December 1, 1997

The first regular business meeting for December was held December 1, 1997 at the Charlestown Elementary School. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Irene W. Ewald, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Gary Bender, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Thomas J. Comitta, 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.


Mr. Sauser announced that he attended a program at the Charlestown Elementary School on November 18th in recognition of American Education Week, which included a tour of the school.

Mr. Sauser announced that an executive session was held on November 25th, 1997 and was attended by Mr. Kohn and Mrs. Ewald to make settlement on the 20.6 acre parcel located on Yellow Springs Road and purchased from the Pyle family. The Pyles have a lease until next spring for use of the land. Mr. Sauser noted that a planning process for this property should be started. Mrs. Ewald reflected on the fact that members of the Pyle family have lived in the township for over 100 years and contributed a great deal of time and service to the community. She described them as people who valued the land. Harold Pyle had been a Supervisor and also served as Roadmaster with help from his sons and daughter. He had served on the School Board at one time, as did his mother. Elizabeth Pyle has served as Township Secretary.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes for the November 3, 1997 Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes for the November 17, 1997 Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report for November 1-30, 1997

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for the period of November 1 - 30, 1997, and Mr. Sauser seconded. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable for November 24, 1997 which represented the final payment for the Pyle property acquisition and accompanying closing costs. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable for December 1, 1997 provided that she draft a letter to PECO Energy with regard to unresolved issues with the Emergency Operations Center move. Mr. Kohn seconded the motion. Mr. Sauser pointed out that the last two checks for donations should have been decided upon before adding to the accounts payable list. He made a motion to approve a donation to the Community Visiting Nurses in the amount of $800.00. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve a donation to Swiss Pines in the amount of $250.00 and Mr. Sauser seconded. All were in favor. The motion to approve the Accounts Payable for December 1, 1997 was then voted on and passed unanimously.

Zoning Officer’s Report

No items were brought forward at this time since Mr. Kohli arrived later in the meeting.

Planning Commission Report

No one was present from the Planning Commission.

Roadmaster Report

Mr. Sauser asked for further details on the speed limit for Hollow Road. Mr. Thompson responded that PennDOT doesn’t have any speed limit signs posted on this road. They will be conducting a study in order to determine the proper speed limit and post it.

Mrs. Ewald asked about road sweeping and Mr. Thompson responded that the contractor’s road sweeper doesn’t do well picking up wet leaves so primarily a backhoe is being used. Fall clean up should be completed this week. Mrs. Ewald stated that she has received complaints that the contractor is using a front end loader and dumping leaves in wooded areas of peoples’ properties.

Fire Marshal Report

Mrs. Ewald asked about incidents of open burning during the current burning ban. Mr. Alston stated that several people have been warned and will be cited if they continue. He recommended that homeowners compost their leaves. The burning ban will remain in effect for the present time.

Parks and Recreation Board

No one from the Parks & Recreation Board was in attendance. The Secretary was asked to contact Mr. Connolly with regard to ensuring that “no hunting” signs are posted on the township’s open space properties.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Mr. Sauser stated that the 1998 proposed budget for the VFSA has been approved.

Citizen’s Forum - Agenda Items

Stephen Schlichter asked each of the supervisors for a brief comment on what they envision for the newly acquired Pyle tract. He also asked for the cost of the acquisition. Mrs. Ewald responded that the total cost of the land, at $23,500 per acre, was $470,000. Closing costs were under $2,500 and included the title report and recording fee. The payments were made from the general fund upon recommendation of the township’s independent auditor, Emory Todd. A sufficient carryover to 1998 is anticipated.

Each Board member then provided his/her views on the use of the land. Mrs. Ewald said that it’s important for a land plan to be developed in conjunction with the township planner, Tom Comitta and the township Parks & Recreation Board. She hopes for some cooperative effort with the School District in order to avoid duplication of efforts, particularly in types of uses and parking lot space. She indicated that the School District seems amenable to joint planning. Many people have communicated to her their interest in walking/jogging trails, and she feels that the possibility of a joint trail could be very desirable. Others have suggested equestrian functions. She envisions a garden buffer between the Rapp House and active recreation, perhaps accomplished through community gardening groups. Mrs. Ewald stated that citizen input and involvement is welcome.

Mr. Kohn was in general agreement with Mrs. Ewald’s comments and noted that the planning process would probably take up to a year.

Mr. Sauser stated that another option is to maintain the parcel as open space for the time being, perhaps with a low maintenance trail.

Mr. Schlichter asked about the reorganization meeting to be scheduled and Mr. Sauser explained that a reorganization of the Board takes place by statute on the first Monday of the new year. During this reorganization, the Chairman and Vice Chairman are voted on for the Board. Other township appointments are made as well.

Jean Viallet commented on the chronic unresolved problems with the hours of operation at the Devault Quarry, which is against the township agreement.

Sprint Spectrum Conditional Use Hearing

The proceedings were taken by a court reporter. The hearing will continue on December 15, 1997.

Little People Day Care Center

Mr. Comitta brought to the Board’s attention that the approved landscaping plan recorded with the land development plan for Little People Day Care hasn’t been followed at all. Plantings show no resemblance to the approved planting types, sizes, locations and numbers. He stated that he’s spoken to Mr. Sprague from Little People, and he’s agreed to work with Mr. Comitta and reimburse the township for related consultant costs. The Board directed Mr. Comitta to communicate with Mr. Sprague that they expect the landscaping to be brought up to the standards of the approved plan, with substitutions and alterations to be worked out between Mr. Comitta and the applicant.

Reorganization Meeting

Mr. Sauser moved to advertise the Reorganization Meeting for January 5, 1997 at 7:30 P.M. at the Charlestown Elementary School. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Harron Communications

Mr. Kohn moved to sign the letter dated October 20, 1997 from Harron Communications requesting consent for the transferring of the Ordinance/Franchise Agreement dated May 4, 1987 from HCC to Harron Cablevision of Kennett Square Inc. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Vibratech Report

Mr. Kohli stated that individual blasting reports, a summary letter, a consolidated report letter, and a proposal have been distributed to the Board from the independent consultant, Vibratech Inc. Mrs. Ewald suggested that 4 copies be made available to the public to sign out and review. The Board scheduled an Executive Session to meet with Mr. Kohli so that he can provide an explanation of the data. A public meeting to provide the results of these studies was scheduled for January 19, 1998 at the Elementary School at 7:30 P.M.

Jean Viallet requested that the Board review their agreement with Devault Crushed Stone very carefully as he believes they are in violation of the permitted hours of operation. Lou Perrone agreed that the quarry is operating its crusher during the night and the noise is extreme and constant. Jack Kelly asked if a count of the number of vehicles accessing the quarry and asphalt plants has been made, as he feels it may be exceeding the limit in the agreement as well.

Bill Corson of the Myers Group which operates both the Devault Quarry and Great Valley Materials, commented that he wants to work with the community on these issues.

Zoning Hearing Board Appointments

Mr. Sauser nominated John C. Martin Jr. for the Zoning Hearing Board for a term of three years beginning January 1, 1998, plus the remainder of 1997 to cover the balance of John DiLello’s term. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald nominated Cathy DiFillippo as an alternate to the Zoning Hearing Board for a term of three years beginning January 1, 1998, plus the remainder of 1997. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Municipal Office

Mr. Sauser referred to a letter dated December 1, 1998 from Wendy McLean, president of the Great Valley Nature Center, which provides an extension on the office lease to May 1, 1999. After this date, they will no longer provide space to the township. Mr. Sauser said that the Board should begin to evaluate options, which include conversion of the former Provost Marshall’s office on the grounds of the former Valley Forge Army Hospital, or use of a trailer at the township property in Devault across from the Devault Post Office. Mr. Kohn added that construction of a municipal office in a phased approach should also be considered. He suggested that the Board review the needs analysis report done by Dale Frens last year before proceeding further.

Citizen’s Forum - Non-Agenda Items

Janet Baldwin announced that she has obtained signed forms from property owners that now meets the minimum acreage requirements for creating an agricultural security district in Charlestown with a total of 1,051.6 acres. The Board will review the forms and the process for going forward with the required public hearings.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 P.M.. The next meeting will be held at the Charlestown Elementary School at 7:30 P.M. on December 15, 1997.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary