Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of February 12, 2001

Note: February 5th meeting canceled due to snow and rescheduled for February 12, 2001.

The first business meeting for February was held February 12, 2001 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Hugh D. Willig, Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Vice Chairman, Paul J. Hogan, Michael J. Rodgers, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Ed Theurkauf, Planner, Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator and those on the attached list were present.

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


Mr. Rodgers said he and Mr. Kuhn attended a meeting of the Delaware Regional Planning Commission, where the formation of a metro line between Pottstown, Phoenixville and Philadelphia was discussed as well as widening of Routes 23, 202, 41, and 100.

Mr. Willig announced that Mrs. Ewald is unable to attend this evening’s meeting as she is home recovering from a fall earlier today.

Citizens’ Forum – Non-Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward at this time.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of January 22, 2001. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and then the vote; all were in favor.


Accounts Payable February 5, 2001

Ms. Hogan moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for February 5, 2001 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion. Mr. Rodgers expressed concerns with snow removal costs for both equipment and materials. He said the Township has already spent this year as much as the 1999-2000 winter season, approximately $42,000. Mr. Kuhn said some of this cost was for preparation of the Township yard, and that given the type of snowstorms experienced this year, the Roadmaster didn’t feel the costs were out of line. Mr. Rodgers said he was unhappy with the tree-trimming job being done by Lord’s Tree Service. He said he reported downed branches on Blackberry Lane and had no response from the company. Mr. Hogan said that since these branches were stuck in snow, it was more cost effective to wait for the snow to melt before removing them. Mr. Rodgers noted that Lord’s Tree Service is cutting back limbs on Pine Drive more than ten feet from the road. Mr. Hogan said this was discussed with the Roadmaster and Josh Lord, and that they recommended cutting off the rhododendrons at the base so they don’t come back. Another area where this was needed was on Union Hill Road where bamboo plants are out of control. Mr. Kuhn agreed that this is a proactive measure, although he doesn’t want to do any unnecessary cutting. Mr. Hogan mentioned his concern over diseased trees on Oak Lane on private property that he feels are a danger to the community. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Oeste if the Township should send the homeowner a letter notifying him of the situation, or whether this creates a liability issue for the Township. Mr. Oeste said there is a procedure in the Second Class Township Code for this type of notification and that he’ll check into it and send a letter to the property owner. Mr. Willig called the vote and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report January 1 – 31, 2001

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for January 1 – 31, 2001 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and then the vote; all were in favor

Zoning Officer

Mr. Kohli reported that J. Loew & Associates is requesting approval to construct a detention basin and berm on the Spring Oaks property for which they have a preliminary subdivision approval pending an application for final approval. They have DEP permits, which will expire shortly if they don’t proceed. Mr. Rodgers said he’d like to talk to the developer about changing the basin into a below-ground basin. Mr. Willig questioned proceeding with the basin construction at this stage prior to final plan approval. Mr. Kohli said even if the final plan changed from the preliminary plan, the general location of the basin at a low point on the property would remain the same, although capacity needs could change. He said he had no objection to their proceeding at this time. He said he could bring the plan to the next meeting if the Board wants to review it further. Mr. Willig said that in the absence of understanding the ramifications of the final plan, he doesn’t see the advantage of doing the basin now. Mr. Philips said the Planning Commission has been consistent in requesting these basins be underground. Mr. Kohli said the Township could ask the applicant to revisit this issue.

Mr. Hogan asked to meet with Mr. Kohli at the Korean Church property on Sycamore Lane to check out several derelict buildings, trash and debris on the site that he feels are a danger to the public.

Planning Commission

Mr. Davison said the Planning Commission met on January 9, 2001 and reviewed sketch plans for Dixon, Saddlebrook, Deerfield, Haly, and Great Valley School District.

At the January 23, 2001 meeting, Carol Stauffer from the Chester County Planning Commission was present for a review of the Township maps as part of the Comprehensive Plan review process. There was a spirited discussion on the use of open space for the Dixon property that will be continued.

Mr. Davison said there is still an opening on the Planning Commission, but no interviews have been scheduled yet. He hopes to conduct them before the end of the month as soon as a few resumes are submitted.

