October 20, 1997

The second regular business meeting for October was held October 21, 1997 at the Charlestown Elementary School. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, James E. McErlane, Esq., Gary Bender, 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 7:40 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


There were no announcements at this time.

Citizen’s Forum - Agenda Items

Mr. Correy, 2050 Howells Road, asked if he would have an opportunity to speak during the continued Sprint/Spectrum hearing later this evening, and Mr. Sauser responded yes.

Sprint/Spectrum-Conditional Use Hearing-Construction of a Communications Tower in the LI2 District

The proceeds were taken by a court reporter and the record was left open. The hearing was continued to November 3, 1997 at 7:30 P.M. at the Charlestown Elementary School.

Historical Commission Ordinance:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve Ordinance #77-97 with two revisions. The Ordinance repeals Ordinance #56-88 known as the Historical Commission Ordinance; and re-establishes the Historical Commission, combining its personnel, responsibilities and functions with the Charlestown Board of Historical and Architectural Review. His first revision was to strike the words “natural, scenic and historic” under Page 1, Section 1, Paragraph 1 and to replace them with “historic, archeological and architectural.” The second revision was to strike the word “natural” under Page 3, Section 5 (b) and replace it with “archeological.” The purpose of the proposed revisions is to allow the new commission to focus on structures and not the natural environment. Mrs. Ewald stated that she preferred to add Mr. Sauser’s words to the ordinance but keep the old language in as well, commenting that the review of the buildings shouldn’t be separated from their natural setting. Mr. Kohn seconded Mr. Sauser’s motion, and all were in favor.

Road Material & Equipment Bids 1997-1998

Mrs. Ewald moved to award the materials bids to the low bidders per Mr. Kohli’s recommendations, namely, Devault Crushed Stone for the stone materials bid and Glasgow Inc. for the bituminous materials bid. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Mr. McErlane reviewed the three bids for Labor & Equipment as follows. The apparent low bidder, Rittenbaugh Inc.’s bid was in the amount of $186,550.00, and the bid package was complete with the exception of the insurance certificate. Delaware Valley Paving’s bid of $189,100.00 was received without the required PennDOT form or the Bidder’s Statement of Qualifications form. Macanga Paving’s bid of $207,570.00 failed to list bid prices for all of the specified equipment. Mr. Kohn stated that he and Mrs. Ewald spoke to Mr. Rittenbaugh prior to the meeting to discuss improving their working relationship and communications with the Board and feels confident that questions of efficiency as had arisen in the past can be put to rest. Mr. Kohn moved to award the bid to Rittenbaugh Inc. conditioned on their submission of the required insurance certificate. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Lyon Conditional Use Hearing

Mr. McErlane indicated that a draft decision on the Lyon Conditional Use application was circulated and is waiting for final action. Mrs. Ewald stated that the neighbors’ concerns be addressed first, but Mr. Kohn indicated that between the language in the draft Decision relating to the Crowell property and the arrangements underway with Mr. Kohli’s office for a site meeting with the neighbors, he was satisfied that these issues are being handled satisfactorily. Mr. Kohn moved to approve the draft Decision and Order for Conditional Use Approval for Gary Lyon. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Charlestown Hunt Phase IV Building Status:

Mr. Kohli explained that a new townhouse model for Phase IV, similar to Model 200 in Phase I, has been submitted for approval by Realen Homes which represents a change from the original plan. It would create only minimal changes to the footprints and to grading operations. Mr. Kohn moved to approve the revised Building Plan for Phase IV of Charlestown Hunt. Mr. Sauser seconded. Two were in favor. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.

Ferguson Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan:

Mr. Kohli noted that the note addressing the waiver on the constructing the driveway to Township specifications has been clarified and is now satisfactory. The note indicates that the waiver applies only to the plan as shown and does not extend to any future development.

Mr. Kohn stated his concern that the parcels shown on the plan are not deed restricted against further subdivision as was required of adjoining subdivisions. He made a motion to approve the Ferguson Subdivision Plan on the condition that the lots remain under Act 319 or are restricted against further subdivision. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion.

Mr. Ferguson feels that deed restrictions are unnecessary and burdensome to him and that keeping the properties under Act 319 is a sufficiently strong incentive for the new property owners to maintain these properties without further subdividing them. Removing them from Act 319 would result in much higher taxes as well as liability for paying the difference in back taxes at the higher rate. Mr. Kohn stated that his concern is not with Mr. Ferguson’s intentions, but with the successive owners of the lots who may be inclined to subdivide. Mrs. Ewald noted that the deed restricted lots at the Eastwick and Merriwether subdivisions sold very quickly and buyers reported back that they felt secure in the knowledge that the surrounding properties would be similarly preserved. She indicated that she was willing to accept a time limit on the restrictions of fifteen years, which is the same as that required of the neighboring properties. She voiced her appreciation to Mr. Ferguson for his past service to the Township and his thoughtful approach to this plan, but noted that the Chester County Planning Commission’s review strongly recommended deed restricting these lots that possessive such an extremely sensitive vista.

Michael Churchill suggested that the Board consider a deed restriction that would apply to the buyer of each lot, and not to Mr. Ferguson as the seller. He stated that since Mr. Ferguson is concerned over the salability of deed restricted parcels, he could first attempt to market them in this fashion and if he was unsuccessful in selling them, could return to the Board for options.

At 10:05 P.M., Mr. Sauser called for an executive session to confer with counsel. The Board reconvened at 10:25 P.M. Mr. Kohn withdrew his motion and Mrs. Ewald agreed. Mr. McErlane will provide language for some restrictive notes that would satisfy the Board but be sensitive to Mr. Ferguson’s concerns as well. The matter was placed on the November 3, 1997 agenda. Robert Berry, a property owner in the Eastwick subdivision, stated that he appreciated what the Board is trying to do and commented that he has no objection to the Ferguson subdivision.

Zeigler Subdivision: Sewage Facilities Planning Module Resolution:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Resolution to accept the Sewage Facilities Planning Module for the Zeigler Subdivision. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed 2-1. Mrs. Ewald stated that she voted against the motion since the planning module includes four sand mound systems.

Chester County Association of Township Officials Fall Convention

Mr. Sauser will be attending the Fall Convention.

Sproule Development Co.

Mr. Sauser stated that Gary Sproule requested in his letter of October 1, 1997 that he be permitted to close out his escrow account and replaced it with a letter of credit for the amount remaining for the resurfacing of the parking lot, which can’t be undertaken until spring. Mr. Kohli stated that this is a fairly routine matter but suggested that the letter of credit be posted now instead of waiting until next year. Mr. Kohn moved to approve the request provided that the funds are placed under the Letter of Credit now instead of waiting until next year. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

DHR Ltd. - Escrow Release #2

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Escrow Release #2 in the amount of $13,050.00 for DHR Ltd. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Charlestown Oaks - Escrow Release #1

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Escrow Release #1 I the amount of $396,169.00 for Charlestown Oaks Inc. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Zoning Ordinance Amendment - J. Loew & Associates

The Zoning Ordinance Amendment application of J. Loew & Associates was scheduled for January 19, 1998 at the Great Valley Nature Center, 7:30 P.M. The amendment proposes to separate the NC District into two districts. The existing NC District would become NC-1. The Commons at Great Valley would be re-zoned to NC-2, where a higher percentage of flex space would be permitted.

Other Matters

Mrs. Ewald announced the passing of Chester County Fire Marshal William “Pop” Winters, who was involved in fire protection for 63 years. She stated that he was the Fire Chief at the Valley Forge Army Hospital for 28 of those years and that she met with him several times when he investigated fires in Charlestown Township through the years. She recognized his incredible dedication to Chester County and to the Township. Charlestown Fire Marshal Fred Alston attended the services last week. Mrs. Ewald stated that a memorial fund was established for contributions in Mr. Winters’ name to the Atglen Fire Company, and she moved to donate $150.00 to the Atglen Fire Company in his memory. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Citizen’s Forum - Non-Agenda Items

Bud Zeigler said that he had also worked with Mr. Winters and echoed Mrs. Ewald’s sentiments.

Paul Schulze stated that he had an opportunity to review the plans for the Phoenixville Pike Intersection Improvement project at the Engineer’s office. He stated his concern that right turn lanes, particularly heading east and north on Route 29, were not provided for. He also commented that the traffic backup on Whitehorse Road was not addressed.

Mr. Kohli responded that there aren’t sufficient right of ways for additional right turning lanes, but that in response to Mr. Schulze’s second comment, a traffic improvement plan separate from this project will deal with Whitehorse Road. Mrs. Ewald stated that the Spring Oaks Business Park subdivision plan includes traffic signals for Whitehorse Road & Route 29 and also Yellow Springs/Warner Lane at Route 29, which should greatly improve this situation.

Mr. Kohli stated that even without right hand turning lanes, the synchronization of the lights should keep traffic moving sufficiently so that the straight through lane will accommodate those turning right without difficulty.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 P.M.. The next meeting will be held at the Charlestown Elementary School at 7:30 P.M. on November 3, 1997.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary