Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of September 2, 2008

A business meeting was held Sept. 2, 2008 at the Great Valley Middle School courtyard. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Charlie Philips, Vice Chairman, Michael Rodgers, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mark Thompson, Esq., Surender Kohli, P.E., Aliena Gerhard, Open Space Director, Fred Alston, Roadmaster/Fire Marshal, Planning Commissioners Andy Motel and Mike Allen, and Linda Csete, Township Administrator were present.

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

Announcements - none

Citizens’ Forum for Non-Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward.


Minutes of July 7, 2008 Meeting

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the July 7, 2008 meeting, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. He asked that the last sentence on page 5 be changed to make it a question instead of a statement, to read, “Mr. Kuhn asked, in those instances, can they be back charged?” There being no other discussion, Mr. Kuhn, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report July 1- 31, 2008

Mr. Philips moved to approve the July 2008 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Lechmanik – Final Invoice for Lacrosse Field at Charlestown Park

Mr. Kohli said the payment request from Lechmanik, Inc. is the final one for the Lacrosse Field installation at Charlestown Park, and asks that it be approved, but held until after the landscaping meeting scheduled for later this week.

Mr. Philips moved to approve final request for payment from Lechmanik, Inc. for the installation of the Lacrosse Field at Charlestown Park in the amount of $11,606.70, to be held by the Administrator until Mr. Kohli releases it, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable – Operating Fund

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the August 4, 2008 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable – Open Space Fund

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the August 4, 2008 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


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

Mr. Philips reported on the historical signage project, for which renderings of the nine signs were circulated today to the Board. He said there will still be some changes made, but he wanted the Board to see the progress made by the committee. He said the people at Innovative Solutions have been very thorough, and went out on their own taking pictures in the Township to get an overall sense of it. He said the committee would like to have identifying numbers on the sign markers so that a cell phone audio tour can be set up at a later time. He also passed along Mrs. Philips’ recommendation that the Great Valley School District be contacted for approval for the sign to be placed at the Elementary School.

Mr. Philips noted that there was no Design Review Committee meeting this morning since Dewey Homes requested more time for their submission. The next meeting is scheduled for September 2nd.

Mr. Philips commented on the following items in the Budget Review report:

  1. He noted that Real Estate Transfers are down from what was budgeted.
  2. The large increase in the recycling grant was good to see, and he suggested an article about it be included in the next newsletter.
  3. He noted that there were some costs for improvements to the Woolen Mill that weren’t included in the budget.

Mr. Kuhn added that he’s obtaining a price from a steel fabricator for stairs for the Woolen Mill, and that he’ll circulate the information once he receives it.

There being no further discussion, Mr. Kuhn called the vote. All were in favor.


Robal Associates Curative Amendment

Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for Robal Associates and read an email dated 8/4/08 from Debbie Woodall at Tupitza and Associates requesting a continuance. No testimony was heard. The hearing was continued to October 6, 2008, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Old Business – None

New Business

Crown Castle International – Request for waiver from Conditional Use decision condition to permit co-location on tower

Mr. Thompson indicated that the applicant requested that this matter be tabled until they have an opportunity to meet with EOC coordinator Fred Alston and County Emergency Services representatives to see if something can be worked out on their application to locate an antenna within the top ten feet of the Sprint Tower on Devault Lane, which is reserved for emergency communications. The matter was tabled until September 2, 2008.

Apostolic Christian Church Subdivision & Land Development Agreement, Subdivision Financial Security Agreement & Stormwater Management Facilities Maintenance Agreement

Mr. Thompson indicated that the documents submitted on behalf of the Apostolic Christian Church were reviewed by Mr. McClintock from his office and were found to be in order. Mr. Philips moved to execute the following agreements, to be recorded at the County along with the approved subdivision plans for the Apostolic Christian Church:

Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Charlestown Historical Society Event

Mr. Kuhn said the Charlestown Historical Society is holding its annual fundraising event at the Charlestown Woolen Mill on September 13, 2008. He asked the Board to consider waiving the $500.00 rental fee for Charlestown community-based groups like the Society and scouting organizations. After some discussion, the Board agreed to waive the fee for the Historical Society and to consider other requests from community groups on a case by case basis.

Request for stop sign study at Sidley Hill and Yellow Springs Roads

Mr. Kuhn said several residents in the area of the Yellow Springs Road and Sidley Hill Road intersection contacted the Township to renew a request for a three-way stop at that intersection. The Board directed the Administrator to send a letter to PennDOT requesting a study for the intersection to determine if a three-way stop is warranted.

Mr. Philips asked about the future four-way stop at Pikeland and Charlestown Roads. Mr. Kohli said the PennDOT permit has been issued, and the intersection will have advanced warning signs due to the sight distance issues caused by the rise in the road.

Paving Estimates for Yellow Springs Road, Pickering Road, Pickering Spur and Rees Road

The Administrator referred to Melchiorre Construction Co.’s cost estimate dated July 22, 2008 for paving projects to include Yellow Springs Road, Pickering Road, the Pickering Spur, and Rees Road in the amount of $104,000. She said these all qualify as Liquid Fuels projects, and that $107,750 is budgeted for them from the state fund and up to $83,000 from the General Fund. She said Mr. Alston is requesting approval to proceed with these projects.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the paving projects as presented, with all costs taken from the Liquid Fuels account, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion. Mr. Hogan questioned the improvements to Yellow Springs Road, since the future turnpike bridge widening will cause damage to it. Other Board members felt the turnpike project was several years away from starting and the road resurfacing should be done now. Mr. Kuhn called the vote. Four were in favor, and Mr. Hogan was opposed.

Mr. Willig requested that the Administrator have Mr. Alston look at the condition of Union Hill Road between the bridge and the Markley property, which is in need of repair.

Authorize Advertising of Road Equipment Contract for Bid Opening Sept. 2nd

Mrs. Csete said that the Roadmaster had reviewed the draft bid documents for the road equipment & labor contract and had no changes. Since the period is for 18 months and will span two winters, she and Mr. Alston recommended doubling the number of hours for snow removal equipment. Mr. Philips moved to direct the Administrator to advertise the road equipment contract for bid opening on September 2, 2008 for the period of October 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Drafting of Ordinance to Require Septic System Pumping

Mr. Rodgers stated that the Valley Forge Sewer Authority has requested that Charlestown Township come into compliance with state law by adopting an ordinance requiring a sewage management program. One aspect of the program is the requirement that all systems be pumped out every three years by a County Health Department licensed contractor with proof of pumping submitted to the Township Code Enforcement Officer. The ordinance would also allow for periodic inspection of systems. Mr. Kohli had circulated a copy of East Whiteland Township’s ordinance, which followed the DEP model ordinance, for discussion.

Mr. Kuhn asked why the ordinance is needed. Mr. Thompson said it’s being required by the DEP, and the VFSA will not be approved for its expansion unless all member municipalities have the ordinance in place. Mr. Kuhn asked if something similar wasn’t adopted several years ago in Charlestown, and Mr. Kohli said it was discussed but not enacted.

Mr. Kuhn said the sample ordinance allows for a lot of hands-on monitoring. Mr. Rodgers said the County has the authority to license contractors and require them to report back. Mr. Kohli said the County will then notify the townships of any properties not in compliance.

Mr. Kuhn asked about Section 154-177.B. at the bottom of page 3 of the East Whiteland ordinance, which reads that on-lot sewage systems …”shall be subject to the continuing surveillance and inspection by the Township…” yet maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. He said it’s unclear who has the ultimate responsibility. Mr. Thompson said Charlestown already has instated pump and haul agreements for all new developments, and this proposed ordinance would just give them the authority to inspect systems if they opted to do so.

Mr. Kuhn suggested that Mr. Thompson review the sample ordinances, obtain an understanding of the County’s role, including how they license contractors and track properties for compliance.

Drafting of Update to Recycling Ordinance

Mr. Thompson said he has been working on a draft recycling ordinance to be considered in order to comply with the state’s requirements for eligibility for future Act 204 Performance Grant funds. The Township’s present ordinance from 1993 is in need of updating. He will circulate it to the Board within the week.

Authorize Advertisement of Amendment to park rules ordinance

Mr. Thompson stated that an ordinance to amend the park rules ordinance can be advertised in time for the September 2, 2008 meeting to correct a discrepancy in the regulation for the length of leashes. The Board agreed the ordinance should read that leashes may be no longer than eight feet. The Board directed the Solicitor to draft the amendment and advertise it for consideration of adoption on September 2, 2008.

Request for Bond Release – Pulte Homes Lot 32

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the bond release for Pulte Homes’ Lot #32 for $30,000, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Request for Escrow Release #1 – Ashford Subdivision

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve escrow release #1 for the Ashford Subdivision for $123,633.90, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

Zoning Hearing Board Appeal – Whitehead

Mr. Kuhn asked for some insight into why the Zoning Hearing Board approved the variance request for the Whiteheads after the Board voted to oppose it. The Whiteheads requested relief to construct an addition onto their deck of 64 square feet that would encroach on the 150 foot open space buffer in Charlestown Meadows. The application was in compliance with the property’s own setback requirement of 75 feet. Mr. Thompson said that the Zoning Hearing Board determined that the encroachment into the open space wouldn’t reduce the total open space percentage at Charlestown Meadows below the 50% minimum. Their thought was to calculate how much open space is available above the 50% should other property owners in the same predicament want to extend their decks. Mr. Kohli was asked to provide the Zoning Hearing Board with a square footage that each of those property owners could have available to them for any future deck extension applications. There was some concern among Board members that this may lead to a large number of applications, and that someone coming in toward the end of the process might be denied a permit after others had been approved if the 50% figure is breached. Mr. Thompson said the calculation they will use should prevent that from happening. He will communicate the Board’s concerns to the Zoning Hearing Board.

Plantings at the Ice Dam Bridge

Mr. Philips said someone has planted butterfly bushes at each corner of the Ice Dam Bridge over Route 29 in the road right of way. The species is invasive and will soon block the view of the dam and cause sight line problems for the road. He said the bushes should be removed. The Board directed the Administrator to have the Roadmaster remove the bushes in 60-90 days. First, she should contact the Charlestown Hunt homeowners’ association to see if they planted the bushes, to notify them of the problem and request that in the future they come to the Township first.

Verizon Cable Offering of School Channel to Charlestown Subscribers

Mr. Willig asked for the status of Verizon’s agreement to include the school cable channel to the Charlestown channel lineup. Mr. Thompson said when they agreed to add the channel they indicated it would take up to two months to set up due to the need for some hard wiring.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 P.M. Mr. Kuhn announced that the Board would go into executive session to discuss real estate matters. The next business meeting is scheduled for September 2, 2008, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Administrator