BUSINESS MEETING - August 3, 1998

The first business meeting for August was held August 3, 1998 at the Charlestown Elementary School on Charlestown Road, Devault. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robert C. Wert, Vice Chairman, 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 7:40 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Mr. Sauser announced that the Supervisors met on July 24, 1998 in executive session on site at Chesterfield Lane with neighbors of the Somerset subdivision, Mr. Panizza and Mr. McErlane to discuss legal matters with regard to Somerset Lane. Mr. Sauser announced that the Board met on July 27, 1998 at the Devault Post Office to discuss real estate matters and later removed to the Township Office to discuss personnel issues.

Mr. Sauser announced that Ship Road will be closed for approximately one month beginning August 4, 1998 for water main work.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes of July 13, 1998 with the addition of two sentences in the first paragraph of page 3 under “Hearing: Ordinance Amendment to #71-96” to be inserted directly before the last sentence of that paragraph to read, “An opportunity for questions and comments was offered. None were submitted.” Mr. Wert seconded. Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert were in favor and Mrs. Ewald was opposed.

Treasurer’s Report

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for July 1-31, 1998. Mr. Wert seconded and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable

Mr. Wert moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report dated August 3, 1998 and Mr. Sauser seconded. Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert were in favor. Mrs. Ewald was opposed due to the roadwork costs. Mr. Wert stated that corresponding work orders would be expected to accompany all road related invoices from this point forward.


Written reports from the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, Zoning Officer, Roadmaster, Fire Marshal, Historical Commission and Planning Commission have been circulated.

Zoning Officer

Mr. Kohli stated that in July he sent a Cease and Desist notice dated 7/17/98 to Mr. and Mrs. Altemose for barn renovations being undertaken that don’t conform with the Zoning Ordinance. He sent a follow up letter dated 7/23/98 reinforcing this notice after the Altemoses submitted a plan change that didn’t resolve the initial problem.

Mr. Kohli stated that he notified the Pa Turnpike Commission in a letter dated 7/27/98 that the building permit they submitted for an addition to an existing tower was denied due to noncompliance with the Zoning Ordinance.

Mr. Kohli stated that he has communicated with Little People Day Care regarding their request for a 100% escrow release, which cannot be approved until conditions of Mr. Comitta’s last review are met.

Mr. Kohli stated that he will work with the Planning Commission on clarifying some language in the Zoning Ordinance, Article 17 which is currently ambiguous.

Mr. Kohli stated that Realen Homes must comply with the approved plan for constructing Broadwater Lane. Mr. McErlane will set up a meeting with Bob Dwyer to discuss the matter.

Planning Commission Report

Bud Zeigler stated that the Wilson subdivision plan dated 6/26/98 was reviewed by the Planning Commission on July 14, 1998 after it was submitted just a few days before the meeting. The plan was not complete or comprehensive and did not include topographical data. Mr. Zeigler stated that the Planning Commission made a recommendation with severe constraints, and until those issues are resolved the matter remains a Planning Commission matter.

Fire Marshal Report

Mr. Alston stated that conditions are becoming very dry and extreme caution is advised.

Mr. Kohli will contact PennDOT with regard to re-milling the curve on Route 29 since the number of accidents has begun to increase at this location, especially during wet weather.

Parks & Recreation Report

Mr. Sauser asked the Secretary for an update on outstanding items requested by the County in their letter of 7/17/98 with regard to the Round Ten Parks & Recreation grant the Township has filed. Two items have been taken care and three remain for Mr. Connolly to address.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Mr. Sauser asked if all other options were exhausted before the VFSA made the decision to condemn a 35 acre Schuylkill Township land parcel owned by the McAvoy Vitrified Brick Company. This land is needed to meet anticipated future regional sewage treatment needs. Mr. Winckelman responded that this action was necessary as Mr. McAvoy was willing to sell the parcel to the VFSA only at a price highly inflated over its actual market value.

Historical Commission

Mr. Sauser asked if Mrs. Baldwin had received a response to her letter of 7/30/98 to Chris Arader with regard to the Commission’s concern over the condition of the historic house. Mrs. Baldwin responded no.

Citizen’s Forum

No matters were brought forward at this time.

PennDOT Agility Program

Mr. Sauser asked for input on the program to determine whether joining would be advisable for the Township. Mr. McErlane responded that it is an exchange of work program that provides some flexibility to the municipality, but the actual implementation remains unclear. Mrs. Ewald moved to decline signing on to the Agility Program and Mr. Sauser seconded. All were in favor.

Deerfield Planning Competition Vignette - Rescheduling of Presentations Date

Mr. Sauser stated that the Planning Consultants’ reports on the Deerfield tract would be submitted to the Board at a special meeting scheduled for August 31, 1998. The original date of August 17, 1998 was changed to allow the consultants a sufficient period to prepare after the Board’s guidelines were sent out later than originally anticipated. He referred to Mr. Panizza’s letter of July 31, 1998 in which he requested that the original meeting date be kept, stating that this would not be possible. The Board also agreed to place the September Accounts Payable on the August 31, 1998 agenda.

Ramondo - Request for Public Sewer

Mr. McErlane stated that in order to enter into an agreement with West Whiteland Township to allow West Whiteland to supply sewer service to the Ramondo’s Lot #1 in the Whiteland Ridge subdivision, a resolution would be required by the Board. Mr. Wert moved to pass a Resolution permitting West Whiteland Township to supply public sewer service to the Ramondo’s property, Lot #1 of the Whiteland Ridge Subdivision and Mr. Sauser seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion, asking the Solicitor to clarify several legal concerns. Mr. McErlane responded that the Board is authorized to waive the specification that all FR lots are served by on-site septic, and that although West Whiteland Township is not within its franchise area to provide service to this lot, this type of arrangement, as a matter of convenience, is not unusual. Mr. McErlane stated that allowing this one lot to tap into public sewer will not create a precedent as the surrounding FR properties do not have a vested right to do the same. Mr. Sauser called for the vote. Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert were in favor. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.

Homeraijani Grading Issue - Lot 70 Charlestown Hunt

Mr. Wert moved to grant an extension to 9/30/98 for the Homeraijanis to decide on a grading plan for their property, and an extension to 10/31/98 for implementation of this plan. Mr. Wert further moved that the Township solicitor will communicate with the Homeraijanis’ solicitor that if this schedule is not adhered to, their Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Permit will be revoked. They are urged to handle this matter as expeditiously as possible. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

William Wilson Subdivision

Mr. Kohli provided a summary of the subdivision plan last revised 7/28/98 for Mr. Wilson’s property off Mine Road, which proposes to subdivide the land into two parcels. The nine acre Parcel A situated toward the north east portion of the tract would be sold to the Thompson family, who own adjacent land. Parcel B, 11 acres, would be combined with a separate parcel that includes Mr. Wilson’s existing house. No construction is anticipated on either parcel.

Mr. Kohli stated that the Planning Commission had a concern with an existing 50 foot wide easement that travels from Mine Road, along the common property line between Mr. Wilson’s two existing parcels, and continues into the Thompson land. The Planning Commission requested information on how this easement was created and for what purpose. The provision of this information was a condition of their approval. He further stated that the Planning Commission made their approval conditioned upon Parcel A being combined with other lands of the Thompson family since it is unclear whether this parcel has its own access. Although the easement may provide access, without topographical information, the parcel may not be able to access it due to possible very steep and steep slopes. Mr. Sauser referred the plan back to the Planning Commission to review the revised plan, the easement document and various waiver requests.

Due to Mr. Wilson’s time constraints, it was agreed that following the Planning Commission’s recommendation, the Board would be willing to indicate their approval by telephone and ratify their decision at the August 31, 1998 meeting.

Somerset - Road Status

The Somerset subdivision plan has been revised in order to accommodate a relocation of the road made necessary now that negotiations with the owner of Chesterfield Lane and his neighbors who share the lane have ended unsuccessfully. Mr. Sauser moved to refer the plan to the Planning Commission for their review on August 11, 1998 with the understanding that the Township wishes to extend the courtesy of moving forward expediently to Mr. Panizza. Mr. Wert seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion, stating that the Planning Commission should review wetland issues, and safety and aesthetics issues with regard to the proposed road shown just 176 feet away from Chesterfield Lane. Mr. Sauser called for the vote. Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert were in favor. Mrs. Ewald did not vote.

DHR Ltd. Revised Driveway Plan

Mr. Kohli stated that he received a call from the applicant this afternoon stating that they wished to withdraw their proposed plan revision.

Fried - Driveway Plan

Mr. Kohli stated that the pull off areas shown in Mr. Fried’s driveway plan appear to be adequate. He will communicate further with the applicant.

Signal Service Inc.

Mrs. Ewald moved to direct the Roadmaster to accept Signal Service Inc.’s 7/20/98 quotation for replacing the Route 29 and Charlestown Road signal light controller and loop replacement as recommended by Mr. Kohli. Mr. Wert seconded and all were in favor.

Cancellation of Board of Supervisors Meeting of September 7, 1998

Due to the regularly scheduled first meeting of September falling on Labor Day, September 7, 1998, the Board decided to cancel it and would not need to reschedule it since they will have met the week previously on August 31st.

Charlestown Oaks Escrow Release # 8

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Charlestown Oaks Escrow Release #8 in the amount of $38,281.25 with the understanding that the release will be held until Charlestown Oaks Inc. reimburses the Township for the full sum of their outstanding review fees. Mr. Wert seconded. The motion passed 3-0.

Other Business

Great Valley School District Subdivision Sketch Plan

The Board requested that the Planning Commission review this sketch plan dated 7/23/98 at their August 11, 1998 meeting.

Use of the Chester Valley Grange

Mr. Sauser moved to approve check #1742 in the amount of $75.00 to the Chester Valley Grange as a donation to show the Township’s appreciation to them in arranging for the July 13, 1998 meeting to be held at the Grange building after very short notice was given. Mr. Wert seconded and all were in favor.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Slip Ramp Study

Mrs. Ewald suggested that the Planning Commission discuss available information relative to the Turnpike Commission’s intention to construct a commuter slip ramp that would bring turnpike commuter traffic onto Route 29. Mr. Zeigler stated that he will write a letter to Walt Green at the Turnpike Commission requesting the traffic studies they’ve conducted relative to slip ramps so the Planning Commission can hold a discussion. Mr. Wert stated that he expects the PA Turnpike Commission to submit plans, prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment and conduct public hearings on this issue.

Citizens’ Forum - Non Agenda Items

Kevin Kuhn asked for the status of the Altemose issue. Mr. Wert stated that it is the consensus of the Board of Supervisors that the Township Solicitor is the Township’s spokesperson on this litigation issue. Mr. McErlane stated that the Township response will be filed on Monday, August 10th and will be available at the Township office.

Marie Palonbino requested help with a noise problem she has been experiencing at her home in the Charlestown Hunt development.

John Panizza asked if he would have an opportunity to ask questions of the planners during the August 31, 1998 meeting where they will present their plans for the Deerfield tract. The Board agreed that he will have an opportunity to do so.

Bob Kenney, Mine Road, stated his interest in obtaining a place at Charlestown Park for girls’ softball. Mr. Sauser referred him to Parks & Recreation Chairman Mark Connolly to discuss the matter.

A brief discussion was held on the traffic problems at the Route 29 and Charlestown Road intersection and an update provided for the public.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 P.M. The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held on August 31, 1998 at 7:30 P.M. at the Charlestown Elementary School.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary