|Hugh Willig, Chairman, Kevin Kuhn, Vice-Chairman, Irene Ewald (arrived 7:50 P.M.), Michael Rodgers, Paul Hogan, Thomas F. Oeste Esq., Gary Bender, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator/Secretary-Treasurer, and those on the attached attendee list.|
The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m.
There were no announcements.
No items were brought forward at this time.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of August 6, 2001 with one correction on page 2 to read, “West Bradford Township instead of “West Brandywine Township”, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called the vote and four were in favor.
Mr. Oeste opened the hearing and the proceedings were recorded by a Court Reporter. The hearing was continued to September 17, 2001, 7:30 P.M. at Room 154 at the Great Valley Middle School with an emergency date of October 1, 2001.
Wendy McLean, Esq., was present on behalf of the applicants, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred McGowan, who have applied for a variance to permit the expansion of a nonconforming building, a barn with attached garage, at 60 Mine Road as well as the addition of a potting shed, which would be constructed in the “L” area of the barn and would not increase the encroachment of the front yard setback. The garage/barn building is nonconforming because the front yard setback of 75 feet is not met. The footprint of the garage/barn would be expanded, and a second floor would be added to improve access to the existing guest suite above the barn. Ms. McLean stated that she believes a variance is not required according to the Township Ordinance because the expansion of the nonconforming building is less than 50%.
Mrs. Ewald asked about an old Decision & Order granted for the prior owner, Ranney Moran, when an addition was made to the primary dwelling. She recalls that there was some stipulation that the guest apartment on the second floor of the barn was not to be continued with that use once the existing tenant left. Zoning Hearing Board Chairman Harry Nagel said this was his recollection also. Ms. McLean responded that a guest suite or caretaker residence is permitted in the FR district as an accessory use, and added that the current application is unrelated to this matter.
Mrs. Ewald said she wanted an opportunity to review the original Order before the Board expresses its opinion, and proposed tabling the discussion until the next meeting. Ms. McLean said the Hearing would most likely be scheduled before that time. Mr. Kuhn recommended that the Board remain neutral to the Zoning Hearing Board application as long as it’s in compliance with the previous Order of the Zoning Board. Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Hogan indicated they likewise are neutral to the application.
Ms. McLean suggested to the Board that if they wish to continue requiring expansions of non-conforming uses less than 50% to go to the Zoning Hearing Board, the Ordinance should be amended to reflect that requirement.
The Treasurer referenced her memo of 6/19/01 to the Board suggesting that some of the escrows and fees required for various applications be reviewed. In particular, the escrow required for a sketch plan of $250.00 is inadequate, and one applicant in particular owes an additional $1,800.00+ for the cost of review. Mr. Oeste will check the MPC to determine if the Township can refuse further review to an applicant who is in arrears with their reimbursement of costs of prior review.
In order to send out a Newsletter in November 2001, the Secretary recommended a 9/30/01 deadline for the submission of articles. The Board also asked for a deadline schedule for the newsletter draft, the Board’s review, printing and mailing. The Board indicated their intention to remain firm to these deadlines.
The Board tentatively scheduled the formal presentation of the Comprehensive Plan to the Public for September 24, 2001 at 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, provided Thomas Comitta & Associates is available that evening. An alternate date of October 22, 2001 was selected. The Secretary will confirm with Mr. Comitta, and will handle the required advertising as well as draft a postcard notification to the public.
Mr. Kohli provided an update on the signal at Route 401 and Valley Hill Road. He said that PennDOT has undergone 3 timing adjustments on the light, and since he last met with PennDOT representatives for the last adjustment, there have been no additional complaints from commuters. Mr. Kohli said that he and the Fire Marshal met with PennDOT to discuss a remote preemption signal for the light, and that it is now hopefully unnecessary due to the improved traffic flow. The remote preemption signal would have cost $12,000-15,000.
Mr. Kohli said PennDOT is still studying the Township’s request for a reduction in the speed limit on Coldstream Road to 35 MPH, made in May of this year. If the reduction is granted, the Township will be responsible for placing the signs as directed by PennDOT. The current speed limit is 55 MPH with lower advisory speeds at the curves.
Mr. Kohli said he has asked PennDOT to look at the possibility of a pedestrian crosswalk at Mary Hill and Coldstream Roads, which would necessitate a 3 way stop at this intersection due to the poor sight distances. They will also look at Benburb and Coldstream Roads for an alternate crosswalk site, but this would require the removal of a bank on a homeowner’s property. A third possibility, the construction of an overhead pedestrian bridge, would have to have a clearance of 14’6” and handicapped access would be infeasible since it would require a 150 foot wheelchair ramp.
Mrs. Ewald asked about the bike path PennDOT marked along Coldstream Road. Mr. Kohli said he spoke to PennDOT and they remain firm that this road has been marked by the State as a bike path, and is slated for improvement to the shoulders as part of this project.
In answer to Mr. Hogan’s question, Mr. Kohli said he’ll check with PennDOT to see if they still offer used guide rail to municipalities, as Mr. Hogan would like to have some for Township Line Road. Mr. Hogan also noted that the walking trail at the Valley Forge Christian College connecting to the trail at Charlestown Park is now completed, with a little edge work to be taken care of.
The Board asked the Secretary to secure the name of the individual apprehended at Valley Forge Park last month for D.U.I. who was found to have a stolen Charlestown Township street sign in his possession. Mr. Kuhn indicated his interest in pressing charges.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Brooklands Settlement Stipulation last revised 8/20/01 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. All were in favor.
The meeting adjourned at 11:10 p.m. Due to the Labor Day holiday, the first meeting of September will be held September 10, 2001.