CHARLESTOWN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Note: These minutes were not approved by a majority of the Board. They will stand as submitted.
The second regular business meeting for January was held January 18, 1999 at the Charlestown Elementary School. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Andrew Rau, Esq., Thomas J. Comitta, Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.
The meeting was called to order at 7:35 P.M.
Mr. Sauser announced that Mr. Wert may be delayed or absent this evening due to commuter delays from the city.
Mr. Sauser announced that the Board met in Executive Session on January 14, 1999 with Mr. McErlane at the Township office to discuss legal issues. At this meeting, Mr. McErlane informed the Board that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission does not have a guaranteed process for the public on issues such as the proposed Slip Ramp in Devault. The Board will make a formal request to the Turnpike Commission that they hold a series of local public hearings. Mr. Sauser added the matter for discussion on tonight’s agenda under “Other Business”.
Mr. Sauser announced that Mr. Wert submitted his resignation from his long standing position as Emergency Services Coordinator, serving from 1983 through 1998.
Mr. Sauser announced that in spite of recent rain, the County drought warning remains in effect.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for December 1 - 31, 1998 and Mr. Sauser seconded. Both were in favor.
Kevin Kuhn asked for the Board’s next steps in the Pa Turnpike Slip Ramp issue. He stated that the citizens’ group Charlestown Green plans to send a letter to the County Commissioners communicating their position in opposition to the Slip Ramp. Mr. Sauser responded that in addition to the action announced this evening to formally request local public hearings, the Board will invite support from neighboring Townships and the County Government. Mrs. Ewald stated that both the County Commissioners and County Planning Commission supported the need for local hearings, and added that resident Louise Cantrell-Kehoe has made some progress communicating with the Great Valley School District and Tredyffrin-Easttown School Districts on the issue. Mr. Kuhn asked if expert witnesses would be appointed by the Township to attend the hearings, and both Mr. Sauser and Mrs. Ewald stated this would be premature. Mrs. Ewald proposed that Mr. McErlane circulate an invitation to neighboring townships and school districts to attend the public hearings, and plan to identify consultants after its confirmed that hearings are scheduled.
Bob Jones asked if the Turnpike Commission’s steps for public participation in its decision making process have been identified and outlined by the Township Solicitor. Mr. Sauser responded that there is no historical record of such a process, and that the Township plans to make its formal request for hearings in the hope of developing one.
Hearing: Proposed Open Space Option Ordinance
Mr. Oeste opened the hearing and identified the following exhibits:
|•||B-1||Public Notice of the Hearing to be published on 12/28/98 and 1/4/99|
|•||B-2||Letter dated 12/14/98 from T. Oeste to the County Law Library enclosing ordinance copy|
|•||B-3||Draft Ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Amending the Charlestown Township Zoning Ordinance of 1979, as Amended, Adding a Definition of Open Space Option; Permitting the Open Space Option as a Conditional Use in the Farm Residential District; and Creating Regulations for the Open Space Option,” dated 10/9/98|
|•||B-4||Letter from General Residential Properties Inc. dated 12/10/98|
|•||B-5||Letter from General Residential Properties Inc. dated 1/4/99|
|•||B-6||Proof of Publication for Public Notice|
|•||B-7||Letter from the Chester County Planning Commission dated 12/3/98|
In addition to these exhibits, Mr. Comitta displayed a map of the Township entitled “Proposed Acreage Analysis” dated 10/9/98, which identifies the eight parcels eligible for the open space development option as proposed by the ordinance.
Mr. Oeste read questions forwarded to the Township Office from Mr. Wert, to which Mr. Comitta responded. He then responded to questions from Mr. Sauser, Mrs. Ewald, and members of the audience.
Mr. Sauser moved to adopt the “Open Space Option” Ordinance as written with a minor amendment to Section 404-C(5) to add the option of planting the trees in naturalistic groupings. Mrs. Ewald did not second the motion, requesting that the hearing be continued to February 1, 1999 to provide adequate time for the Planning Commission to address her questions stated earlier this evening. Mr. Sauser continued the hearing to February 1, 1999.
Mr. Oeste referred to his draft Conditional Use Decision and proposed changes to paragraphs #1 and #8 by Mr. Burch’s counsel, John C. Snyder. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Conditional Use Application with the non-substantive revision to Paragraph #1 requested by Mr. Snyder and to approve the preliminary subdivision plan dated 12/22/98. Mrs. Ewald seconded and called for discussion.
Mrs. Ewald stated that Mr. Snyder had been asked to provide language on a restrictive covenant or to produce the language in place from the previous Zoning Hearing Board decision. Mr. Kohli stated that this language can be included with the final plan submission. Mr. Sauser called for the vote, and the motion passed 2-0.
Andrew Rau, Esq., conflict counsel for the Township on this issue, explained Harron’s request for approval of basic cable service rates and equipment and installation rates, and provided a proposed Order for the Board’s consideration. He noted that the Township’s regulatory oversight of a small cable operator such as Harron is very limited under federal law. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Resolution #539-99, certifying the propriety of Harron Communications’ forms 1205 and 1210 rate filings submitted 12/26/98. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.
This matter was tabled to February 1, 1999.
Mr. Sauser moved to submit a request to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission that they hold local public hearings for the purpose of discussing their proposed slip ramp in the vicinity of Charlestown Township. Mrs. Ewald seconded and both were in favor. Mr. McErlane will draft the request.
No matters were brought forward.
Mr. Sauser adjourned the meeting at 10:10 P.M. and stated that the next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will take place on February 1, 1999 at 7:30 P.M. at the Charlestown Elementary School.