BUSINESS MEETING - August 31, 1998

A joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission was held August 31, 1998 at the Charlestown Elementary School on Charlestown Road, Devault.

Supervisors Present: John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robert C. Wert, Vice Chairman and Member Irene W. Ewald

Planning Commissioners Present: Bud Zeigler, Chairman, Charlie Philips, Vice Chairman, Vincent Kling, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill and Cheryl Atkins-Lubinski.

Also Present: James E. McErlane, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list.

The meeting was called to order at 7:50 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. The Supervisors addressed several matters prior to convening the joint portion of the meeting which was scheduled for the purpose of hearing presentations from two planning consultants.


Mr. Sauser announced with sadness the passing of former Supervisor Charlie Ott, who was a lifetime resident of Charlestown and dedicated many years on the Board, leaving a great legacy to the Township.

Mr. Sauser announced that the Township Secretary has completed the organization of a data base for old records after which the files were sent to a secure environmentally controlled off-site storage facility, and he congratulated her on her efforts.

Citizens’ Forum

No matters were brought forward at this time.

Accounts Payable

Mr. Wert moved to approve the Accounts Payable as revised for a correction in the amount of check #1785 to read $7,369.00. Mr. Sauser seconded, and Mrs. Ewald called for discussion in order to voice concerns with regard to costs and controls for July. Mr. Sauser called for the vote. Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert were in favor and Mrs. Ewald was opposed on the basis of the Rittenbaugh invoice.

Materials, Equipment & Labor Road Bid Documents

Mr. Sauser stated that bid documents had been prepared and after being finalized this evening, the invitation to bid will be advertised with the bid opening to take place at 2:00 P.M. at the Township office on September 16th in the presence of the Roadmaster, Engineer and Township Secretary. This meeting is open to the public. The contracts will be awarded at the Board meeting scheduled for September 21st.

Mr. Wert asked the Secretary to fax the pertinent portions of the documents to the Township’s insurance broker for him to review and advise whether they are compatible with current coverage. He specifically wants to confirm that the $1,000,000 general liability figure for contractors is sufficient, as the increase in premium for higher coverage is minimal.

Mr. Wert requested that the following sentence be added to the bid documentation for Road Labor & Equipment Rental on page 5, at the end of Paragraph 3: “The Supervisor appointed to manage roadwork will have additional responsibility in addition to the Roadmaster.” Mr. Sauser was in agreement that it should be included in the document.

Mrs. Ewald requested that a requirement be added for Road Labor & Equipment Rental bidders to be PennDOT certified, as had been past practice in the Township. Mr. Kohli clarified that there is no general certification for routine maintenance, but that PennDOT does have a certification for road construction. He suggested that the Township may wish to include this requirement for a specific contract instead of for the general annual maintenance contract. There was no consensus of the Board to add this requirement to the bid documents.

Mr. Sauser directed the Secretary to place the “Invitation to Bid” advertisement and to mail the bid packages directly to those who have bid in the past.

Homeraijani Grading Issue - Lot 70 Charlestown Hunt

Mr. Sauser stated that a legal dispute over a grading issue has developed between Realen Homes and the owners of Lot 70 at Charlestown Hunt, Mr. & Mrs. Homeraijani. Lots #69 and #71 cannot be properly graded during this dispute because Realen is prohibited from grading within five feet of Lot 70. Therefore, the prospective owners of the adjacent lots #69 and #71 are delayed in making settlement and moving into their homes because the Zoning Officer is unable to issue their Use & Occupancy Permits.

Mr. McErlane stated that in March of this year, the Township agreed to extend the Homeraijanis’ temporary Use & Occupancy Permit in good faith when they agreed to work with Realen on a solution for the grading work to be done on their property. While this action was reasonable and proper based on the facts presented by the Homeraijanis’ attorney, the situation remains unresolved and the prospective owners of the adjacent lots are left to suffer the consequences. He recommended that the Zoning Officer issue Temporary Use & Occupancy permits for Lots #69 & 71 to include conditions that he will prepare for the Zoning Officer.

Mrs. Ewald suggested that the owners of the two adjacent lots be made aware of the pending legal action between Realen and the Homeraijanis. Mr. Kohli responded that one of the two are already informed and that he will notify the remaining lot owner(s).

The Planning Commission joined the Board of Supervisors at this time.

Deerfield Planning Competition: Presentations

Mr. Sauser explained that the Board prepared a Planning Competition Vignette, drafted by former Supervisor Robin J. Kohn, and invited the two finalists of the spring interviews for the position of Township Planning Consultant to participate. The Competition included guidelines for the two planners to prepare a “by-right” and “best use” plan for the Deerfield tract, which consists of two adjoining properties, now under the same prospective ownership, which includes the former Pyle property located on Yellow Springs Road and the former Coryell property located off Valley Hill Road. The consultants were then to draft a zoning ordinance revision to support their best use plan.

Presentations were then heard by Tom Comitta of Thomas Comitta Associates and Ron Turner of Ronald Turner & Associates followed by question and answer periods and general discussion. The matter will be discussed further at the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for September 8, 1998.

Mr. Zeigler requested guidance for the Planning Commission. Mr. Sauser moved to remand the issue back to the Planning Commission for their September 8th meeting with the Board’s guidance based on tonight’s discussions, one of each of the consultants’ plans presented tonight along with Mr. Panizza’s plan that was developed under the guidance of the Planning Commission in May 1998 in order to refine one of these existing plans. Mr. Wert seconded, and Mr. Sauser called for a role call vote. Mr. Sauser voted aye. Mr. Wert voted aye, and Mrs. Ewald voted nay.

This concluded the joint portion of the meeting.

Citizens’ Forum - Non Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward at this time.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 P.M. The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held on September 21, 1998 at 7:30 P.M. at the Charlestown Elementary School.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary