The first business meeting for March was held March 6, 2006 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin R. Kuhn, Chairman, Michael Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Paul Hogan, Charlie Philips, Hugh Willig, Mark P. Thompson, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, and those on the attached list were present.
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M.
Mr. Kuhn announced that there was an executive session held just prior to the meeting to discuss legal matters.
No matters were brought forward at this time.
Mr. Willig moved to approve the February 27, 2006 minutes and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the February Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Hogan moved to approve the March 6, 2006 Operating Fund Accounts Payable report, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. He asked what work was performed by Melchiorre Construction Co. at the Charlestown Park trail as the cost seemed high. Mr. Alston responded that they tore out sections of the trail that had drainage problems, installed French drains, and re-stoned and chipped the entire trail. Mr. Kuhn called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the March 6, 2006 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable report, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the monthly reports as submitted, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn asked the Fire Marshal if five year trends could be obtained from the two fire companies, and Mr. Alston said he could produce such a report from his own reports and data.
Mr. Philips asked about several outstanding issues. First, he said he was pleased to see that the large blue trailer has been removed from the corner of Phoenixville Pike and Route 29, and then asked for the status of the dumpster on a Yellow Springs Road property that continues to accumulate trash as time goes on. Mr. Kohli said he spoke to the owner of that property and was told the dumpster will be removed by the end of this week.
Mr. Philips asked for confirmation that the demolition permit for the Volpi house has been withdrawn, and the Secretary confirmed it had. Mr. Kohli said the house has now been properly boarded up and secured.
Bill Werkheiser was present on behalf of the Valley Forge Christian College to discuss the VFCC’s interest in purchasing the former “Heritage Acres” property and house, which the VFCC refers to as the Wagoner House, to be converted into a residence hall. He had distributed a booklet with photographs and floor plans of the building showing present conditions and what they propose in order to accommodate 30 students.
Mr. Werkheiser said the building will be made ADA compliant and have sprinklers installed. Improvements to the parking area, including relocation of a stormwater inlet, would be part of a land development plan to be submitted at a later date.
Mr. Werkheiser said the VFCC won’t make settlement on the property unless they are assured from the Township that the use as student housing will be permitted. Mr. Thompson said the Zoning Officer makes the determination as to whether the proposed use is similar enough in nature to the prior nonconforming use. Mr. Kohli said that in principle it is similar enough to permit the use. Mr. Kuhn asked how many beds was the nursing home licensed for, and Mr. Alston responded 19, although capacity averaged 16. Mr. Hogan asked what the fire capacity is, and Mr. Werkheiser said 30. Mr. Kohli asked if the attic space is high enough to permit units to be added there, and Mr. Werkheiser said he believed so.
Mr. Werkheiser said he spoke to several neighbors, who sounded pleased that the VFCC was interested in the property. All residents will be upperclassmen and honor students, who will be under the same rules and regulations as those living on campus. They will all be on a meal plan, so there will be no cooking at the house other than use of microwave ovens.
Mr. Werkheiser said there is an addition on the back of the house in bad condition that they would demolish. The on-site well has excellent capacity, and the house is served by public sewer. Mr. Willig said this is a situation the township prefers to avoid, where on site water is drawn away and sent into a public sewer system. Mr. Kohli said this particular site is not suitable to on-site septic.
The Board adjourned into executive session for ten minutes.
Mr. Kuhn called the meeting back to order, and said that the Board finds the proposed use to be acceptable, but requested that the VFCC send a letter outlining how they will address the following concerns:
After receipt of the letter, Mr. Kohli will issue a response letter making determinations based on the information provided, and will indicate the capacity permitted for the facility. If the VFCC purchases the house, the next step would be to submit an alteration plan to Mr. Kohli and a land development plan to the Planning Commission for review.
Ms. Gerhard asked how late the Library is open, stating concerns about students crossing the road late at night and whether there would be lighting provided. Mr. Werkheiser said the Library is open to 1 AM and additional lighting will be provided.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for Frank & Tina Daly to permit demolition of stone-walled “root cellar” that is necessary to accommodate a new addition to the existing house. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for Robert R. Berry to permit selective demolitions of the main house designed by Oscar Stonorov in 1939. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn said that the tri-party agreement, the form of which has been approved by Mr. Thompson, is at the applicant’s bank awaiting execution. He said Mr. Thompson advised him that to expedite the agreement, the Board could approve it subject to the Bank’s processing of it. Mr. Kohli said he prepared the cost estimate and those figures included in the agreement are acceptable.
Mr. Philips moved to approve execution of the Tri-Party Agreement with the Great Valley Pet Hotel, following the Bank’s execution, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn stated that the township’s pension plan was audited by the State Auditor General’s Office in February and everything was in order with the exception of there being no formal appointment of a Chief Administrative Officer for the Plan. Mr. Rodgers moved to appoint Linda Csete as Chief Administrative Officer for the Charlestown Township Pension Plan and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Kohli indicated that everything is in order for the final escrow release for Phase 2 of Charlestown Oaks. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Final Escrow Release and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote and all were in favor.
Mr. Philips asked if it’s possible for zoning to provide a maximum footprint size in order to avoid the construction of very large buildings. Mr. Kohli said there’s nothing that can be done except not to allow the type of use that would require such a large footprint.
Mr. Philips asked if, when the zoning map was changed in December 2004, CCRC’s were added to any of the Industrial/Office/Business districts. Mr. Kohli responded no, and Mr. Philips suggested this be considered now that other zoning changes in Devault are being discussed. Mr. Kuhn suggested Mr. Philips communicate with Mr. Motel and Mr. Allen on the Planning Commission with regard to his suggestion.
Mr. Philips asked for an update on open space planning. Ms. Gerhard provided the following information:
Mr. Kuhn asked if there has been any response to the correspondence sent to members of the Thompson family, and the Secretary responded no. Mr. Kuhn said he will follow up.
Mr. Kuhn said Mr. Thompson has made adjustments to the official map. The hearing on March 20th will open and continue to another date, to be determined, to allow time for county review and advertising.
Mr. Kohli said that there are three lots in the subdivision that will have driveways closer than 20 feet from the property line, which will be reflected in the as-built plans for those lots. The remaining lots will be in compliance with the setback requirements.
Mr. Rodgers asked if the requirements for an open space development should be changed to require 50% open space instead of the current requirement of 40%. Other members brought up considerations such as density calculations and whether all facilities, including secondary septic system sites could still be located on each lot. Mr. Kohli said that if lot size is less than one acre, isolation distances between septic and well systems are problematical. Mr. Kuhn said the question is to weigh benefits to the township and whether there is a loss for the builder. Mr. Philips said when the open space development ordinance was first developed, the County Planning Commission encouraged the Township to move toward a 50% requirement. Mr. Kuhn suggested this question be sent to the Planning Commission for discussion and consideration.
Mr. Kuhn said the Secretary had requested feedback from the Board as to whether they wish to join a Council of Government (COG) with the other municipalities of the Great Valley School District, including Malvern Borough, East Whiteland and Willistown Township in order to jointly negotiate a franchise agreement with Verizon. Mr. Kuhn said that Mr. McErlane recommended the group form a COG. Since his firm represents two of these municipalities as well as the School District they would be interested in acting as council for the COG.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 P.M. The Board adjourned into executive session to discuss legal matters. The next meeting is scheduled for April 3, 2006, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.