Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of August 18, 2003

The second business meeting for August was held August 18, 2003, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Paul Hogan, Chairman, Hugh Willig, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Mike Rodgers, Kevin R. Kuhn, Thomas Oeste, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, 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 7:34 P.M.


Mr. Hogan announced an Executive Session was held with the new head of the Emeryville Police barracks to discuss public safety matters in Charlestown Township.

Citizen’s Forum - Non-Agenda Items

There were no Citizen’s Forum/Non-agenda items.


Minutes of August 4, 2003

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the August 4, 2003, minutes as written, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Green Valleys Association Presentation – Sustainable Watershed Management

Mr. Wesley Horner of Cahill Associates gave a PowerPoint presentation entitled Sustainable Watershed Management 2003, which underscored the importance of total water volume control and that both quantity and quality control is absolutely essential. He noted that Mr. Kohli is presently working on a new stormwater management ordinance for Charlestown and complimented the Township on its consistency through the years in dealing with stormwater issues, largely due to Mr. Kohli’s efforts. He said the Green Valleys Association wants to share its model ordinance and have elements from it incorporated in the township’s ordinance. He asked that the Board be mindful of his advice when planning and updating their ordinances.

During questions and answers, Mrs. Ewald asked why others haven’t signed on yet and Mr. Kuhn asked how many had done so. Mr. Horner responded that North Coventry, East Coventry, South Coventry, Warwick, East Vincent, and West Pikeland Township have incorporated at least some of the elements into their ordinances. North Coventry adopted the model ordinance in its entirety.

Mr. Kuhn asked if any townships have been met with challenges yet and Mr. Horner said no. Mr. Kuhn asked for the County Planning Commission’s position, and Mr. Horner said GVA has met with Jan Bowers and the CCPC, and they reviewed the model ordinance through several meetings. He believes they’ve been looking upon the progress favorably.

Mr. Kuhn asks, if Charlestown adopted the model ordinance, would Cahill Associates be willing to hold a workshop with the Planning Commission. Mr. Horner said yes, they are willing to work with the Township. He noted again that engineering support is critical to the ordinance’s success.

Mrs. Ewald said that seven years ago, this program was to include groundwater mapping, to which Charlestown contributed. Mr. Horner said that mapping is not part of this program, which instead takes geological types, converts the data into theoretical yields, and nets out what is taken out by existing development. He said he can provide data layers for GIS with the information they have on CD.

The Board recessed into an Executive Session at 8:25 P.M. and returned at 8:50 P.M.

Old Business

Deerfield Final Plan/Spring Lane Farms Settlement Stipulation

Mr. Oeste said the Board and he met to talk about the significant review letters from the Township consultants, and said the Board was not yet ready to approve the final plan. He said the Board would like a revised plan and clean review letters from the consultants in order to approve the plan. He said the Board would like to table this topic to a later date based on receipt of an extension and clean plans and review letters. He said if this was not acceptable, the Board would have no option but to deny the application.

Mr. Panizza asked for a few minutes to discuss this with his associates, but said he’d like to move forward with the Spring Lane topic. Mr. Oeste said the Board was also not ready to discuss Spring Lane, as they still need time to review the easements that they received late the prior week. Mr. Panizza asked when the Board would be ready to discuss Spring Lane, and Mr. Kuhn suggested it be scheduled for the next Board meeting to be held September 8, 2003.

Mr. Dobson said his understanding of the prior meeting was that the only item the Board still had issues with was item #2 of Mr. Kohli’s latest review letter with regard to septic systems being placed within the buffer. He asked where the Board currently stands on this issue. Mr. Ewald suggested he work out that issue with Mr. Kohli and allow Mr. Kohli to report back to the Board if needed.

Mr. Kuhn said the biggest frustration with this project is that each time a list of issues is brought up and worked out, additional items are constantly being added to the list. He said the bottom line is that the Board wants to see a clean letter from Mr. Kohli in order for the Board to grant approval. Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Oeste both said they expect the review letter to contain very few issues, not the approximately 30 issues they have been seeing to date.

Mr. Panizza said that when this project started a few years ago, the Board requested he put ‘x’ number of homes in ‘y’ space. He said it was determined that simply would not work, and that all the revisions to date have been as a result of that. He said this plan ceases to exist if the Board cannot decide on the septic issue discussed at the last meeting. He said they intend to bring back their by-right plan, and if the Board wants the Open Space plan to be over with now, so be it.

Mrs. Ewald told Mr. Panizza he has never provided the Township will a clean, complete plan, and stated it is his failure, not theirs. Mr. Panizza said it is no one’s failure and indicated the Township must also participate in this process.

Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Panizza if he had approval for the by-right plan. Mr. Panizza said he did not, but that he knows the ordinances and feels he could get it. He added that things known today were not known at the time the open space option plans were drawn, which is what is causing the need for changes. Mr. Oeste indicated that it is for this reason that the Board should not provide approval yet. He said they should not approve what they do not know.

Mr. Panizza said he cannot spend any more time on this, and that it is obvious the Board does not want to. He said he has attended meetings through three different planning commissions over five years for this project. He said he still doesn’t have a plan and that they getting farther apart. He explained that he has had nothing bad happen from his plans in 20 years of doing work in Charlestown, and based on that, requested the Board grant approval of his plan at the meeting. Mrs. Ewald said the Board does not have a complete plan from him to approve.

Mr. Kuhn told Mr. Panizza he needs to address the issues in the review letters, and Mr. Panizza said they will never be able to satisfy the Board. Mr. Kuhn said, therefore, the Board cannot approve the plan.

Mr. Willig said the Board does not understand what they are being asked to approve, and Mr. Panizza asked if they set everything else aside, would they approve the septic system residing in the buffer. Mr. Oeste interjected and recapped the last meeting. He said the issues in Mr. Kohli’s review letter were being discussed. He said just about the first issue was the septic system issue, and just as it was being discussed, the custodial staff said everyone had to be out of the building within a few minutes, so the issue was never able to be resolved at that time.

Mr. Kuhn suggested a compromise. He said the answer on the septic system is that they do not have an answer yet. He said they must take it in the context of the entire letter, which is why it is necessary for Mr. Panizza to provide for a clean letter.

Mr. Hogan suggested they recess into an Executive Session at 9:17 P.M. They resumed the meeting at 9:25 P.M. Upon their return, Mr. Oeste said the Board was willing to do the following. They would meet with him and Mr. Kohli in an Executive Session on August 25th and would provide an answer to the septic system question the following day. Mr. Oeste said they would need an extension letter that gave them until the September 8 meeting to make a decision. Mr. Panizza agreed with the path forward.

New Business

Access to Warner Lane from the Commons at Great Valley

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve access to Warner Lane from the Commons at Great Valley, and the name of the access road to be James Otis Drive. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and Mrs. Ewald questioned how the turning motions would be handled there. Mr. Kohli indicated it was not a major turning lane, and after a short discussion, Mrs. Ewald concurred. Mr. Hogan called the vote, and all were in favor.

Great Valley School District - Lot Consolidation Plan for Charlestown Elementary School

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Lot Consolidation plan for Charlestown Elementary School, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and Mrs. Ewald confirmed that this was simply a consolidation and not a change in zoning to which everyone agreed was the case. Mr. Hogan called the vote, and all were in favor.

Resolution to Accept Deeds of Dedication - Charlestown Hunt

Mr. Oeste indicated that everything was in order for this Dedication. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Resolution to accept the Charlestown Hunt Deeds of Dedication, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and Mrs. Ewald asked if the Deeds of Dedication were complete. Also Mr. Willig asked if the final inspection had taken place. Mr. Kohli answered yes to both. He said the final inspection has gone through the Home Owners Association and there are no outstanding issues. Mr. Kohli said PennDOT has not warranted the need for traffic lights at Buckwalter Road and Route 29. He suggested the funds for these lights be donated to the Township to be used at a later date, once PennDOT issues a permit for either or both signals. Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Kohli to question PennDOT’s decision regarding Buckwalter Road. Mr. Hogan called the vote, and all were in favor.

Schedule Ordinance Amendment Hearings for Advertising

Mr. Rodgers moved to schedule the ordinance amendment hearings for advertising as follows:

Sept. 15, 2003: Building Height Ordinance
Nov. 3, 2003: Article VI – PRD – refinements to existing ordinance
Nov. 3, 2003: Various Amendments to Zoning and SLDO for refinement & consistency
Nov. 3, 2003: Article IV – FR – Open Space Option – to allow the Option as by-right on all properties over 10 acres in size

Mrs. Csete said the Planning Commission would like to take another look at the Open Space Option, so Mr. Kuhn suggested putting the Open Space Option on the November 3, 2003 agenda.

Mr. Willig asked if there is a way to get the ordinance drafts posted on the website. Mrs. Csete suggested that the one-page advertising summary be posted instead, and Mr. Kuhn said this was a good alternative to posting the multi-page ordinance drafts. Mr. Kuhn then asked Mr. Theurkauf if the files could be posted on the Comitta and Associates website in an adobe format and then linked to the Township site. Mrs. Ewald asked Mrs. Csete to check with the Township Webmaster to find out how best to accomplish this.

Mr. Rodgers amended his motion to include moving the Open Space Option of ten or more acres to the November 3, 2003 meeting, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan called the vote, and all were in favor.

Other Business

Mr. Hogan said he received a letter from the Chester County Conference Visitors Bureau, stating there is $300,000 in grant money available under the Tourism Marketing Initiatives Program. He asked Mr. Theurkauf to apply for funds for the rehabilitation of the Longwood School.

An Executive Session was scheduled for Monday, August 25, 2003 at 7:00 P.M.


Mr. Hogan adjourned the meeting at 9:46 P.M. The next meeting will be held on September 8, 2003, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,

Melanie M. Lammers
Recording Secretary