Mr. Oeste announced that the litigation was withdrawn for Robert Jones’ position. Mr. Kuhn moved to advertise an ordinance to reduce the number of Planning Commission members from eight to seven for March 5, 2001. Mr. Rodgers seconded and all were in favor.

The Board directed Mr. Oeste to send a letter to John Panizza responding to his objections to the Township’s conditions of approval for the Deerfield Conditional Use application.

Historical Commission

Mr. Philips said the Historical Commission will meet on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 at 4:00 P.M. at the Township office; however, the Board will not find it necessary to convene as the HARB because no action is needed on the demolition permit for the Mill at this time.


Mr. Hogan said the Roadmaster did a good job during the recent snowstorm, with a few complaints registered. Mr. Hogan and Mr. Faggioli met with Josh Lord with regard to tree trimming on Hollow Road and Blackberry Road. Mr. Kuhn said he thought the road contractor did a great job on snow removal.

Mr. Philips asked why some trees on Hollow Road and Yellow Springs Road have been marked, presumably as a precursor to removal. Mr. Hogan will check with PECO to see if they are responsible. Mr. Kohli said that since these are state roads, PECO would have notified PennDOT and not the Township.

Mr. Hogan said he’d like to see a flashing warning light installed approaching the curve on Coldstream Road due to the excessive number of accidents at that location. Mr. Kuhn asked about the water problem on the road, and Mr. Kohli said he’d contact PennDOT for the status on the studies they have underway. Mr. Kuhn asked about the bike trail along Coldstream Road, and Mr. Rodgers said PennDOT refuses to remove it. Mr. Hogan suggesting relocating it to the Township property on the opposite side of the road for safety

Fire Marshal/EOC

Mr. Alston reported there were 4 automatic alarms in January, one wires fire, one gas leak, one vehicle fire, one dwelling fire and seven vehicle accidents. Mr. Alston said he received the draft Fire Control Ordinance and Hazardous Materials Ordinance from the Solicitor and arranged to meet with him on February 15th.

Parks and Recreation Board

Mr. Hogan said bids have been solicited for playing field lights at Charlestown Park.

Mr. Theurkauf said the Parks & Rec Board has been working on a trail map for the Township, with prioritization of trails, destination points, and integration into the overall recreation program.

Mr. Theurkauf said that at Parks & Rec Chairman Mark Connolly’s request, Thomas Comitta Associates has prepared a proposal for conducting a visioning process for Pyle Farm.

Mr. Hogan asked when the Pyle Farm would be ready for a public walk-through, and Mr. Willig said it would be after the tenants move out at the end of February. Mr. Hogan said he’d visit the farm and check the status of the buildings in the next few days.

Parks & Rec member Marjorie Crawford asked if Thomas Comitta Associates could provide a list of all property owners who are adjacent to the Horseshoe Trail in order to send them a letter with regard to trail issues. Mr. Willig asked if the trail work ties in to the Comprehensive Plan, and Mr. Theurkauf responded yes; however if any part of the work goes beyond the scope of the Comprehensive Plan, budgeting considerations will come into play.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Mr. Rodgers stated that the minutes of the previous meeting are on file at the Township Office and that he met with VFSA General Manager Joe Bateman for a tour of the plant.

Turnpike Commission CAC

Sue Staas reported that there has been no new activity and no meeting scheduled for the future. Mr. Philips commented that, as a general observation, the E-Z pass system seems to be easing congestion at the Valley Forge Interchange. He added that Schuylkill Township has expressed an interest in mass transit options and other alternatives. The Chester County Planning Commission is working with statistics submitted by Charlestown and other municipalities.

Old Business

Commons at Great Valley Lots 13-14-15

This matter was tabled to February 26, 2001.

New Business

Great Valley School District Request for Public Water

Ron Nagle, Esq., Michael Sodl, P.E. and School Board member Suzanne Carr were present on behalf of the School District to request approval to obtain public water service for the Charlestown Elementary School and bus garage. Mr. Kohli stated that none of the School property is currently located in the franchise area. Mr. Kuhn noted that the property is adjacent to the corner property at Route 29 and Charlestown Road, which does lie in the franchise area. He asked if water service can be specifically extended to only one property, and Mr. Kohli answered yes. Mr. Willig said he recommends the Board approve the request as he sees a real need for water for the sprinkler system at the school. Mr. Sodl said the plan is to size the pipe restrictively so it can service only the School property. Mr. Kohli asked who is going to pay for the piping, and Mr. Sodl responded that the School District would be responsible for payment, although PSW Inc. has pledged some funds. He said an 8” main would be required, with a branching into 4” piping for the sprinkler system. Booster pumps will be located on the property.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the request to permit public water service at the Charlestown Elementary School Institutional-zoned parcel, with service restricted to that property and with piping sized for that parcel only. Mr. Willig seconded and called for discussion. Mr. Nagle said there are no plans to develop the adjoining FR-zoned parcel owned by the School District. Mr. Willig called the vote, and all were in favor.

Appoint Board Counsel for GVSD Conditional Use Hearing

Mr. Kuhn moved to appoint Glenn Diehl, Esq. as counsel to the Board of Supervisors for the Great Valley School District Conditional Use hearing opening March 5, 2001. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig said Mrs. Ewald had communicated her intention to submit other names for consideration, and he said he’d like to table the appointment until the February 26, 2001 meeting. Mr. Kuhn was concerned that the appointment be made in time to allow the solicitor to review and prepare for the application. Mr. Willig suggested meeting with Mr. Diehl before the hearing. He called the vote to appoint Mr. Diehl and all were in favor.

Amendments to the 2001 Budget

Mrs. Csete reviewed a list of ten budget amendments as outlined in a table sent to the Board on January 10, 2001. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the 2001 Budget as amended. Mr. Willig seconded and called for discussion. Mr. Kuhn questioned the need for two defibrillator units, one for the Fire Marshal/EOC Coordinator and one for the Township office. Both are fully reimbursable by state grant. Mr. Davison suggested donating a unit to one of the fire companies that serve the township. Mr. Willig called the vote and all were in favor.

Regional Hazardous Household Waste Program 2001-2003

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve joining the County’s Regional Hazardous Household Waste Program, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and then called the vote; all were in favor.


Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Kuhn plan to attend the Spring Chester County Association of Township Officials Convention, and Mr. Rodgers will attend the State convention in Hershey, Pa.

Advertise Hearing: Zoning Ordinance Amendment for Definitions of Building Coverage and Impervious Surface Coverage

After some discussion, Mr. Oeste said he’d review the ordinance and forward it to the County for their review. If time allows, the hearing will be scheduled for March 19, 2001.

Other Business

Establish Open Space Commission

Mr. Kuhn asked for the procedure to establish an open space commission and member terms. Mr. Oeste will check into it and report back to the Board.


Mr. Kuhn noted that the deadline for submitting articles for the next township newsletter was passed with no submissions. A new deadline of February 26, 2001 was made.

Sample Ordinance – Open Space

Mr. Rodgers requested that Mr. Theurkauf obtain a copy of an open space ordinance from New Britain Township in which half of developed parcels over 25 acre sites must stay open space, and the minimum lot size is 1.9 acres on the remaining area.

New York Times Article

Mr. Hogan requested that the Township office distribute copies of a New York Times article on Assisted Living Facilities to the Board and Planning Commission.

Ratify Board Action

Mr. Oeste said a question had been raised on the action to file a criminal complaint against Lance Altemose, which was not taken at a public meeting. Mr. Oeste said in his opinion, this was not a violation of the Sunshine Act, but he recommended that the Board ratify their action at this time. Mr., Kuhn moved to ratify the authorization of the Solicitor to file a criminal complaint against Lance Altemose for defiant trespass. Mr. Hogan seconded, and Mr. Willig called for discussion. There being none, he called the vote and all were in favor.

Scheduled on Upcoming Agendas:

February 26, 2001:

Commons @ Great Valley Lots 13-14-15 Land Development Plan, for final approval

March 5, 2001:

Ordinance to Reduce the Planning Commission from Eight to Seven Members


Mr. Kuhn moved to adjourn and Mr. Hogan seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 P.M. The next meeting will be held on February 26, 2001, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary