The second business meeting for March was held March 19, 2007 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mark Thompson, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, and those on the attached list were present.
Mr. Kuhn called the meeting to order at 7:32 P.M.
Mr. Hogan announced that the Township will have an Earth Day cleanup on April 21, 2007 and invited residents to participate. The group will meet at 9:00 A.M. at the Township Office on April 21st.
No matters were brought forward at this time.
Mr. Willig moved to approve the minutes of the March 5, 2007 Business meeting, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for the Leon and Carol Altemose Curative Amendment application, and the proceedings were recorded by Tom Corcoran, court reporter. There was no testimony as the applicant requested a continuance. The hearing was continued to April 16, 2007, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School.
Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for the Robal Associates Curative Amendment application, and the proceedings were recorded by Tom Corcoran, court reporter. There was no testimony as the applicant requested a continuance. The hearing was continued to April 16, 2007, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School.
Mr. Kuhn provided the background on the Turnpike’s plans for the Bodine Road Bridge. He explained that the Turnpike Commission plans to widen the turnpike from Downingtown to the tri-county area, which in turn requires that all bridges be widened to accommodate the 6 lane highway. Three of the bridges in question are within 1 ¼ miles of one another in Charlestown Township, including the bridges over Yellow Springs Road, Valley Hill Road, and Bodine Road. The Turnpike Commission attended the Board’s February 5th meeting, where the Supervisors were expecting details on the construction schedule for replacing the bridge. It was at this meeting that the Board learned the Turnpike Commission wanted them to consider removing the bridge as an option. The Board heard comments from the public on both sides, and the Supervisors determined they needed more information before taking a position.
Mr. Kuhn said a rumor was started that the Supervisors were getting rid of the bridge. He explained that while it’s in the Township’s purview to make such a decision, a formal hearing process would have to take place beforehand. Mr. Willig said this involves legal advertisement and the drafting and adoption of a formal ordinance to vacate the road. Mr. Kuhn said if the Township does nothing, the Turnpike Commission must replace the bridge, and his opinion is that the Township bridge should remain. Mr. Willig said removal of the bridge would serve to interrupt traffic flow, and Mr. Hogan also said he wanted the bridge to remain. Mr. Kuhn said, therefore, the question of removing the Bodine Road Bridge is a dead issue and it will not be done. He said he’s spoken to the Turnpike Commission about the possibility of including a pedestrian walkway in the design for the replacement bridge and they seemed agreeable to working with the Township on this.
Mr. Kuhn said another issue on Bodine Road is the speed and volume of traffic. He suggested that the Township arrange for a third party, such as Traffic Planning & Design, to conduct traffic studies in order to recommend options for traffic calming measures on Bodine. Mr. Willig said these studies are needed before any decisions on calming measures can be made. Mr. Kuhn added that the studies are performed using PennDOT guidelines, and decisions can’t be randomly made without the study results to back them up.
Chris Zubyk, 2099 Bodine Road, suggested the Board look at some of the options employed by East Whiteland Township, particularly on Flat Road, where the road is closed during certain hours. Mr. Kuhn reiterated that a traffic study must be done first, and that every action taken on a specific road in the township will have an impact on the other roads.
Mr. Willig said the Board went through a similar process about seven years ago on Union Hill Road. They considered closing the road during portions of the day, making the traffic one way at certain hours and/or installing speed bumps. After various discussions, the residents agreed to a step by step process beginning with the installation of stop signs at Tinkerhill Lane and at the intersection with Whitehorse Road. These actions calmed traffic to the point that the residents didn’t want any further restrictions. He said the Board should take the same approach on Bodine Road, though the specific outcome may vary.
Chuck Wright, 2220 Bodine Road, said the volume of traffic isn’t the issue as much as the speed. Cars turning from Valley Hill Road onto Bodine Road pick up speed down the hill and fly by the houses. Dogs have been hit, and more than one car has struck the maple tree on his property. Mr. Kuhn said the traffic studies will include both volume and speed. Mr. Wright asked the others attending if anyone disagreed with him that speeding is a problem on Bodine Road. Jim Cracas, 2110 Seven Oaks Road, said speeding on Bodine is no worse than on any other road, including his. Mr. Kuhn said he lives along a flat, straight section of Whitehorse Road and sees it there as well. In the past seventeen years he’s seen seven accidents in front of his home. Mr. Wright suggested going the middle ground with speed bumps, such as those on Horseshoe Trail Lane off Route 113 that are wide, shallow bumps. Mr. Willig said these are called speed tables, and the traffic consultant would provide feedback on whether this or other measures are advisable. Mr. Kuhn added that what the Board would like to see from the consultant is a list of options.
