Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of December 5, 2005

The first business meeting for December was held December 5, 2005, at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin R. Kuhn, Chairman, Mike Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Paul Hogan, Charlie Philips, Hugh Willig, Mark P. Thompson, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E. (arrived later), Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, and those on the attached list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:44 P.M.


Mr. Kuhn announced that an executive session was held prior to this evening’s meeting to discuss legal matters. He commented that he attended a good concert at the Valley Forge Christian College this past weekend.

Citizen’s Forum/Non-Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward at this time.


Minutes of November 21, 2005

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the November 21, 2005 minutes and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report – November 1 - 30, 2005

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the November 1 - 30, 2005 Treasurer's report, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Reports – December 5, 2005 – Operating, Open Space and State Funds

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the December 5, 2005 Operating, Open Space and State Fund Accounts Payable reports, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Philips moved to accept the monthly reports as submitted, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business - None

New Business

Valley Forge Christian College – Heritage Acres

Bill Werkheiser and John Yacko, CFO, were present on behalf of the Valley Forge Christian College to discuss the VFCC’s interest in purchasing the former “Heritage Acres” home and 3 acres on Coldstream Road to be converted into a residence hall. They asked for feedback from the supervisors as to whether their proposal would be welcome and could be accomplished under the ordinances. He said they have submitted a letter of intent to the owner. Mr. Werkheiser said he had spoken to Mr. Kohli about their proposal, and said they would bring the building up to code with relation to all codes and the sprinkler system. They are considering housing 25-30 students at the house, who would all be honor students required to follow the same rules and regulations as those in the on-campus dorms. There would be a resident director living there as well. They are considering a shuttle bus to transport students to the campus, and campus security would be extended to the house. The location is close enough to the campus to provide wireless internet service to the residents, and they would be able to avail themselves of the food facilities on campus. He added that they expect to bring in plans for a new dormitory later in 2006, to be constructed next to Bongiorno Hall.

Mr. Kuhn asked what use they envision for the building when it’s no longer needed for housing. Mr. Yacko said they might use it as a conference center.

Mr. Philips asked if any fair share issues come to bear due to the closing of the Heritage Acres home, and Mr. Thompson said no, because the use is still provided for in the zoning ordinance regardless of whether any facility is currently operating.

Mr. Willig was concerned with the safety issue of students crossing Coldstream Road to get to the campus. Mr. Werkheiser said they have been considering ways to mitigate the issue with a shuttle service and crossing security.

Mr. Thompson said the property is zoned R-1 and the use is permitted by conditional use. Mr. Kuhn asked him to work with Mr. Kohli to issue a joint opinion letter by 12/19/05 on the use at this location. Board members were generally in favor of the proposed use.

Spring Lane Farms – Revised Settlement Stipulation

Richard Orlow, Esq. was present to request a revision of the settlement stipulation for Spring Lane Farms, to allow the locating of 3 septic systems and three back up systems for Lots #1, 7 & 8 in the conservation area. He said the stipulation was approved in October 2004, but the Secretary said it was not. Mr. Willig said he had no recollection that the settlement stipulation was ever finalized. Mr. Orlow said it was approved conditioned on the acceptance of the conservation easement document. Mr. Kohli said that document was to be signed simultaneously with the stipulation, which hasn’t happened.

Mr. Orlow said the DEP regulations have changed since the original stipulation was considered, which now leads them to have difficulty locating several of the systems on their corresponding lots. He showed a sketch plan indicating two systems in an open field area on the conservation lot, and four systems in the woods. He said the farm lot is under agreement of sale to George and Susan Bullard, who are agreeable to locating the systems as shown.

Mr. Kuhn asked how far the systems would be from their corresponding lots, and Mr. Orlow estimated between 350 – 500 feet. Mr. Orlow said the conservation easement was intended primarily to restrict development, but Mr. Kuhn disagreed, stating it was also intended to preserve the woods. Mr. Orlow said he could probably fit all the systems outside of the tree line, and paragraph 11 of the stipulation allows this. Mr. Philips disagreed and stated he has a big problem locating these systems on the 20 acre conservation lot, although he could agree to locating just the back up systems there. Mr. Kuhn agreed that this would be similar to what was done at Deerfield, where all the primary systems were required to be on their corresponding lots, but the back up systems were located elsewhere via cross-easements.

Mr. Philips asked if the pipes would cross through various properties, and Mr. Orlow said no, they propose to bring the pipe under the road directly into the open space. Mr. Philips said that when a problem develops, the road would have to be dug up. Mr. Philips said again he is not in favor of allowing these systems on the conservation lot, stating that it defeats the design they worked so hard for. Mr. Kohli asked if all the systems would require a pump, and Mr. Orlow said he believed they would. Mr. Kuhn said again he would be agreeable to placing the 3 back up systems on the conservation lot.

Mr. Willig asked, if the number of lots was reduced from 8 to 5, would all the systems fit, and Mr. Orlow said yes. Mr. Kuhn said this is a troublesome property with regard to septic percolation, and he is concerned there will be a mess in fifteen years with these systems. Mr. Orlow said the homeowners’ document deals with potential problems via the operation and maintenance requirements for maintaining the systems. He said the language will protect the homeowners from problems.

Mr. Philips said the applicant should fit the systems on their corresponding lots and drop 1 or 2 lots if necessary to do so. Mr. Willig said he would hate to see the primary systems in the woods. He asked Mr. Orlow if he thought this revised plan is a good plan. Mr. Orlow said it’s not perfect. He said, however, that they have buyers, the Bullards, for the farm lot and if the proposal isn’t agreed on it will be a problem for them. Mr. Philips said he’d love to see the Bullards buy the house, but the difficulties with the plan are theirs and Genterra’s, not the township’s. Mr. Bullard said they want to purchase the property very much, and that they don’t feel the septic systems are a problem for them. They have no intention of developing the property further or even selling it in the future. Innovations to improve septic systems are coming out all the time, and he doesn’t foresee a long term problem. He noted a drip irrigation system wouldn’t disturb the woods.

Mr. Kuhn said the issue is that the land must support its own development. He asked if the township has ever approved a plan where this was not the case. Mr. Kohli said no. Mr. Kuhn said they should remove two of the proposed lots and reconfigure the others. Mr. Willig added that it’s time for the Genterra organization to make some compromises.

Subdivision and Land Development Agreement – Charlestown Woods

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Subdivision & Land Development Agreement for Charlestown Woods. Mr. Rodgers seconded, and all were in favor.

Central Tax Agency Proposal to Collect Real Estate, Per Capita and EMS Taxes

The Secretary provided a brief overview of the Central Tax Agency’s proposal to become the township’s tax collector for all real estate, per capita and emergency management services taxes for 2006. Centax is already the designated tax collector for the Earned Income Tax. The proposal consists of a draft addendum to the existing Earned Income Tax Collection Agreement to add the collection of Per Capita and EMS Taxes, as they all fall under the category of local enabling taxes, and a separate draft agreement for the collection of Real Estate Taxes. At $2.00 per tax bill generated, the estimated cost of these services will be considerably less than the cost of collecting taxes in 2005.

Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the Centax Proposal to collect the real estate, per capita and EMS taxes beginning January 1, 2006. Mr. Philips seconded, all were in favor.

2006 Tax Levy Resolution

Mr. Kuhn noted that all taxes listed on the resolution, including real estate millage, per capita, emergency management (formerly occupational privilege), real estate transfer and earned income tax, remain the same as in 2005.

Mr. Philips moved to approve Resolution #654-05, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Resolution to Adopt the 2006 Budget

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Resolution #655-05 adopting the 2006 Budget with the maintenance for Brightside Farm, line item #454.20, to be increased to $45,000 to cover the cost of installing a new septic system, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

David Thal & Hope Nichols Application for Certificate of Appropriateness

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for David Thal and Hope Nichols at 670 Church Road as drafted and recommended by the Historical & Architectural Review Board. Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Pulte Homes – Escrow Release #1 for Deerfield

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Pulte Homes, Delaware Valley Division, Deerfield Subdivision Escrow Release #1 in the amount of $743,912.50, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Schedule Conditional Use Hearing - Robert Joos

The Secretary indicated that the Joos’ granted an extension to the scheduling deadline of January 20, 2006 to January 23, 2006 to coincide with the Board’s second meeting in January, which will be held a week later than usual due to the Martin Luther King holiday. The hearing was scheduled for January 23, 2006 at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA at 7:30 P.M.

Schedule Reorganization Meeting and first Business Meeting for 2006

The Secretary explained that the reorganization meeting is mandated by the State to be held on the first Monday of the New Year, unless that date is a holiday. This year, Monday, January 2nd is the official New Years Day holiday because January 1st falls on a Sunday. Therefore, the mandated reorganization date for 2006 is Tuesday, January 3, 2006. Mr. Rodgers moved to direct the Secretary to advertise the Reorganization meeting and first business meeting for 2006 for Tuesday January 3, 2005, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

Emergency Operations Center

EOC Coordinator Fred Alston announced that the move out of the DecisionOne building has been completed, and the equipment for the EOC is temporarily being housed at the township office and in storage until an alternate facility can be arranged.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 P.M. The next meeting is scheduled for December 19, 2005, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Secretary