The second business meeting for December was held December 16, 2002 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Hugh D. Willig, Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Mike Rodgers, Kevin R. Kuhn, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Ed Theurkauf, Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, Melanie M. Lammers, Recording Secretary, and those on the attached list were present.
The meeting was called to order at 7:33 P.M.
There were no announcements.
Mr. Willig called for any Citizen’s Forum items. Resident Mr. Saul Kun wished everyone a happy holiday and requested that the next Altemose case hearing be postponed until February 24th since he is a party to the proceedings and will be unavailable for the next scheduled hearing date of January 27th. Mr. Oeste suggested that Mr. Kun write a letter to Linda Csete stating his request, and that he would then request agreement to the date change from all the attorneys involved.
Speaking as a citizen, a supervisor, but not on behalf of the Board, and as a former member of the Republican Committee, Mrs. Ewald said there is no place for racism or discrimination anywhere in the leadership of the Republican or Democratic parties. She added that discrimination of others, whether it be based on race, gender, nationality, religion, or any other categories, discriminates against us all. She feels it’s time for the grass roots populous to speak out. She is very disappointed in the leadership and the time it’s taking for them to make up their minds.
Mr. Willig called for a motion to approve the December 2, 2002 meeting minutes. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Kuhn seconded with the following corrections:
Mrs. Ewald accepted the changes and Mr. Willig called the vote. Three were in favor. Mr. Rodgers abstained.
Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for December 16, 2002 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig asked if there were any questions and being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete questioned what should be done with the checks she is still holding per instruction from the prior Board meeting. After some discussion regarding the Historic Mill repairs covered by check numbers 1475 and 1477, Mrs. Ewald moved to authorize release of check numbers 1475 and 1477, but requested that the Board change their procedure in the future to ensure a higher quality of work. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete indicated she wrote a letter to Mr. Joseph Ryan requesting a grant of extension prior to the decision deadline of December 17, 2002 for the Dixon subdivision application. As of the date of this meeting, the Township received no response to this request. Mrs. Ewald moved to deny the plan, which is not in compliance with the Consultants’ review comments, with the motion made subject to the receipt of a letter of deadline extension to be granted to the Board. Mr. Kohli added that Mr. Ryan is working on gathering the appropriate information for a plan revision. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Oeste asked Linda to write to Mr. Ryan to notify him of the status of the application.
Mr. Oeste explained that earlier in the year the General Assembly amended the Open Records law, and part of the amendment requires all townships to adopt a policy which outlines the procedures to be followed when someone requests records. He stated that the format the Board of Supervisors drafted to be in compliance with this new policy.
Mr. Kuhn said he would like to add something to the text of the policy which allows for a delay due to off-site storage or solicitor review. Mr. Oeste confirmed this is acceptable. The policy requires that a request be responded to within 5 days, however an additional 30 days may be used to obtain records which are stored off-site or require solicitor review. Mrs. Csete asked a question regarding copyrighted plans/transcripts and how to handle distribution of them to the public without infringing upon copyright laws. Mr. Oeste indicated this could be a potential problem and suggested adding verbiage to the policy stating the Township would not infringe upon copyright laws, and that someone requesting copyrighted material would have to obtain the appropriate approvals from the owner(s) of the materials. Mrs. Ewald agreed she would like to see a sentence added which indicates all copyrights will be respected.
On a related note, Mr. Willig questioned whether e-mail communications between Board members could be requested. Mr. Oeste answered yes. Mr. Oeste added that the Act goes into effect December 26th.
Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt the new policy including the changes proposed by Mr. Oeste, and Mrs. Ewald seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Ewald recounted the issues surrounding this topic:
1). As Warner Road is opened, there was concern about parking on this street, and
2). With the narrowness of some roads, parking on these roads can inhibit the passage of emergency vehicles.
Mr. Willig stated that most of the recent complaints came about due to parking on the street to attend a neighborhood haunted house around Halloween. Mrs. Ewald agreed this was part of the problem, but not all of it. She stated that on some narrow roads, inclement weather conditions could cause accidents when cars are parked on both sides of the street. She added that there are repeat offenders and suggested there be an overall parking policy which allows some leniency to accommodate special events.
Mr. Kuhn voiced concerns over enforcement and not wanting to create a process in order for someone to have a party.
Mr. Kohli stated that an ordinance is usually adopted for specific roads and then there is the need for enforcement of that ordinance. Mr. Rodgers agrees that some restrictions are needed in areas that can create a dangerous situation; but is also concerned that they may not be enforceable.
Mr. Kuhn asked if signage would need to be placed on every street, and Mr. Oeste replied, “Yes.” Mr. Oeste indicated that some roads require signage and an ordinance. Mr. Kuhn asked how much signage is required and Mr. Oeste answered that drivers would need to be given ‘reasonable notice’, but was unsure of the exact distance. Mrs. Ewald requested that Mr. Oeste check into the requirements. She also indicated that most residents want to be good citizens and suggested passing an ordinance in order to see what their compliance is.
Mr. Willig stated he will not support this. He believes this creates yet another level of government intrusion and that the situation does not warrant it. Mr. Kuhn asked if there are any other alternatives. Mr. Oeste answered that an entire development could be restricted. A question arose about private roads, and it was determined it would be the responsibility of the Homeowners Association to enforce restrictions on private roads.
Mr. Kuhn suggested proceeding with an ordinance on Warner Lane. Mrs. Ewald suggested a Letter of Explanation be sent to homeowners asking for their cooperation, and Mr. Kuhn suggested it be put in a Township newsletter instead. Mrs. Ewald feels making it a policy would have more impact. Mr. Willig said making it a policy can be entered into the minutes, but that he would not vote for a formal one. Mr. Kuhn suggested putting an ordinance into effect on Warner Road immediately. Mr. Rodgers agreed with this as long as other roads could potentially be added at a later date. Mr. Oeste said a resolution could be adopted to discourage parking on the streets, and Mrs. Ewald was satisfied with that. Mr. Kuhn questioned whether there is a problem with on-street parking due to unregistered vehicles taking up space on residents’ properties.
Mr. Rodgers moved to have an ordinance drawn up to prevent parking on the street on Warner Lane, and Mrs. Ewald seconded. Mr. Oeste indicated he will prepare an ordinance for Warner Lane for review at the January 6, 2003 meeting.
Mrs. Ewald asked about snow emergencies, and Mr. Kuhn asked if the Township can tow vehicles. Mr. Oeste indicated the Township may want an ordinance for this and said he would check on it. He added that, if it can be done by an ordinance, he will also prepare that for the January 6, 2003 meeting.
The Board scheduled their Reorganization meeting for January 6, 2003, and Mrs. Csete will advertise.
Escrow Release #6 for Sal Lapio Homes in the amount of $401,745.80 was requested. Mr. Kohli indicated that everything is in order. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the escrow release and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn asked about the status of the Kalogris’ plan for construction of a guest house. Mrs. Csete explained that the applicant withdrew their plan from the December 10th Planning Commission agenda but intends to reschedule. Mr. Kohli explained that there is no time clock on this request, which is a request for the Board to approve the construction of an accessory structure in the front yard. However, there is a deadline for reviewing building permits and one was submitted for this project. Mr. Kohli will send a denial letter on their building permit application, which may be resubmitted if approval is granted on the accessory structure request.
Mr. Rodgers suggested cutting meetings down to once a month, and Mr. Willig reminded everyone that the agenda items in the past have not supported having only one meeting per month. Mr. Kuhn said he wouldn’t mind cutting the number of meetings down if it could be done. Mr. Willig proposed that both meetings be scheduled, and if no second meeting is required, it could be canceled. Mr. Kuhn agreed that both meetings need to be kept on the calendar and added that the Board focus on getting business done so potentially only one meeting is needed. Mr. Kuhn also feels that 1-2 hours are wasted on reports, and that reading the reports at the meeting is of no value-add. Often additional business matters are slipped in at the end of a report when they should be scheduled as agenda items. Mr. Rodgers agreed and added that if reports are submitted, they can be read prior to the meeting and do not need to be read at the meeting. Mr. Willig added that all report submitters should still be present to answer questions. Mrs. Ewald feels there is still a need for two meetings per month. Mr. Willig doesn’t see that canceling the second meeting will happen, but would like to evaluate what is happening in the meetings and drop the second meeting if possible. He added that the Board should see what is going on within the Planning Commission to gauge the Board’s upcoming business. He asked if there were any deadline items between now and mid-January. Mrs. Csete answered that the only items were for the Scipione and Goodman subdivision applications.
Mrs. Csete repeated the concerns that resident, Jean Martin, has over bales of hay stacked adjacent to her property on the Brightside Farm. Mrs. Martin said the bright blue tarp is unsightly and the hay is attracting vermin and requested that it be moved. The Board indicated the property is a farm and there are no plans to move the hay bales.
Mr. Kuhn moved to adjourn the meeting, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 8:37 P.M. The next meeting will be held on January 6, 2003, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.