Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of May 5, 2008

A business meeting was held May 5, 2008 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Charlie Philips, Vice Chairman, Michael Rodgers, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mark Thompson, Esq., Surender Kohli, Linda Csete, Township Administrator were present. Also present: Fred Alston, Aliena Gerhard and John Thompson.

Mr. Kuhn called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M.


Mr. Hogan said he was arranging for two individuals to do clean-up work at Charlestown Park, one a DUI performing public service, and a second who would be paid the standard hourly rate. Mr. Kuhn said these arrangements should go through Parks & Rec Chairman Bob Jones and the Administrator, who handles payroll and personnel matters. Mr. Thompson confirmed that even the volunteer should go through the Township’s standard process.

Citizens’ Forum for Non-Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward.


Minutes of April 7, 2008 Meeting

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the April 7, 2008 meeting, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report April 1 - 30, 2008

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the April 2008 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 Report – Operating Fund May 5, 2008

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the May 5, 2008 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and then the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Open Space Fund May 5, 2008

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the May 5, 2008 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.


Mr. Philips moved to accept the April monthly reports and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion.

Mr. Philips noted several items on the budget report as follows:

Mr. Kuhn called the vote. All were in favor.


Robal Associates Curative Amendment

Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for Robal Associates and the proceedings were taken by Tom Corcoran, court reporter. No testimony was given, as the applicant had requested a continuance. Mr. Thompson entered the following two items into the record:

Mr. Philips said he’d be unavailable on July 7th and would like to be present for the next hearing. The hearing was continued to August 4, 2008, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. The Board asked Mr. Thompson to communicate to the applicant that they want to receive all information they’re currently awaiting from Mr. Tupitza four weeks prior to the hearing.

Old Business

Stormwater Ordinance Revision

Mr. Rodgers said the Board asked the Planning Commission some time ago to move forward with revising the Stormwater Management Ordinance (SMO) to require that all stormwater basins be rechargeable, underground basins rather than open basins. Mr. Kuhn clarified that the current ordinance contains language for subsurface basins, but does not require that it be the primary system. Mr. Kohli noted the SMO follows the DEP standard of requiring 2-year storms to be recharged, but that the language doesn’t require 100% recharge at rates above that. Mr. Allen said that the Design Review Committee was recently discussing this issue and there are some instances where recharge systems are less than optimal in Pennsylvania due to the soil types. Newer technologies, such as evaporative systems, are better in some cases.

Mr. Philips asked why Charlestown Oaks has all underground systems, and Mr. Kohli said it was part of a settlement agreement for that subdivision. Mr. Philips asked if the SMO can be changed to require underground systems as the primary system, and Mr. Kohli said yes. In some cases, impervious surface coverage will have to be reduced to achieve this, but it can be done. Mr. Thompson will draft the ordinance for the Planning Commission’s review.

New Business

Planning Commission Update on Definitions Project

Planning Commission Vice Chairman Michael Allen provided an update on the Commission’s work to revise the definitions in both the Zoning Ordinance and SLDO, which presently contain archaic terms, duplications, contradictions, and in some cases are placed throughout the ordinance books rather than in each definitions section. Due to the complexity of the revision work, the Planning Commission opted to create a subcommittee that would draft one set of definitions to be adopted as a stand-alone document that would accompany either the Zoning Ordinance or SLDO and would be referenced in each ordinance book.

Mr. Allen said the subcommittee met last week and took about two hours to go through about 25% of the definitions. The Planning Commission expects to be finished with the draft definitions by late summer, with a recommendation to the Supervisors by the fall. The Supervisors will receive both a clean document and one that tracks all changes.

Mr. Kuhn asked if removing the definitions from the two ordinance books will require that they both be re-adopted as revised, and Mr. Allen said yes. Mr. Kuhn expressed concern for the cost of the project, since the Planner is on the subcommittee. Mr. Allen said he’ll discuss this with Mr. Motel.

Mr. Willig suggested that the Solicitor receive an interim draft so legal review can take place concurrently with the revisions, and Mr. Allen agreed.

Mr. Allen suggested that the final definitions document contain an index referencing the terms’ placement in the two ordinances.

Ashwood Development – Request to Limit Access to Pond

Mr. Kuhn said an inquiry was received from the Ashwood Development HOA with regard to whether they would be permitted to block off the access road to the pond in the open space area with boulders. There have been problems with visitors from outside the community accessing the area. Mr. Kohli said Mr. Theurkauf recommended in his email dated 3/25/08 that the boulders be partially buried with landscaping added to give a more natural appearance. Mr. Kuhn asked if emergency access is an issue if this road is blocked. Mr. Kohli said emergency access is not specifically required for this road, which parallels the driveway to Lot 1. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Kohli to communicate to Mr. Theurkauf he can contact the HOA to allow them to proceed, and to make the area as natural as possible.

Mowing Contract

Mr. Kuhn explained that Promark Landscaping, which was awarded the Charlestown Park Mowing Contract last month, met with Parks & Rec Chairman Bob Jones last week and indicated they would be unable to perform the mowing according to the contract terms. Mr. Thompson said that upon his advice, Promark was sent a letter asking for confirmation that they agree to cancel the contract, but no response has been received. Mr. Philips moved to award the 2008 mowing contract to J & K Landscaping and notify Promark Landscaping that their contract is withdrawn. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for comments, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Road Contract Extension

Mr. Thompson said the Administrator and Roadmaster Fred Alston inquired of him whether the current road contract with Melchiorre Construction could be extended past the 6/30/08 term. Mr. Alston is interested in changing the contract period to end in the spring rather than mid-summer as it does now, because it causes scheduling problems over the summer. Mr. Thompson indicated it could be extended for a short period of no more than three to four months. The next contract could then be set up to have the term end on March 31st.

Mr. Kuhn said he’s always been happy with Melchiorre’s work, but not with the costs. The Board discussed ways of attracting more bidders when the bids are let next time. Mr. Kuhn asked the Administrator and Roadmaster to research other townships with a similar length of roads and compare costs. Mr. Rodgers said he can also make inquiries next week at the PSATS convention.

Mr. Rodgers moved to extend the current labor & equipment contract for road work with Melchiorre Construction Co. for three months to end September 30, 2008, and to then re-bid the contract for an eighteen month period ending March 31, 2010.

Rules and Regulations for Brightside Farm

The Administrator stated that Brightside Farm Manager Alix Coleman requested wording for signage at the Farm in response to recent problems she has encountered with visitors letting dogs run lose, parking and walking outside of designated areas. The Administrator distributed a draft list of rules to be considered for the signs and the Board provided feedback. She will consult with Mr. Alston on a few of the items and revise the list to forward to Mr. Thompson for review. Mr. Thompson said in order to enforce the rules, an ordinance must be passed.

Historical Signage Project Update

Mr. Philips said he, Rosemary Philips and Linda Csete toured the nine historical sites with consultant Peter Dajevskis and his graphic designer on April 23rd to determine possible locations for each sign. He said the consultants were very impressed with the Township open space and they understand what the Board wants to accomplish with the signage.

Mr. Philips said Mr. Dajevskis recommended a location at the base of the dam for the historical interpretive signage. Mr. Philips said a better path would be needed from the upper area, and that this could be a good Boy Scout project. He asked for concurrence from the Board that the lower area would be best for viewing. Mr. Kuhn said he would be concerned about graffiti or other damage to the sign in the lower area, and that passersby wouldn’t see anything. Mr. Philips said there would also be a historical marker at road level. As for graffiti, the sign material is very resistant. The lower location would also discourage people from walking on the top of the dam.

Mr. Kuhn suggested a brochure of the nine sites be developed. Mr. Philips said this has been discussed and the committee has a number of suggestions for it. Eventually an audio tour may be incorporated. He said the Historical Commission can work with the Administrator on these items. Mr. Kuhn added that speaking to various residents recently, he heard complaints of a lack of active recreation in the Township. Mr. Kuhn suggested that a Parks & Rec brochure be created that shows where all the trail locations and other active recreation is located. The historic trail could be incorporated into it. He added that this Fall, the Township should undertake a recreation survey.

Mr. Philips noted that the open space preserved with county funds has signage indicating they contributed to the costs, and the Township should also have signage to indicate its involvement. Mrs. Gerhard said the Open Space Commission has been looking into signage of this type. Mr. Kuhn said the signs could be combined, noting that Buckingham Township has good examples of this. Mrs. Gerhard said in the meantime, she can add the Township’s name to the signs they’ve been ordering from H.A. Weigand. Mr. Philips asked the Administrator to contact Mr. Dajevskis about upgraded signage.

Mr. Philips said that Mr. Dajevskis submitted a revised scope of services for the Board’s consideration based on information obtained on the tour. There was no change in the costs or fees. The Board was in agreement to accept the revised scope.

Resolution to Adopt Revision to the Official Sewage Facilities Plan to include the Wilson Road Pumping Station Upgrade

Mr. Rodgers explained that the Wilson Road Pumping Station Upgrade plan requires a revision to the Sewage Facilities Plan to incorporate it. Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #697-08, adopting the revision to the official sewage facilities plan to include the Wilson Road Pumping Station upgrade, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for comments, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Authorization to Advertise Ordinance to Increase the EIT for 2009

Mr. Thompson indicated that now the open space referendum has passed, the Board must enact an ordinance to levy the additional tax on earned income to take effect January 1, 2009. He circulated a draft ordinance to this effect. Mr. Rodgers moved to authorize advertisement of the proposed ordinance for July 7, 2008, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for comments, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Letter of Intent – Thompson Property

Mr. Rodgers moved to execute the letter of intent with regard to the Thompson property, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for comments, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Great Valley Pet Hotel – Request for Release of Letter of Credit

Mr. Kohli indicated that the land development work for the Great Valley Pet Hotel has been completed and the letter of credit can be released. Mr. Philips moved to approve the release of the letter of credit, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for comments, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Jenkins Subdivision Update

Mr. Rodgers asked for an update on the Jenkins subdivision. Mr. Thompson indicated he is preparing a memorandum to circulate to the Board and will get it to them by the end of the week. Mr. Rodgers suggested that, due to current real estate market conditions, the Township may not obtain bids on the lots as high as anticipated. Mr. Thompson said the Township has the option of rejecting all bids. Another option would be a public auction for the lots, with a minimum bid.

Revolutionary War Cemetery

Mr. Philips asked for an update on the Township’s acquisition of the Revolutionary War Cemetery property. Mr. Thompson said the appraisal has been done and he’s just waiting for the survey. Mr. Philips said the survey has been completed, although Mr. Kohli indicated he didn’t have it. The Administrator will check with Chester Valley Engineers on the status.

The Board adjourned into executive session at 9:10 P.M. and reconvened at 9:25 P.M.

Void Checks

Mr. Philips moved to void checks #1398 and #1399 approved earlier this evening from the Open Space Fund payable to Nave Newell for $4,665.28 and Luther Rife for $2,340.00 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for comments, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Deerfield HOA Charges

The Board confirmed with the Administrator that costs from Lamb McErlane PC for the preparation of the temporary holding tank agreement for Lot #32 at Deerfield would be charged to Pulte Homes, and she said this would be done.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:41 P.M. The next business meeting is scheduled for June 2, 2008, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School. The Board went into executive session to discuss legal matters.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Administrator