestown Oaks Inc.’s posting of escrow funds for stages 1 and 2 of Phase I. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to grant an extension for recording the plans to May 15, 1997. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

PennDOT Revised Snow & Ice Agreement

Mrs. Ewald stated that the revised Snow & Ice Agreement allows for an upward adjustment to the municipality to offset the cost of severe winters. She suggested that this adjustment be reviewed to determine whether it is sufficient, particularly in light of the fact that the basis for the adjustment is calculated for average Chester County roads when the roads in Charlestown are often more challenging due to steepness, icing and narrowness. Ellen Behrle offered to attempt a negotiation with PennDOT on behalf of the township. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Snow & Ice Agreement subject to a 10 day holding period to allow for further negotiations with PennDOT by Ellen Behrle. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Charlestown Hunt Lot 26 - Driveway within Setback

Mr. McErlane referred to his memo dated January 6, 1997 which outlined the problem created when the plans for the house now owned by Dr. and Mrs. Growney were flipped to place the garage on the opposite side. During the survey, an error was made which places the driveway in the side yard setback from Lot 27. He recommended that a hearing be scheduled in order for the Growneys to seek a variance. The hearing was scheduled for the February 3, 1997 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Signal Service Contract

Mr. Sauser called for discussion on whether there are any competitive companies offering this service. Mr. Kohli responded that he considers Signal Service to be the best choice for the township due to their convenient location and quick response time. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the 1997 contract. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Anderson Signs

Mr. Kohn referred to Anderson Signs’ January 6, 1997 letter in which they request an increase in the price originally bid for the 39 private lane street signs, for which they’ll include a protective plastic cap for each sign. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the increase in the price to $92.50 per sign and to approve a partial payment of $750.00 on the sign order. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Creative Sign Crafters

Mr. Sauser moved to approve a 50% deposit payment of $212.50 to Creative Sign Crafters for the new sign at Charlestown Park. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Resolution #522-97

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Resolution #522-97 authorizing the execution of the PennDOT Supplemental Snow & Ice Agreement. #062534-A Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.


Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Kohn seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 P.M.