William Truskey, 1105 Bodine Road, said that although there are 15 MPH caution signs along the curve near his property, a truck ended up on his lawn not long ago and a serious accident is inevitable. He said speed is definitely the problem.
Anthony Donatoni, 15 Rosewood Lane, asked if the Turnpike Commission gave details on the bridge replacement project. Mr. Kuhn said they indicated they wanted to go out to bid in the Spring of 2008.
Carol Sorenson, Rapps Run Drive, asked if the Supervisors will contact the Turnpike Commission about the Board’s decision to keep the bridge, and Mr. Kuhn said he’ll speak to them tomorrow.
Patti Reed, McQuail Lane, said she spoke to a representative of the Turnpike Commission recently and was told the target date for replacement of the Bodine Bridge is 2009 and the bridge will be closed for about 6 months. The widening of the Turnpike itself isn’t scheduled at this point.
Mike Renquist, 1032 Bodine Road, said in most municipalities, a cul de sac can’t be placed at the end of a road over 1,000 feet long, and that the distance from Seven Oaks Road to the Bodine Road bridge is about three times this distance and would violate the ordinances.
Christine Hale, 19 Smith Lane, asked if the Township had approached the Turnpike Commission about sound barriers. Mr. Thompson responded that Charlestown has considered an ordinance similar to Tredyffrin Township’s, which calls for sound barriers whenever there is new road construction, and options have been discussed. Mr. Kuhn acknowledged it is a concern of the Board’s.
George Myer, 2227 Bodine Road, said all the mailboxes on Bodine Road are on the opposite side from his property and asked if the Township can do anything about it. Mr. Kuhn asked the Secretary to write a letter to the Frazer Post Office to inquire.
Kim Walsh, 2250 Bodine Road, said that the Township did request a stop sign study for Bodine Road but PennDOT found the request to be unwarranted because there’s not enough accidents. She added that she believes there is racing taking place at night on Bodine Road. Mr. Kuhn said they can’t change PennDOT’s traffic study parameters and have to go by them.
Mrs. Walsh asked what the residents will do when the bridge is closed for six months. Seven Oaks Road is the best alternative, and turning left from Seven Oaks Road to Route 401 is suicidal. School buses will be affected as well. Mr. Kuhn said he asked the solicitor, who is also solicitor for West Pikeland Township, to coordinate a meeting between the two townships to discuss these issues. The intersection of Route 401 and Seven Oaks Road is in West Pikeland Township, so any decision is up to them. Mrs. Walsh said she’s in favor of speed bumps. She said she talked to the head of safety for Lower Merion Township, and he said double yellow lines are painted on roads that are major thoroughfares. She asked why Bodine Road has these lines. Mr. Kuhn said this was done in accordance with PennDOT’s traffic calming manual.
Mr. Meyer said it’s very difficult to turn left from Seven Oaks Road onto Route 401, or vice versa. Mr. Truskey added that the sight lines are the problem at this intersection, and asked the Board to communicate this to West Pikeland Township.
Carrie Wilson, who is building a home on Bodine Road next to the bridge, asked the Board to deal with the Township traffic issues one street at a time. She hoped they wouldn’t consider the big picture as being too much to grasp.
Mrs. Walsh said people cut through the back roads because of access problems on the big roads such as Route 401 and Route 113, where there is no left turn arrow at the intersection. Mr. Kuhn said discussions with West Pikeland Township are on the table.
Mr. Kuhn introduced State Rep. Duane Milne, who was in the audience this evening. Rep. Milne said he was just here to listen, and offered to facilitate matters with PennDOT if the Board wished for his assistance. He said he’s spoken to PennDOT representatives in the past and they’ve assured him they’ll work with Charlestown.
Dave Melich asked for confirmation that the issue of eliminating the Bodine Road Bridge is off the table, and Mr. Kuhn said yes.
Mr. Kuhn said the Township is required to form a Uniform Construction Code Board of Appeals, and a draft Resolution to do so has been prepared by the Solicitor forming the board and naming appointees and their proposed terms. He read the resolution in its entirety, which includes the following appointments:
|Registered Architect||Robin J. Kohn||term ending 12/31/11|
|Structural/Architectural Experience||Lelan Haller||term ending 12/31/10|
|Electrical Contractor||Frank Holleran||term ending 12/31/09|
|Fire Protection Experience||Fred Alston||term ending 12/31/07|
|Alternate – Structural/Architectural||Bill Andersen||term ending 12/31/11|
Mr. Willig moved to adopt Resolution #678-07 creating the Charlestown Township UCC Board of Appeals and appointing the aforementioned members, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn indicated that an additional member with plumbing experience is still needed to complete the Board, along with one additional alternate member. Members aren’t required to be township residents although that would be preferred. Mr. Jones suggested the Board consider Bud Haly for the plumbing slot. Mr. Kuhn said he’s also contacted Bob Cottone and Bob Roggio and is waiting to hear from them as to whether either would be interested in serving as the alternate.
Mr. Kuhn said because the Township has three open space acquisition grant applications submitted to the County for this Spring, they aren’t eligible to submit an application on the park improvements until the Fall. He said he asked Parks & Rec Chairman Bob Jones to provide the Board with an update on the park projects this evening and to coordinate a site visit with the Supervisors in the near future.
Mr. Jones displayed a copy of the Park Master Plan, showing the location of the proposed lacrosse field, expansion of the football field, the pavilion area where the existing pavilions would be demolished and replaced, and the parking area adjacent to the pavilions. The Phoenixville Marion Youth Club is participating in the project. The preliminary cost estimate is $767,000, of which they have a $100,000 donation of fill. He said he obtained a letter of reciprocity from the County allowing the Township to obtain a $250,000 matching grant in the Fall 2007 round after the work is completed.
Mr. Jones outlined the original funding plan, and a revised plan that removes the funding from the State. He learned state funding will be unavailable because the state won’t match funds with donations or in-kind service; plus, the project isn’t eligible if the work is done prior to the grant award. He said the Fall round is for planning and acquisition projects only, and they may be able to apply for a grant for planning. He intends to speak to the state representatives about other state funding options. Mr. Kuhn suggested he meet with the Open Space Director with regard to the grants.
Mr. Kuhn was concerned with the staging of the project and the timing for obtaining funds, noting that a county grant is not guaranteed. Mr. Jones agreed, but said the project will score well in the application review process. Mr. Kuhn asked how the project can be scaled back if funding doesn’t come through. Mr. Jones said they could postpone the parking lot and new pavilions and focus on the fields and pavilion demolition. Included with the field work would be site grading and installation of underground water, sewer and electric lines. He said the PMYC is still working on donations and may be getting a donation of sod for the fields with volunteers to install it.
Mr. Jones said that water can be accessed near the Renaissance Academy in the future, but for now Aqua PA indicated they can tap into the College’s water line, but the College wouldn’t be permitted to charge the Township as this is the function of a utility. Mr. Kuhn asked if the fields would have sprinklers, and Mr. Jones said the new lacrosse field would be sprinkled.
Mr. Kuhn asked what the next step is, and Mr. Jones said within the next 4-5 weeks, they plan to start on the fields, which will take about two weeks to complete. They received the permit from the County Conservation District and are waiting for E & S approval from Mr. Kohli. He said the PMYC has 180 lacrosse players signed up and hopes to expand to 700-800. They want to begin using the fields in late May. Mr. Kuhn asked who determines when the fields are ready to play on, and Mr. Jones said the PMYC will, as maintenance is their responsibility. The Secretary indicated the township’s agreement with the PMYC should be reviewed as it will probably need some revision to include the new field.
Mr. Kuhn asked who will be in charge of the job. Mr. Jones said Mr. Kohli will be brought in at different points for inspections. Mr. Willig asked for a break down of costs by individual project, and Mr. Jones said he’ll provide it. He said the field work can be done with the $140,000 in the Parks budget along with the donations. The Board advised him to keep bidding requirements and possible prevailing wage requirements in mind as this would cause a delay before work can begin.
Mr. Jones said the existing dam needs to be broken up and removed as it is in a state of disrepair. He said the material could be used as fill under the field or parking lot. He said his goal is to finish developing Charlestown Park within 3-5 years.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 P.M. The next meeting is scheduled for April 2, 2007, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.