JUNE 19, 2000

The second regular business meeting for June was held June 19, 2000 at the Valley Forge Christian College, Building #11. Irene W. Ewald, Chairman, Hugh D. Willig, Vice Chairman, Kevin R Kuhn, Michael J. Rodgers, Paul J. Hogan, James E. McErlane, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Ed Theurkauf, Tom Comitta (arrived later), Leah J. Campion, Asst. Township Secretary, Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:45 P.M.


Mr. Hogan said he spoke to Galloway Morris about the possibility of a permanent display of military vehicles at Charlestown Park, formerly a part of the Valley Forge Army Hospital. Mr. Morris, a member of a local military vehicle association, is going to speak with the Phoenixville Area School District, the Great Valley School District, and Charlestown Township further.

Citizens’ Forum - Non-Agenda Items

Request for Public Water

Diane Leslie was present to request a ruling on her June 5, 2000 request to be permitted to tie into public water on Whitehorse Road following the drilling of a dry well on her FR-zoned lot in the Four Oaks subdivision. Mrs. Ewald said it was a difficult issue for the Board and cited Article I, Section 102 of the Zoning Ordinance, which describes the Farm-Residential (F-R) District as entirely dependent on on-site water. She said the Board asked the Township Solicitor for advice but hadn’t had an opportunity to meet with him yet.

Ms. Leslie described her recent discussions with Sen. Arlen Specter, Rep. Carole Rubley, and Sen. Jim Gerlach as well as assurances from PSW Co. that public water can be supplied to her property with no cost to the Township. She cited hardship in that each attempt to drill costs $3,000.00, and that in the meantime, she’s incurring a cost of $100.00 per day to truck in water for the construction activities now underway at the property.

Mrs. Ewald placed the matter on the July 10, 2000 agenda for an answer to Ms. Leslie’s request.

Request for Grant of Building Permit - Myer

Al Fuscaldo, Esq. was present on behalf of his clients, Steven and Christine Myer, equitable owners of 8 acres off privately owned Moses Lane. He wished to update the Board following discussion at the June 5, 2000 meeting at which time the Board requested that he set up a meeting with the Behrles and Mr. Moses to try to resolve right of way issues with them. Mr. Fuscaldo reported that a meeting has been tentatively set up for this weekend and he’s hoping for a resolution among the neighbors prior to the Board’s July 10, 2000 meeting. Mrs. Ewald expressed her appreciation to Mr. Fuscaldo for his efforts, and reminded him that Mr. Oeste offered to be present at the site meeting if needed. Mr. Fuscaldo said he would call him if necessary.


Minutes of June 5, 2000

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of June 5, 2000 and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and comments from the public. There being none, she called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report - June 19, 2000

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for June 19, 2000, consisting of one check, #2772 to the Simkiss Agency for Township’s annual insurance premiums. Mr. Willig seconded. Mrs. Ewald explained that the due date for this annual invoice routinely falls out of the Board’s usual disbursement schedule and creates the need to make payment separately from the standard schedule. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and comments from the public. There being none, she called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Schedule Advertising for Bid - Paving

Mr. Rodgers reviewed the changes to the bid specs for paving Blackberry Lane per the Secretary’s memo to the Board dated 6/19/00. He said a pre-construction bid meeting will be set up following the award of the bid. Mr. Willig asked why a change was made from requiring bidders to substantiate that they paved A5 roads in 5 years@ to A5 roads in 3 years@ and Mr. Rodgers said this was changed in order to tighten the bid requirements.

Mrs. Ewald asked if portions of other roads, can be added to the bid scope. Mr. Rodgers responded that since this is a liquid fuels project, he would prefer to keep other paving jobs separate, particularly in the interests of time. Mr. Kohli said it would be possible to add other roads or road portions to the PennDOT application if the Board wishes.

Mr. Rodgers moved to advertise the bid opening for July 24, 2000 and Mrs. Ewald seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and comments from the public. There being none, she called the vote. All were in favor.

Charlestown Park Master Site Plan

Mr. Theurkauf provided some background on the proposed Master Site Plan for Charlestown Park. Charlestown Township has received in numerous grants under the Chester County Heritage Park program administrated by the County Parks & Recreation Department. The Township currently has an approved application for a Round Ten grant; however, the County stipulated that first a master site plan must be developed for the park in order to avoid a piecemeal development.

Mr. Theurkauf reviewed aspects of the Round Ten application, which proposes the addition of a 1 mile walking/fitness trail, elimination of an existing pond and creation of a wetland study area in its place, lighting for one of the existing soccer fields, and playground improvements. He displayed a plan depicting both current and proposed improvements at the Park. Other proposed future improvements include the conversion of an existing road to a promenade. An outdoor amphitheater, a game area, environmental education area and building, meadow areas, expanded parking facilities and pavilion improvements are also suggested. The goal would be to serve as diverse a population as possible. Pedestrian access points from Township Line Road would be created.

Mr. Hogan asked if semi-permeable parking has been considered. Mr. Theurkauf responded that although some of the parking should be standard pavement, possibly with subsurface recharge, other areas could be reinforced turf parking.

Mrs. Ewald liked the location of the proposed entrance road and further suggested the abandonment of the F Street entrance, which would solve sight distance problems and provide a more gracious access into the Park as well as improved traffic control. The former F Street could be partially utilized for parking. Mr. McErlane said that the property line runs the length of the road and the adjoining property owner would have to also agree to abandon the road.

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the Master Site Plan for Charlestown Park as a working document subject to future modifications. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and comments from the public. Michael Main asked about the zoning for the site. Mrs. Ewald explained that the site was deed restricted by the federal government for recreational purposes when the land was conditionally deeded to the Township in 1976. The Township must report to the federal government on its activities and development of the site, and will own the site outright in about 5 years. Mr. Main said the Township has secured what amounts to a windfall and has dealt with it in a proactive, professional manner. Mrs. Ewald called the vote and all were in favor. She credited Parks & Recreation Board Chairman Mark Connolly with taking a big picture approach that complements the sports programs in place at the Park, and said the Township owes him its appreciation.

Mr. Theurkauf said the next step will be developing cost estimates for the Round Ten improvements. Mr. Connolly said he will go to the County with an outlined Scope of Work and bid documents. He hopes the bid can be let in August with the fitness trail and field lighting work undertaken before the end of the construction year. Approximately $12,600 of existing funding remains.

Mr. Willig asked if ADA requirements must be met. Mr. Connolly said they’re not required to be met for the proposed improvements, but consideration for access is made project by project. The existing restroom at the park is handicapped accessible. Mr. Theurkauf said the County will communicate its own expectations in this regard as well. Mr. Hogan added that the Consumer Products Safety Commission is still debating access issues for playgrounds, and noted that the Township’s existing tot lot would be accessible with the installation of a ramp to access the area.

Mrs. Ewald called the vote on approving the master site plan for Charlestown Park. All were in favor.

Decision: Charlestown Meadows Conditional Use and Tentative Plan Applications

The proceeds were recorded by Nancy Toner, Karasch & Associates, Court Reporter. The applications were unanimously denied and the decision was signed by the Board.

Decision: Great Valley Nature Center Conditional Use Application

Ellen Behrle, member of the Great Valley Nature Center’s Board of Directors, was present on behalf of the Nature Center.

Mrs. Ewald said that the application on file and the project as now proposed are different. The Board would like to accommodate the Nature Center but notes this inconsistency. She said it was conveyed to her that the Nature Center’s architect is willing to prepare new plans at no charge. Mrs. Behrle disagreed with this statement.

Mrs. Behrle said that the revised plan follows Mr. Comitta’s review letter dated 2/22/00 by removing the footprint from the floodplain, and noted that Board members visited the site and checked the staking of the proposed project. She suggested the Board grant Conditional Use approval with the understanding that no building permit would be issued until acceptable plans were submitted.

Mrs. Ewald read the conditions of a draft denial decision in their entirety. She said a revised drawing must be submitted prior to conditional use approval. Mr. McErlane clarified the definition of as-built plan from the Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance, as referenced in item #7 on the draft denial decision letter.

Mr. Rodgers asked for the size of the proposed maple sugaring house. Mrs. Behrle responded that the plan submitted with the application is a 10 x 12 foot structure plus ramps and a porch. Mrs. Behrle said the Nature Center’s attorney marked up the plan and submitted the proposed changes to the Board; however, Board members disagreed with her statement. All said the marked up plan had not been submitted to the Township.

Mrs. Behrle said that a later memo from Thomas Comitta Associates dated 6/8/00 is not part of the conditional use hearing record because it was written after the record was closed. The site was staked out as requested during the hearing, and changes were made to the plan to accommodate the 2/22/00 Comitta letter. Mr. Kuhn said these changes were not submitted. Mr. Kohli said the conditional use approval is tied to the size and location of the structure. Mrs. Behrle asked if the Board would grant approval stipulating that the plan will be submitted with the building permit application and must comply with the hearing record. Mr. Willig said the plan acts as a contract.

Mrs. Ewald read the conditions of a draft approval decision in their entirety. The Board recessed to executive session at 9:05 P.M. and reconvened at 9:10 P.M. Mrs. Behrle offered an extension to the decision deadline to July 26, 2000 and will submit a revised plan prior to that date.

Mrs. Ewald moved to accept the extension in writing from Mrs. Behrle, otherwise moving to deny the conditional use application. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote. The motion carried, 3-2.

New Business

Discussion: S.P.C.A. Contract

Mr. Kuhn said the proposed S.P.C.A. contract for 2000 covers stray cats and dogs only. Other board members were concerned with this limited scope and high cost of participating. Mrs. Ewald suggested contacting neighboring townships to see if Charlestown could make arrangements with one of their animal control personnel, in order to cover wildlife issues as well. She said the matter should be discussed further. No decision was reached.

Schedule Hearings

Mr. Hogan moved to schedule conditional use hearings for Document Solutions, Al Emma, and Pebble Pools Inc. for the July 10, 2000 meeting. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote, and all were in favor.


Altemose Curative Amendment Application - Continuation

The proceeds were recorded by Nancy Toner, Karasch & Associates, Court Reporter. The hearing was continued to July 24, 2000.

Late Spring Developers Conditional Use Application - Continuation

The proceeds were recorded by Nancy Toner, Karasch & Associates, Court Reporter. The hearing was continued to July 10, 2000.

Ordinance to Reduce Speed Limit on Buckwalter Road and to Add Stop Signs at Rees Road and Howells Road

This matter was tabled to July 10, 2000.

Other Business

Mr. Kuhn referred to a letter from Grace Mohler requesting the Township arrange for PennDOT to conduct a study for a 3-way stop sign at Charlestown and Church Roads, and a speed limit study for Charlestown Road in the Historic Village. The Board agreed to request the studies.

Mr. Kuhn asked the Board to consider a request from Green Valleys Association to endorse their proposed river conservation plan. The matter was placed on the July 10, 2000 agenda.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 P.M. The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held at the Valley Forge Christian College, Building #11, 7:30 P.M. on July 10, 2000.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete