CHARLESTOWN TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
BUSINESS MEETING
FEBRUARY 7, 2000

The first regular business meeting for February was held February 7, 2000 at the Charlestown Elementary School. Irene W. Ewald, Chairman, Hugh D. Willig, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Michael J. Rodgers, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Ed Theurkauf, Thomas Comitta (arrived later), Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 P.M.

Announcements

Mrs. Ewald announced that Paul Hogan is out of town and is expected back for the February 14, 2000 meeting.

Citizensí Forum - Non-Agenda Items

The following individuals came forward.

  1. Laura Neumeister, 106 Charlestown Hunt Drive: It was recently brought to the attention of Charlestown Hunt Residents that the Board discussed rush hour traffic restrictions for Union Hill and Rees Roads at a prior meeting. She felt it was important to come forward and ask the Supervisors to consider how these restrictions will affect the rest of Charlestownís residents if these roads are made unavailable to them. While she acknowledged that speeding and school bus concerns are a problem on these roads, she says these are chronic problems not unique to Union Hill and Rees. She says the traffic will be diverted to other rural roads such as Buckwalter, Coldstream and Hollow Road and those residents will soon follow suit asking for traffic restrictions. She asked the Board to consider the impact to the whole township.
  2. Ellen Behrle, 11 Moses Way: On road conditions, she wished to commend the Townshipís efforts this year on snow removal. With regard to the traffic restriction issue, she said in her previous job she also took Union Hill and Rees Roads as a short cut to reduce her commuting time. She said both are very dangerous roads and that the Township should go forward and rectify the traffic problems before a serious accident occurs.
  3. Dorando Faggioli, Rees & Howell Roads: He said heís lived in the Township for 50 years and the traffic on Rees Road has become horrendous. Speeding commuters donít stop for school buses. His wife stops traffic every morning to allow their grandchildís bus to make one of its turns. Commuters wonít let residents out of their driveways. On Union Hill Road, the tunnel is too narrow for two cars to pass safely.
  4. John Nurthen, 110 Loudoun Place: He supports Laura Neumeisterís comments, stating that the news of traffic restrictions caused an uproar among Charlestown Hunt residents. He submitted a petition to the Board containing 34 signatures from Hunt residents opposing the restrictions and read it aloud in its entirety.
  5. John Panizza, General Residential Properties Inc: He asked if the Board has reached a decision on the road relocation for the Spring Lane Farms development. Mrs. Ewald responded no, but that itís foremost in the Boardís thinking. Mr. Panizza then advised the Board that his firm will be ready to continue the conditional use hearing for Spring Lane Farms on March 6, 2000. Mrs. Ewald added the item to the March 6, 2000 agenda.
  6. Regina Fried, 4105 Hollow Road: She asked if there will be a traffic study for Union Hill and Rees Roads before action is taken. Sheís concerned that the traffic will re-route to Hollow Road if the restrictions are instated. Since Hollow Road is a state road, its residents wonít have similar recourse.
  7. William Stewart, 2045 Union Hill Road: He reported that he undertook a traffic count on Union Hill Road this morning from 7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. and counted 647 cars. He extrapolated that, by extending the time 2 hour on either side, the count would probably be 1,000. His dog was recently hit by a commuter from Pottstown. He asked how other residents would like 1,000 cars passing their house each morning. He noted that according to his son, a landscape architect in South Carolina, that state has a requirement for road specifications to correspond to traffic volume. He asked if the Township would build a road to Union Hillís current specifications for the amount of traffic it receives. Mr. Kohli responded no.
  8. Joe OíBrien, Tinkerhill Lane: He said heís lived on Tinkerhill a long time, and though he understands the concerns of Charlestown Hunt commuters, heís greatly concerned with the safety of school children, including his grandchildren, at the Tinkerhill and Union Hill Road bus stop. Visibility is extremely poor approaching the tunnel on Union Hill and heís had so many near accidents that he now stops and blows his horn before traveling through. He said the 4 way stop sign at Whitehorse Road and Union Hill works great and suggests a three way stop sign at Tinkerhill and Union Hill Roads.
  9. Bill Longua, Rees Road: He noted that residents this evening are calling Union Hill and Rees Roads cut throughs. Itís really Billís front yard and his neighborsí front yards. He said that in his property deed, the descriptions were worded with references to horse and carriage travel, emphasizing that the roads werenít constructed for todayís heavy traffic. He appreciates the Board undertaking a traffic study.
  10. Eric Gross, Tinkerhill Lane: He said he takes the school bus and that it nearly hits a car on Union Hill Road every day. He predicts that a bus will get hit this year, commenting that itís ridiculous how fast people drive on this road.
  11. Dave McEvoy, 2040 Union Hill Road: He said stop signs at Union Hill and Tinkerhill wonít be enough. He asked why a township road must be open to commuters outside the Township. Although he understands the dilemma of Charlestown Hunt residents trying to get to work, he says tough. With recent snow plowing narrowing the roadways, at 5:10 P.M. this afternoon he couldnít pass on Union Hill Road in many areas due to oncoming traffic and it took him 15 minutes to travel 3 mile. He said PennDOT should widen the turnpike underpass on Route 29 and improve the Route 29 intersection. He noted that more traffic going through the Route 29 intersection would make the traffic counts being done for the slip ramp studies much higher.
  12. Bob Davis, Union Hill Road: He said Union Hill Road traffic is bad. He routinely canít get out of his driveway to take children to the bus stop at Tinkerhill Road. He said someone will get killed trying to turn left from Route 29 onto Union Hill Road and that there should be a no left turn restriction there. He added that littering is another problem, and that he routinely finds beer and soda bottles and paper trash in front of his property.
  13. Janet Baldwin, Bodine Road: She asked how the situation will change when the bridge on Route 29 is closed for restoration. She asked the Board to keep this in mind.
  14. Gail Stewart, 2045 Union Hill Road: She said a great deal of the traffic originates in Pottstown and Phoenixville, and that those commuters should be redirected to Whitehorse Road.
  15. Denise Davis, Union Hill Road: She asked if the State Police can come on an irregular basis and hand out tickets as an interim solution. She said that commuters saving 20 minutes going to work is not worth her childrensí lives.
  16. Regina Fried, Hollow Road: She said she requested State Police coverage on Hollow Road in the past and that they donít respond.
  17. Denise Longua, Rees Road: She said a major problem is the speeding and in consideration of the commuters on their road who wonít let residents out of their driveways. She observed a house at Rees and Howell Road with a driveway access on to each road where the residents canít get out from either side.
  18. Howard White, Tinkerhill Lane: He said school bus driver Gloria Brown quit her job about six weeks ago because she refused to drive children on Union Hill Road.

Mrs. Ewald asked for comments from the Board.

Mr. Kuhn said he is a resident of Whitehorse Road and sometimes cuts through from Union Hill or Rees Roads during off-peak hours. He said his responsibility is to safety first and convenience second. A traffic study will be undertaken before any decision is made on restrictions by the Board. He said heís also concerned with Hollow Road, and cited the fatal accident at Hollow and Pikeland Roads last year. He said heíd like to do something for Hollow Road as well, but as a state road the options are limited. He suggested the Board ask the Township Engineer to investigate them. Mr. Kuhn said the Township is being used as a doormat by outside commuters and itís an abuse to the residents. Heís concerned with the slip ramp issue and that itís in the Townshipís best interest for the Turnpike Commission to receive accurate traffic counts on Route 29, which would be better achieved if the cut through roads were restricted. He estimates 25-30% of the traffic that would normally go through the Route 29 intersection is being diverted through alternate rural roads.

Mr. Willig said he lives at the end of a dead end road in the area of Charlestown closer to Phoenixville. He said he used Union Hill and Rees as cut through roads when he commuted into Philadelphia in the past and found he had to adjust his schedule to avoid peak traffic times. He said if he encountered a traffic restriction along his usual commute route, he would re-adjust his schedule to allow more time. He sees the issue as one of safety and quality of life, though he acknowledged that sitting in traffic also diminishes oneís quality of life. He said after he settled in as a resident of Charlestown he felt differently about cutting through rural residential roads, and heís in favor of imposing restrictions on Union Hill and Rees Roads.

Mr. Rodgers said he travels on Union Hill Road to reach Whitehorse Road in the mornings to pick up his grandchildren. He feels safety is the uppermost consideration and that heís in favor of the restriction.

Mrs. Ewald said she lives on Pine Drive, an isolated road in the township not used as a through street. She said she commutes to Devon during rush hour in the morning but returns late enough in the evening that traffic is not a problem. She finds the roads congested and cars travelling at high rates of speed. She said she must remind herself not to speed at times. She feels the children on Union Hill and Rees Road live in danger due to the excess traffic. The blind hill on Rees Road frequently sends cars into the woods when they come up over the hill, find a stopped school bus picking up students, and canít stop in time on the road. She said this is unacceptable. She put it to the people in attendance that the solution may be found among them. She invited people to bring forward their suggestions, acknowledging that this wonít be an easy problem to solve. She recommended trying the restrictions for a four to six month period and then re-evaluating. She welcomed help from the residents, saying theyíre all part of the same community even though they may disagree on this issue. She said the bigger problem is the Pa. Turnpike slip ramp issue, which will divert a vast amount of traffic now exiting the Turnpike at King of Prussia into Charlestown Township. She said this would destroy the community.

Additional comments from the audience were as follows:

  1. Mr. Faggioli: He said the Charlestown Hunt community is welcome in the township and that the residents are nice and many have children. He said if they stood at the corner of Rees and Union Hill Road for one hour in the morning, they would want to stop the through traffic.
  2. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Kohli if he had an update on the timetable for the bridge restoration on Route 29. Mr. Kohli said the design stage is not yet complete, and until it is, the project wonít be let out for bid. After the bid process starts, the project should be completed in approximately 4 months.

  3. Ms. Neumeister: She suggested the Board get the residents together to generate ideas. She said she feels trapped. Mrs. Ewald suggests she meet Mr. Faggioli at his house one morning to observe the situation. In response to Ms. Neumeisterís earlier comment that the Hunt residents didnít know the matter would be discussed at an earlier January meeting, Mr. Kuhn said that meeting agendas are posted on the website in advance of each meeting, and minutes are posted after approval. All discussion on this issue took place in public. Traffic studies have been ordered, and after their results arrive, the next step can be taken. Mr. Kohli suggested expanding the study to include Route 29 & Hollow Road and Route 29 and Union Hill Road to count the cars turning from Route 29 onto the smaller roads. He said a study of Hollow Road is particularly important so a baseline is measured before any restrictions take place in order to determine their impact. Mr. Kuhn asked if the State will allow traffic restrictions on Hollow Road, and Mr. Kohli responded no, but they will reduce the speed limit if warranted. Mrs. Ewald requested that Mr. Kohli go forward with a traffic study of Hollow Road.
  4. Mr. Nurthen: He asked if he can get a copy of the traffic study when completed, and asked what information is included in them. Mr. Kohli responded with a brief list of items required by the State. Mr. Nurthen said the problem seems to be primarily a speed issue and asked why the Township doesnít have sufficient enforcement from the State Police. Mrs. Ewald answered that the Township can request enforcement, but that itís difficult to set up speed traps on winding narrow roads due to line of sight requirements for radar and a safe pull off area. Mr. Nurthen responded that he doesnít care if itís not easy, and suggested having a state trooper sit in someoneís driveway as a deterrent to speeders.
  5. Dr. Stewart: He said he disagreed with the Township Solicitorís opinion at the last meeting that speed bumps are a liability problem.
  6. Mrs. Behrle: She asked the residents to put the issue into perspective. The intention isnít to limit access to the road 24 hours a day but twice on weekdays during rush hour only. The Union Hill residents are inconvenienced their entire lives. She noted that residents of Charlestown Hunt donít have 600 cars passing their homes every morning.
  7. Mr. OíBrien: He said the State Police response time in general is extremely slow and that they donít have the manpower to handle traffic control issues. He said this was also true 20 years ago when he was on the Board. He asked for the help and understanding of the Charlestown Hunt residents. He said he doubted any of them chose to move to Charlestown because they could take a short cut on Union Hill Road to get to work. They moved here because they liked the way the Township looks, and Mr. OíBrien wants to keep it this way.
  8. Mr. Nurthen: He stated his concern that police protection sounds like a serious safety issue in the Township. Mrs. Ewald said sheíll work with the state police on enforcement, and will report back to the residents in three weeks.

All persons being heard, she closed the citizenís forum for non-agenda items and invited attendees to stay for the remainder of the meeting and to attend others. She said following the February 14th meeting scheduled at the Elementary School, the Board is working on arrangements to move future meetings to the Valley Forge Christian College.

Minutes of January 31, 2000

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of January 31, 2000 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board. Mr. Willig amended the minutes to include the following statement at the end of the first paragraph on page 3: Mr. Neill said the Bedminster project was purchased at or near market value. The number of lots developed was half that of the by-right plan and a profit was still made. Mr. Kuhn accepted the amendment. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the public, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurerís Report January 1-31, 2000

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurerís Report for January 1 - 31, 2000 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable February 7, 2000

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Accounts Payable for February 7, 2000 totaling $85,040.00 and Mrs. Ewald seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. Mr. Willig asked for clarification on the Road Contractorís bill. He noted that one piece of equipment rated at $50.00 per hour was reduced to $20.00 per hour by the Roadmaster. Mr. Faggioli explained that he called for use of the rubber tire loader, a piece of equipment contracted at $20.00 per hour with an operator, but that the Contractor refused to provide it for use in the snow. Instead, he substituted a $50.00 per hour backhoe, which has a bucket 2 the size of the loader. Mr. Kuhn asked if this meant the process took twice as long, was 2 times more costly, and moved 2 as much snow as a loader would have, and Mr. Faggioli said yes. Mrs. Ewald asked if Mr. Faggioli assigned specific equipment for the job, and he said yes, noting that in his prior business as a road contractor, he always used a loader for this type of work. He added that he also ordered a grader, another $20.00 per hour piece of equipment on the road contract, and it was also unavailable. The Roadmaster questioned whether the contractor in fact has a rubber tire loader, and said that prior to the contract award, the Township should have confirmed the model year and serial number on all equipment listed. Mrs. Ewald asked if a rubber tire loader was bid by the contractor, and Mr. Faggioli said yes.

Mrs. Ewald asked for an opinion from the Solicitor. Mr. Oeste said the Roadmaster has the authority to direct the road contractor and to specify what equipment is to be used, provided that item is listed in the contract. The contractor has an obligation to provide it. Mr. Kuhn asked what is done if the equipment is unavailable, citing the grader, which was in for repair. Mr. Faggioli answered that a larger piece of equipment can be substituted, but must be provided at the lower cost. Mr. Rodgers agreed with this assessment, stating that he reviewed the billing with Mr. Faggioli and he adjusted the billing to meet the contract.

Mr. Willig asked why Rouse Chamberlin Ltd. is being backcharged for snow removal at the Whitehorse at Charlestown development. Mrs. Ewald explained that they will be charged for snow removal for Phase III roads only, which havenít been dedicated to the Township yet. The Developer was unaware that the dedication process had not been completed, and she communicated to Mrs. Ewald that Rouse Chamberlin would be unable to provide snow removal service and agreed to reimburse the Township for these activities. Mrs. Ewald noted a similar situation at the Heatherwood development, where the private road wasnít cleared by the developer and the Township took care of the road as it was considered a health, safety and welfare issue.

Mr. Kuhn asked about the disallowing of 5 hours on one of the billing items. Mr. Faggioli said he instructed the Road Contractor to clear the roads until 10:00 P.M. and resume at 3:00 A.M., but the Contractor disregarded these instructions and had his crew work through the night in order to save them an additional commute into Charlestown. Mr. Faggioli said these five hours amounted to $1,600.00. He said he felt that, if anything, he was lenient with the Road Contractor with regard to reviewing the billing. Mr. Faggioli said Rittenbaugh Inc. did an excellent job on the roads, working hard and giving their full cooperation to the Township. Mrs. Ewald said she saw steady improvement in the quality of work over the course of the month.

Mrs. Behrle said she is an employee of Delaware Valley Paving and worked for them when she prepared their contract bid last fall. She expressed her confusion in how the present contractor can bid any piece of equipment at $20.00 per hour including an operator. She acknowledged that sometimes a bid is unbalanced, providing a lower bid cost on those items you donít expect to use often. She questioned why Charlestown has fewer and fewer bidders each year, and suggested that the next time the contract is bid the potential for this is avoided and the bid process made more fair. Mr. Kuhn asked if the state or one of its agencies has a standard bid package. Mr. Kohli said there are general specifications but each municipality tailors it to their own needs. Mr. Faggioli noted that the sewer rodder, bid at $5.00 per hour, is never available. Instead, the Contractor calls out a sewer service that charges $125.00 per hour to clean the drains. Mr. Rodgers said the Contractor bid the job and has to live by the contract. Mr. Kuhn agreed that the Township can do nothing other than follow the contract. Mrs. Ewald told Mr. Faggioli that as Roadmaster, he is in charge of the Contractor.

(Mr. Comitta arrived at this time.)

There being no comment from the public, she called the vote on the Accounts Payable for February 7th. All were in favor.

Reports

Reports from the Planning Commission, Historical Commission, Zoning Officer, Roadmaster and Fire Marshal are on file. There was no Parks and Recreation Report. Minutes from the last meeting of the Valley Forge Sewer Authority are on file.

Roadmaster

Mr. Faggioli reported that 5.1 inches of snow fell in January in three separate events. There were a few complaints on Howell Road that were answered and attended to within one hour. He felt the number of complaints was limited and that the Contractor did a beautiful job. He added that 300 tons of salt were used on the roads.

Fire Marshal

Mr. Alston reported there were 5 automatic alarms in January with 2 of them to the same residence. He noted this same residence had 3 false alarms last month. He reported numerous accidents during the month, the majority of which could be attributed to excessive speed. Mr. Alston provided a brief description of the need to update the Fire Control Ordinance and develop a new Hazardous Materials Ordinance.

Mr. OíBrien asked what the effect of speed bumps is on fire equipment, and Mr. Alston responded that itís the same as it is on automobiles.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Citizensí Advisory Committee

Mr. Kuhn said Mr. Martin provided him with an agenda for the next Citizensí Advisory Committee meeting to be held February 23, 2000 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. at the Desmond Hotel. He read the agenda aloud. He invited residents to attend and listen, reminding them they will not have an opportunity to speak. Mr. Kuhn said a primary concern for Charlestown and Schuylkill Townships is to gain an understanding of what the final work product from these sessions will be.

A resident asked for the names of Charlestown Township residents on the committee, and Mrs. Ewald named John Martin and Sue Staas as the two representatives, with Charlie Philips and Wendy McLean as alternates. Mrs. Ewald said the committee is heavily weighted in favor of business interests. She noted that the Exton Chamber of Commerce recently held a meeting on the subject but did not invite Charlestown Township.

Mrs. Ewald informed the attendees that the Township has a suit against the Turnpike Commission in Court, and asked Mr. Oeste to explain. Mr. Oeste said the Township has petitioned the Court to request that the Turnpike Commission be required to hold public hearings prior to the construction of interchanges or slip ramps. The Turnpike Commission has filed their answer, and the Township filed its reply. The next step will be the discovery and hearing processes.

Old Business

Brooklands Preliminary Plan

John Panizza, George Asimos, Esq., Chuck Dobson and Bob Smiley of General Residential Properties Inc. (GRPI) were present to discuss their February 7, 2000 request for an extension of the Township decision date to March 20th. The current deadline is February 7, 2000.

Mr. Oeste provided some background on the situation, stating that in October 1999 the Township agreed to provide a decision on both the Conditional Use Application and Preliminary Plan by 12/6/99. As the conditional use process concluded, however, the 1999 Board determined that a decision on the preliminary plan couldnít be made simultaneously with the conditional use decision because of compliance issues. The preliminary plan required numerous changes in order to comply with the conditions of the Conditional Use Decision and therefore a decision on it could not be rendered on the same night. GRPI therefore agreed to extend the decision date on the Preliminary Plan to 12/20/99, and subsequently, to 2/7/00.

Mr. Oeste asked the applicant for confirmation that there is only one Preliminary Plan before the Township for consideration at this time, and that the applicant is willing to grant an extension on the decision deadline to March 20, 2000. Mr. Panizza confirmed that this is an accurate statement.

Mr. Kohli said he understood that the applicant is revising the preliminary plan in order to comply with the conditional use decision and the Township consultantsí review comments. After all items were addressed, the Applicant will make a full, complete submission to the Township for review. Mr. Oeste asked if the applicant will be able to make this complete submission by 2/15/00 as stated in his letter of January 10, 2000. Mr. Panizza answered no, due to a weather related delay in obtaining the 2nd percolation test on Lot #8 as required by the Conditional Use Decision. The County Health Department has canceled a number of scheduled tests due to winter weather conditions and has set a new testing date of February 9th. Mr. Panizza expects their approval letter within two weeks of this date, and GRPIís full submission to the Township can be made shortly thereafter. He said the submission will meet all the Townshipís requests and requirements communicated to date.

Mrs. Ewald asked for clarification that there is only one plan currently before the Township for consideration, and Mr. Panizza answered yes. She asked if portions of the plan that have arrived in piecemeal fashion since the plan submission are to be considered revisions to the plan. Mr. Panizza answered that he only submitted the additional information township board members or consultants requested, and that theyíve been submitted to the Planning Commission for review. Mr. Kohli noted that the Planning Commission has already given its recommendation on the Preliminary Plan, and it was a recommendation for denial.

Mr. Kuhn asked if the time clock for review starts over when the revised preliminary plan is submitted, and Mrs. Ewald answered yes. Mr. Panizza disagreed, stating that GRPI has an agreement with the Township that the decision would be made 12/6/99, and that agreement remains in force even though it was amended twice to extend the decision date. He said the Township should honor the agreement made by the previous Board and that the Township already received its part of the bargain when GRPI waived its claim to a deemed approved conditional use decision last fall.

Mr. Oeste said the Board has to decide between starting a new time clock with the revised submission or continuing with the agreement referenced by Mr. Panizza.

Mr. Kuhn asked if the Board could have denied the plan on 12/6/99. Mr. Oeste said yes, they could have denied it on the grounds that it didnít comply with the conditional use decision. Mrs. Ewald asked if Mr. Asimos agreed with this statement, and Mr. Asimos said he agreed. Mr. Asimos said itís not accurate to say the plan would have been denied. The Board elected to impose a series of conditions that the applicant would have found impossible to produce on its plan at the same meeting. The applicant has now made all required changes except the 2nd perc test on Lot #8, which is weather dependent.

Mr. Kuhn asked if there is a copy of the Townshipís agreement with the applicant. Mr. Oeste responded no, but Mr. Panizzaís letter dated 10/12/99 is an accurate representation of that agreement.

Mr. Asimos asked what a reasonable time period would be to review the one missing item, stating that his applicant wants another extension. Mr. Kuhn said he is not in favor of an extension but prefers to start the clock over with the revised submission. He said he doesnít want to be rushed in considering a plan that was recommended for denial by the Planning Commission. Mr. Panizza said this will extend the time period past his settlement date, and said he could have submitted the plan weeks ago with all but the one perc test item, but withheld it upon the request of the Township Engineer at their 1/7/00 meeting. Mr. Asimos said the Board canít turn down the plan based on the failure of another agency to act. He said starting the 90 day time clock over is more time than the applicant needs. Mr. Kuhn agreed with this statement but said he wants the time regardless. If the Board is able to decide the matter earlier, it will. Mrs. Ewald agreed, stating that the agreement was an improper procedure that deviated from the ordinance, creating confusion. She said the Board should follow the rules and that itís not fair if the Board doesnít use a consistent procedure for everyone.

Mr. Willig asked if theyíre not at the same impasse as in December. Mr. Panizza said no, that in December the plan wasnít in compliance since there was no time to make it so following the conditions of the conditional approval. This time, he said the plan is in compliance, so itís a different issue. Mr. Kuhn said he canít assume the plan is in compliance until heís had a chance to review it. Mr. Panizza said the Planning Commission denied the plan for reasons outside the Township Ordinance, on the basis that they felt there are too many lots, and Mr. Asimos elaborated. Mrs. Ewald said she disagrees with Mr. Asimosí interpretation of the Townshipís ordinance but understands his argument for his client.

Mr. Kohli repeated that the Township is waiting for a new submission, which canít be made until the Lot 8 perc tests are completed and approved by the County Health Department.

Mrs. Ewald said what the Board has before them now does not comply. Members met the applicantís engineer on site recently and he stated conditions were wetter than usual. Mr. Panizza said that regardless of this, the perc test will pass.

Mr. Panizza said heíd be willing to push the extension into April. Mr. Kuhn reiterated that he favors re-starting the time clock due to his newness on the Board. Mr. Kohli stated that the 90-day time clock starts at the first Planning Commission meeting following the submission, provided thereís a two week lead time prior to the meeting. Mr. Oeste advised the Board to take an action on the applicantís request for an extension to March 20, 2000, and then if they wish, accept the application under the requirements referenced in the Subdivision Ordinance that calls for starting the time clock over.

Mr. Panizza made an offer to submit the plans as Preliminary/Final, in which case he would accept the 90-day time clock. Mrs. Ewald said she wonít accept a preliminary/final submission on this plan since it was denied by the Planning Commission. Mr. Panizza questioned why the Board has to act this evening, and Mr. Oeste said the time extension is only good through tonight unless the Board acts on his request for an extension to March 20, 2000 as outlined in his letter dated 2/7/00.

Mrs. Ewald moved to request that the Applicant extend the decision deadline on the Brooklands Preliminary Plan indefinitely and to follow Section 302-E of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance with respect to the anticipated revised Preliminary Plan submission, with Section 302-E providing guidelines triggering a new 90 day review period. Mr. Willig seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Oeste asked the Applicant if he agreed to the conditions of the vote, and Mr. Panizza answered yes. Mrs. Ewald said she failed to ask for public comment prior to the vote, withdrew it, and asked for public comment now. There were none. She called the vote again, and all were in favor.

New Business

Amendment to the Fire Protection Ordinance

Mr. Alston distributed a proposed draft ordinance revision to the 1968 Fire Protection Ordinance. He went through the revisions on the blackline copy, which, among other changes, added a fine structure for repeat false fire alarms and a prohibition of parking in marked fire lanes or in any manner that would impede the progress of any emergency vehicle.

Mrs. Ewald asked if people who have consistently false alarms can correct their systems. Mr. Alston answered yes. Mr. Kuhn asked what percentage of false alarms are repeats and Mr. Alston said not that many, but explained that each false alarm is treated like a real fire, bringing in volunteers from their jobs and putting all the necessary apparatus on the road. Mr. Willig asked how many marked fire lanes are there in the township. Mr. Alston said they need to be established, noting that even the Elementary School isnít properly marked. For cul de sacs with center islands, there would be no parking against the island.

Mr. Alston said the draft is in its preliminary stage and is being submitted to the Board and Township Solicitor for their input. Mrs. Ewald suggested the Planning Commission also review it.

Hazardous Materials Ordinance

Mr. Alston distributed some materials relating to a proposed Hazardous Materials Ordinance, noting that the information is very preliminary in nature. He read a list of issues under discussion including: timeliness of reporting new or depleted material, reportable quantities, reporting methodology, proper storage procedures and fees. He provided sample copies of a hazardous materials handling permit application, a grid map of hazardous material locations, and a permit fee structure. He anticipates producing a draft in the next four weeks. Mrs. Ewald placed this matter on the April 3, 2000 agenda.

Mr. Kuhn was appreciative of Mr. Alstonís efforts and stated the ordinance is long overdue. Mr. Hanscom asked if the ordinance revision will be made public, and Mrs. Ewald answered that the process is just beginning and there will be public discussion as well as a hearing on the ordinance when a final draft is prepared. Information will also be included in the upcoming newsletter.

Ms. Neumeister asked how the hazardous material information will be disseminated, since the Township is served by two different fire companies. Mr. Alston said he works with both fire companies as well as a number of others, and that both Kimberton and East Whiteland Fire Company chiefs will have the information on hand. He cited the recent incident at ChemClene in East Whiteland Township just outside of Charlestown. The East Whiteland Fire Marshal arrived on the scene with a book referencing all hazardous materials sites in East Whiteland, including ChemClene. The book included a description of what materials were stored and where they were stored in the facility and was referenced before operations to put out the fire could proceed.

Tabled to February 14, 2000

Mrs. Ewald tabled the following items to February 14, 2000:

Traffic Accidents - Review
March 2nd C.C.A.T.O. Spring Convention
John R. Cellucci Extension Request
Scheduling Great Valley Nature Center Conditional Use Application

Conditional Use Decision Ė Deerfield

Mr. Oeste referred to the revised draft decision for the Deerfield Conditional Use application, noting amendments to items #12, 19 & 20. Mrs. Ewald read aloud portions of the Decision.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Decision and Order for the Conditional Use Application of General Residential Properties, Inc. - Deerfield, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. Mr. Hanscom asked to review the draft decision, as he was a party to the proceedings. He was provided with a draft copy and a brief opportunity for review. Mr. Oeste provided a summary of its contents. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Hanscom if he had any questions or comments and he responded no. She called the vote, and all were in favor.

Other Business

Ms. Neumeister submitted a letter dated 2/7/00 from Josh Tarnoff, 118 Charlestown Hunt Drive regarding the Union Hill and Rees Road Traffic Restriction issue for the Boardís consideration.

Adjournment

Mr. Rodgers moved to adjourn the meeting, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mrs. Ewald adjourned the meeting at 10:35 P.M. The Board adjourned to Executive Session at the Township Office.

Respectfully Submitted,


Linda M. Csete
Township Secretary