BUSINESS MEETING - December 7, 1998

The first business meeting for December was held December 7, 1998 at the Charlestown Elementary School on Charlestown Road, Devault. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robert C. Wert, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, 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 7:35 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


There were no announcements.

Citizens’ Forum - Agenda Items

Sue Staas, 4 Hana Lane, requested that the agenda item relating to the Turnpike Slip Ramp issue be moved forward on the agenda as the majority of those present had an interest in the matter, and Mr. Sauser agreed.

Bob Pingatore, 33 Chesterfield Lane, referred to a letter he received from Bill Tritle, P.E. of PennDOT dated 11/23/98 responding to his inquiry regarding the proximity of the proposed Somerset Lane to Chesterfield Lane. Mr. Sauser acknowledged that the Board received a copy of this correspondence.

Peter Segal, 662 Church Road, presented to the Board a petition signed by over 700 residents stating their opposition to the Turnpike Commission’s proposal to construct a slip ramp off Route 29.

Minutes of November 2, 1998

Mr. Wert moved to approve the minutes of November 2, 1998 as presented and Mr. Sauser seconded. Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert were in favor, and Mrs. Ewald was opposed, based on her objection to the format change approved in June. The motion passed 2-1.

Treasurer’s Report November 1- 30, 1998

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for November 1-30, 1998 and Mr. Wert seconded. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable December 7, 1998

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for December 7, 1998 and Mr. Wert seconded. All were in favor.


Zoning Officer

Mr. Kohli stated that he is following up with PECO Energy to provide a shield on a street light at Route 29 and Charlestown Hunt Drive to reduce glare per a citizen’s request.

Mr. Kohli provided documentation to be submitted by the Township to PennDOT with regard to signalization at Route 401 and Newcomen Road and flashing lights approaching Route 401 and Valley Hill Road so the design process can begin. Mrs. Ewald said that West Pikeland Township indicated its willingness to share costs in the signalization of Route 401 and Newcomen Road and suggested copying them on all related correspondence.

Mr. Sauser asked for the status of upgrading the signal at Route 29 and Charlestown Road, and Mr. Kohli responded that he is waiting for PennDOT to provide a cost estimate on the project.

Historical Commission

Mrs. Baldwin stated that her letter of 12/3/98 to the Board, outlining issues at the Revolutionary War Cemetery, takes the place of the usual monthly report for November as all activity is reflected therein.


In response to Mrs. Ewald’s memo to the Roadmaster dated 12/4/98 regarding speeding approaching the bridge over the Turnpike on Yellow Springs Road, the Board authorized the Roadmaster to install advisory “Dangerous Curve” signs immediately and to obtain advice of counsel on whether it’s possible to post temporary lower speed limit signs for the approximate 3 month period that Phoenixville Pike will be closed, which has created a large traffic influx due to detouring commuters.

Mr. Sauser reported that PennDOT has agreed to re-mill the dangerous curve on Route 29 per the Township’s request last month. Mrs. Ewald requested that the Roadmaster follow up with PennDOT asking them to reconsider their refusal to mill two newly paved roads (specified portions of Coldstream and Charlestown Roads), citing accident statistics as a rationale.

Other Reports

Written reports from the Planning Commission, Fire Marshal, and Valley Forge Sewer Authority were provided.

Conditional Use Hearing - J. Christopher Burch; Blackberry Lane

The proceeds were recorded by a court reporter. The hearing was closed and Mr. Oeste stated that a decision would be rendered within 45 days.

Amendment to Ordinance #71-96 “Private Lane Names”

The proceeds were recorded by a court reporter. Mr. Sauser moved to approve Ordinance #79-98 naming the previously unnamed shared driveway off Merlin Road accessing the Oates property and 2 lots of the Ferguson subdivision “Honeysuckle Lane”. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Petition opposing the PA Turnpike Slip Ramp Proposal

Mr. Sauser moved to approve a resolution, drafted by himself and read aloud in its entirety, to communicate to the Turnpike Commission the Board’s position on the proposed slip ramp in Devault along with a reference to the citizens’ petition opposing the construction of a slip ramp. Mr. Wert seconded the motion. Considerable discussion followed, including discussion on a second draft resolution submitted to the Board by Kevin R. Kuhn that communicated a direct opposition to any proposed slip ramp in the Township along with referencing the citizens’ petition.

Mr. Wert moved to amend the first “Be it Resolved” Paragraph of Mr. Sauser’s proposed resolution as follows: “Be it resolved that the Board of Supervisors of Charlestown Township are opposed to the placing of any ramps within the Charlestown Township confines. However, we shall continue to exercise judicious and careful review with respect to all aspects of the Turnpike Commission’s plans regarding slip ramps near the Township of Charlestown.” There was no second.

Discussion followed. Mr. Sauser said he would attempt to revise his proposed resolution for possible presentation at the next meeting, and withdrew his motion.

Revolutionary War Cemetery - Restoration and Maintenance Issues

Janet Baldwin introduced two members of the Sons of the American Revolution organization who have taken an interest in the preservation of the historic cemetery and offered their input for the following matters. Mrs. Baldwin referred to her 12/3/98 letter to the Supervisors outlining three problems at the site.

The Board reached a consensus on the following items:

  1. With regard to the Dr. Kennedy gravestone, Mr. Sauser will arrange for a carpenter to build a temporary structure over the gravestone to protect it from further deterioration over the winter months until a permanent decision to restore or replace the stone can be made.
  2. Mrs. Baldwin will proceed with arrangements for the Bartlett Tree Co. to prune the black oak tree located to the left of the Kennedy grave at an estimated cost of $1,100.00.
  3. Mrs. Baldwin will continue to investigate sources of grant funding for the restoration of the cemetery wall including the Chester County Office of Housing and Community development and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Phoenixville Area Soccer Club

Mr. Sauser stated that more time is needed for the Board to consider the proposed contract submitted by the Soccer Club, and tabled the matter until the 12/21/98 meeting.

Greg Britcher of the PASC asked if any permits are required prior to the installation of lights for the intermediate and regulation size soccer fields. Mr. Sauser responded that no building permit is required, but he directed the Soccer Club to work with Parks & Recreation Chairman Mark Connolly on the specifications. He cautioned the Club not to depend upon a reimbursement from the Township for the cost of the lights as the final schedule of park improvements, eligible for 50% reimbursement from the County has yet to be determined by the Board.

With regard to the Soccer Club’s request for forgiveness of the $7,000.00 loan outstanding with the Township, Mr. Sauser informed Mr. Britcher that there would be no change in the current understanding; i.e., the full amount remains outstanding with half to be paid by 12/31/98 and the balance by 12/31/99.

Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #8 (Final)

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #8 in the amount of $ 25,694.50 and Mr. Wert seconded. All were in favor.

Whitehorse Meadows Escrow Release #1

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Whitehorse Meadows Escrow Release #1 in the amount of $251,466.70 and Mr. Wert seconded. All were in favor.

Discussion: Open Space Ordinance

Discussion of the proposed Open Space Ordinance was tabled until the 12/21/98 meeting. The Board scheduled the hearing to open on January 18, 1999, and Mr. Oeste will advertise.

(Mrs. Ewald excused herself from the meeting at 11:15.)

Great Valley School District - Request to Construct Practice Fields on Township Owned Lot on Whitehorse Road in Devault

Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert agreed to request a proposed plan from the School District and a draft agreement from Mr. McErlane for consideration at the 12/21/98 meeting.

Wilson Subdivision

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Wilson Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan conditioned upon additional language to be drafted by Mr. Oeste with regard to any non-agricultural improvements to Parcel B triggering the requirement for obtaining any necessary variances or conditional use approvals that were waived at the time of this plan approval.

Mr. Wert seconded and both were in favor. The motion carried 2-0.


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

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Secretary