Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of September 8, 2003

The first business meeting for September was held on September 8, 2003, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Paul Hogan, Chairman, Hugh Willig, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald (arrived later), Mike Rodgers, Kevin R. Kuhn, Thomas Oeste, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, Ed Theurkauf, Mark Hagerty, Court Reporter, 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 7:30 P.M.


Mr. Hogan announced Executive Sessions were held following the August 18, 2003 meeting, August 25, 2003 at 7:00 P.M., and just prior to tonight’s meeting.

Citizen’s Forum - Non-Agenda Items

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


Minutes of August 18, 2003

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the August 18, 2003, minutes as written, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor, 4-0.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Willig moved to approve the August 1-31, 2003, Treasurer’s report as presented, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor, 4-0.

Accounts Payable Report

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the September 8, 2003, Accounts Payable report subject to the following changes:

(Mrs. Ewald arrived at this time.)

Mr. Hogan questioned the excessive cost for tree work, and Mr. Alston assured him there was a lot of work that had been done. He indicated there was also a need for a ‘shadow vehicle’, which is a safety requirement.

Mr. Hogan also expressed concern over damages done by tree work crews to flowers and ferns on Sycamore and Pine Drive. Mr. Alston was aware of some complaints and said he would look into the others. He will submit photos of the areas in question.

Mr. Kuhn asked if the Township is caught up on overhanging branches, and Mr. Alston said there would be more done on Wednesday in front of Charlestown Oaks. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Alston if they are within budget for mowing, and Mr. Alston replied he thought they were, but because it was a new contract, he was still balancing things to see where they are in regard to the budget.

Mrs. Ewald said, for consistency sake, she still objects to check #2024 to Allen G. Heist Consulting Services.

Mr. Willig seconded the motion, and Mr. Hogan called for additional discussion. There being none, the vote was called, and all were in favor.

Monthly Reports

Zoning Commission

Mr. Willig questioned the status of the Meyer’s building permit. Mr. Kohli indicated the permit had never been processed as the Meyers indicated they wished to withdraw. The building permit fee will be refunded to them per their request, less any costs incurred for review.

Mrs. Ewald asked if the drainage and curb requirements were addressed at the Dorward property on Blackberry Lane, and Mr. Kohli said they were not. He said these items are a condition of obtaining a Use and Occupancy permit, and that $7,500 was posted to the Township in order to complete this work. He added they currently have a temporary Use and Occupancy permit.

Mrs. Ewald asked for a status of the Church Road buffer area issue at Eastwick Lot #12, and Mr. Kohli responded that a temporary Use and Occupancy permit is in effect. He said he met with the Crowells in the field again and everything is being worked out.

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission report is on file.

Historical Commission

Mrs. Ewald said she is disappointed with the slow pace on the Mill. She would like to see this project move forward before winter.

Mr. Hogan said he’s making arrangements to obtain fourteen 7 x 13 x 25 foot beams. Mr. Kohli said the bid documents for the mill restoration is completed, but there is a need to discuss the pre-bid proposal so bidders can be qualified. He felt this might require involvement from the Township solicitor.

Open Space Commission

Mr. Kuhn said there was nothing new to report.


The Roadmaster report is on file.

Fire Marshal

The Fire Marshal report is on file.

Parks and Recreation Committee

Mr. Hogan announced that Mrs. Ewald and he attended the inauguration of the 48th year for the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club (PMYC); 11 years of which have been at Charlestown Park.

Mrs. Ewald reiterated what a great program this is and said the PMYC has added 5-6 year old boys’ flag football to their program. She said they also have minor and major boys football, 65 cheerleaders, and 186 girls in their field hockey program for a total of over 400 boys and girls. She said Mr. Harry Dawson, the former President, has been involved in coaching for the PMYC for 48 years and was able to award a coaching trophy to his son at the ceremony. He added this is an example of how involvement is passed on from generation to generation in this impressive family program.

Brightside Farm Committee

The Brightside Farm Committee report is on file. Mr. Hogan said they are working with Mr. Bill Davison’s son, Paul, who is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. Paul Davison will either create a vineyard or an orchard at the Brightside Farm and will start within the next month or so, as he must put in 120 hours on this project. Mr. Hogan added that, if a vineyard is planned, he would like to see Cesare Solda be Paul’s mentor.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Mr. Rodgers said union negotiations continue, and that there are six more management rights to discuss. He hopes the meeting on September 11, 2003, will get into the economics. Mrs. Ewald said she is impressed with the letter from Marilyn Randolph to the VFSA and would like to see it followed up on.

Mr. Hogan mentioned the progress of the grant from the Chester County Visitors Bureau for the Longwood School to Rosemary Philips. She said she looked forward to the Board getting back to them at their next meeting to tell them what they need to respond to.


Official Map Ordinance

This hearing was court reported by Mr. Mark Hagerty and was continued to October 20, 2003.

Altemose Conditional Use Application

This hearing was court reported by Mr. Mark Hagerty and was continued to October 20, 2003.

Old Business

9/8/03 Supervisors Minutes

Spring Lane Farms Settlement Stipulation

Tom Oeste, Esq. said there are continuing discussions regarding the terms of the proposed conservation easement and they would not be ready to discuss this evening. This item is to be deferred until the next meeting to be held on September 15, 2003.

Mr. Kuhn questioned what the Board wants as part of this easement. He indicated that a walking trail was something that was not in the Stipulation, but something he expected to be outlined in the easement.

Deerfield Final Plan

Mr. Oeste indicated he prepared a draft motion for the Board’s consideration. The motion proposed to approve the Deerfield “Open Space” plan subject to the attached 21 conditions. He said these conditions are relevant to the plan dated 04/28/03, last revised 08/11/03, containing 47 plan sheets. Mr. Oeste read the attached conditions as follows:

  1. Compliance with the comments and recommendations set forth in correspondence of Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Township Engineer dated August 30, 2003.
  2. Compliance with the comments and recommendations set forth in a memorandum of Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc., Township Land Planner dated August 26, 2003.
  3. A homeowners association (“HOA”) for the development will be formed by documentation in form and substance satisfactory to the Township Solicitor. Among other requirements, the HOA will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of all stormwater management facilities, streets (if not dedicated to the Township), open space (to the extent not dedicated to the Township) and all other common facilities and areas, as well as septic systems.
  4. Contribution of $250.00 per lot to be used by the Township for purposes determined by the Board of Supervisors in its sole discretion.
  5. Compliance with all requirements for septic systems as set forth in the Settlement Stipulation approved by the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County on September 5, 2002 and the letter agreement between the Township and the Applicant dated May 9, 2003 (“Letter Agreement”). The construction of septic systems shall be strictly limited to those areas depicted on the Plan.
  6. Prior to the issuance of a building permit for each individual house, the well will be drilled and pump tested. A building permit will not be issued until satisfactory evidence is provided that the well yield is potable and is sufficient for the houses proposed, the potential occupancy and water use. General Residential will utilize technology designed to provide sufficient water including well shaft “reservoirs” and inside storage tanks. An effort will be made to sell and develop lots in numerical sequence. If a lot is skipped, the well on the vacant lot will be drilled and pump tested before the next requested building permit is issued. The Applicant shall also comply with the provisions of the Letter Agreement applicable to wells.
  7. Open Space Area #3 shall be deeded to the Township, subject to a restriction that it remain perpetually open space and subject to easements in favor of the homeowner’s association for stormwater discharge and management. The maintenance, repair, and replacement of stormwater management facilities shall be the homeowners association’s responsibility.
  8. Except for the underground septic system depicted on the Plan, no homes or structures of any kind, including but not limited to sheds, swing sets and play structures will be placed on Lot 14 within 300 feet of the western right-of-way of Yellow Springs Road. The deed for Lot 14 shall include this restriction. The form and substance of the restriction shall be satisfactory to the Township Solicitor.
  9. The existing hedge/tree rows depicted on the Plan shall be perpetually preserved. This restriction shall be place in the deed for the lots where such hedge/tree rows are located and in the homeowner’s association documents. The form and substance of the restriction shall be satisfactory to the Township Solicitor.
  10. Except for the removal of dead or dying trees and vegetation and the construction of those sewage disposal systems shown on the Plan, the area adjacent to the Turnpike shall not be disturbed for a distance of 275 feet measured perpendicularly from the northern edge of the Turnpike right-of-way. Disturbance of this area in connection with septic system construction shall be limited to the greatest extent feasible. Prior to any disturbance, the area to be disturbed shall be staked out by the developer and be subject to the approval of the Township Engineer. If drip irrigation is used, best efforts shall be made to install the drip tubing around trees to preserve the trees. The deeds for the lots adjacent to this limited disturbance area and the HOA documents shall contain these restrictions. The form and substance of the restriction shall be satisfactory to the Township Solicitor.
  11. The front and side exterior of all dwelling units, and the rear exterior of any dwelling unit visible from Yellow Springs Road, will be comprised of natural looking earth tone materials, such as stone, stucco, brick, wood, etc. The rear of the dwelling units (other than those visible from Yellow Springs Road) may utilize vinyl materials. A color-coded palette will be provided for all materials prior to the issuance of a building permit for the first house in the development.
  12. The Applicant shall deposit financial security with the Township in an amount determined by the Township Engineer to construct an underground french drain or pipe extending from the discharge point of the stormwater outlet on the southeast side of Yellow Springs Road into the floodplain on Township property. The Township shall make a decision within 3 years of the issuance of the last building permit on the property whether to construct the drain or pipe. If the Township does not so notify the developer within said time frame, the financial security shall be released to the developer.
  13. Only organically-derived fertilizers shall be used in the development and in a manner that does not promote nutrient laden stormwater runoff; and the use of herbicides and pesticides shall be limited to environmentally-friendly compounds. These restrictions shall be placed in the HOA documents.
  14. A note shall be placed on the Plan listing all permits necessary for the development of the project and that no land disturbance or building construction that requires a permit or approval shall occur until permits necessary for such are obtained and in effect.
  15. Where outside lighting or sign lighting is proposed for illumination of a residential structure or signage, a typical lighting and signage plan shall be submitted for review and approval by the Township Engineer. At a minimum, the lighting plan shall contain details, specifications and photometric data for all proposed exterior house and site lighting and fixtures. All lighting shall be effectively shielded and shall be installed and/or aimed so as to shield nearby public or private roads and neighboring properties from direct glare, light radiation or light pollution which may create a safety hazard or nuisance.
  16. A copy of the acknowledgement signed by each home buyer required by the Planned Community Act signifying that the buyer has received a copy of the declaration of restrictions (homeowners documents) for the development shall be filed with the Township upon the signing of an agreement of sale for each lot.
  17. Payment of all normal and customary review fees charged by the Township consultants in reviewing the final plan.
  18. Execution of developers and financial security agreements and the posting of financial security for the completion and inspection of improvements in an amount approved by the Township Engineer and in accordance with the Municipalities Planning Code and to the satisfaction of the Township.
  19. Immediate withdrawal of any other applications and plans for the property filed with the Township in accordance with Applicant’s letter to the Township Secretary dated January 21, 2002.
  20. Compliance with all of the terms and conditions of the Letter Agreement applicable to the existing house, barn and structures on Lot 38.
  21. The Final Plan shall not be released for recording until all of the foregoing conditions are complied with to the reasonable satisfaction of the Township consultants and solicitor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the plan subject to these conditions, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Deerfield Planning Module

Mr. Willig moved to approve Resolution #612-03 adopting the Deerfield Planning Module, and Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Hogan called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

New Business

Charlestown Meadows Update

Chris Schubert, Esq., used a football analogy, stating they were at ‘first and goal.’ He said he received the September 2, 2003 final review and wanted to make the Board aware of just two small issues. One issue was with regard to the lighting plan, and the other was with regard to the configuration of some of the recreation facility buildings.

Mr. Dan Lutz handed out a plan outlining the positioning of the recreation facilities. The following changes are being requested:

Mrs. Ewald questioned whether the play area is fenced or open, and Mr. Lutz said it was open. After some discussion, it was determined that the tot lot should have benches and fencing around it. Mr. Schubert and Mr. Loudenback indicated that would not be a problem. Mrs. Ewald added that she is o.k. with the recreation facility changes as long as the tot lot safety issues are addressed.

Regarding the lighting issue, Mr. Kohli indicated spotlights were an option to be installed at the corners of the buildings. Mr. Lutz indicated these lights are only 150 watt bulbs each (the fixture contains two) and are not very bright. Mrs. Ewald said she would like to see the floods eliminated altogether. She recommended a motion detector lighting fixture instead, and Toll Brothers, Inc. agreed with this approach.

Mr. Willig added that light pollution is the number one complaint from residents when a new development is built and said he would like to see Toll offer less in their lighting package.

Mr. Schubert said his concern now is timing. He asked Mr. Theurkauf to have his lighting consultant look at the plan this week to try to quickly resolve any issues. It was agreed this would try to be resolved by the next meeting.

Mr. Willig confirmed that the lighting shown on the model home was for the model home only and would not remain after the units are sold.

Mr. Kohli asked about the status of the easement on Route 401 and Newcomen Road. He said Toll was going to respond regarding this, but he not yet seen their response. Mrs. Ewald suggested they have it to Mr. Kohli in time to review with the Board prior to the next meeting.

Earned Income Tax Discussion

Mr. Kuhn said Mrs. Csete did a very nice job packaging the projected revenue. He also suggested passing this item onto Glen Diehl, Esq., to move it forward. Mr. Willig asked if Mr. Diehl can outline the process, and Mr. Kuhn responded affirmatively, and that he wants to meet with the Board regarding negotiating points and sending letters to the residents. An Executive Session was tentatively scheduled for September 22, 2003, at 7:00 P.M. in the Township office. Mrs. Ewald asked Mrs. Csete to remind her of this meeting.

Other Business

Mrs. Rosemary Philips asked if the Board meetings will continue to be held at the Great Valley Middle School or if they would return to their prior location. Mrs. Ewald said due to the seating arrangement and acoustics, the meeting would be best to remain at the Great Valley Middle School. Mrs. Philips said there are many residents expecting the meeting to return to the Township and wanted to make the Board aware of this.


Mr. Hogan adjourned the meeting at 8:42 P.M. The next meeting will be held on September 15, 2003, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,

Melanie M. Lammers
Recording Secretary