Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of August 3, 2009

The first business meeting for August was held August 3, 2009 at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, Pa 19355, Room 154.


Charlie Philips, Chairman, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mike Rodgers
Surender Kohli, P.E., Mark Thompson, Esq.
Linda Csete, Administrator, Aliena Gerhard, Open Space Director, Fred Alston, Public Works Superintendent
See attached sign-in sheet

Call to Order:

7:30 P.M.

Announcements –


Citizens’ Forum for Non-Agenda Items

Charlestown Meadows

Charlestown Meadows resident Gerald Murphy of 114 Sagewood Drive, and HOA Board Member Mark Masley were present to request that the Board consider a revision to the approved final plan that would move or eliminate a trail scheduled for installation close to Mr. Murphy’s end unit. He said that when he purchased the unit, the marketing brochure showed a connector trail approximately 100 feet away from his home instead of 10 feet away. When the stakes went in, he spoke to the Project Manager for Toll Bros. and was told they could work something out. He later went to the HOA and they agreed to eliminate the trail subject to Toll Bros’ and the Township’s approval. He then met with Mr. Theurkauf, who suggested two options. One option is to determine that the proposed relocation is no longer in wetlands due to draining that occurred during development, in which case the trail may be relocated there. The second option is, that if wetlands are still present, obtain approval to cross them with a boardwalk structure. He said when he approached Toll Bros with these two options, Toll declined to make any efforts to change the existing plan, citing time constraints and their goal to complete the development by September.

Mr. Murphy asked if the Township would intercede on his behalf, stating that the trail will have a negative impact on the value of his home and creates a loss of privacy. Mr. Masley said this is the only trail on the marketing diagram that is misrepresented.

Mr. Willig said that any requests for change must come through the Homeowners Association. Mr. Masley agreed, and stated he’s president of the HOA. Mr. Willig said that any plan to alter the location of the path relative to the wetlands must be approved by the DEP, and since Toll Bros. is the holder of the current NPDES permit, they would have to be the applicant. Mr. Willig said the Township can consider a modification to the plan due to field conditions but can’t eliminate the trail completely without going through the approval process again. Mr. Masley acknowledged this and that they are only seeking to relocate it.

Mr. Kohli said that as approved, the trail was located outside of the wetlands, and if it can be relocated outside of them in accordance with the NPDES permit, this would be acceptable. However, to apply for a wetland crossing with the DEP, Toll Bros. would have to sign off. Mr. Masley asked how they would know where the wetlands are. Mr. Kohli said the drawings show it, and they could also ask the Toll Bros. geologist.

Mr. Philips said that in order to relocate the trail, the Homeowners Association must first get Toll Bros. to delineate the wetlands and approve the relocation. After that is done, the Township can review the proposal and consider approval. Mr. Thompson agreed that this type of modification is considered a field change that can be done by making a notation on the plan. Mr. Kohli said it would be added to the as-built plan.


Minutes of Business Meeting July 6, 2009

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the business meeting held July 6, 2009, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report July 1 – 31, 2009

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the July 2009 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Operating Fund August 3, 2009

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the August 3, 2009 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Open Space Fund August 3, 2009

Mr. Willig moved to approve Aug. 3, 2009 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.


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

Mr. Willig reported that the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (PRPC) has submitted the consistency review report to all the member townships and the school districts for review. There is a 45 day comment period, after which time the PRPC will meet and review any comments and determine what to incorporate. The next step is a formal hearing process to adopt the report, which must be advertised in accordance with the MPC. He said the County Planning Commission had a couple of recommendations from which the PRPC already made slight changes. These changes involved establishing a range rather than a set number of feet for wetland and riparian buffers. Mr. Philips asked how comments should be communicated, and Mr. Willig said they should go through the Administrator who will respond to the PRPC.

Mr. Philips reported on the activities of the Design Review Committee, which met today with developers for Spring Oaks and Tyler Griffin, both of which are working toward a preliminary plan. He said Dale Frens and Tom Comitta met separately with the Spring Oaks applicant about the design manual and they seemed to understand the process. Both applicants plan to make a formal presentation to the Planning Commission on September 22nd. One or both may be ready to make that presentation to the Supervisors at their October meeting. He added that both applicants have agreed to work with a consulting arborist, Rich Dexter from Bartlett Trees, to develop their street tree plans. Mr. Willig asked if the developers are still considering LEED certifications, and Mr. Philips said they’re still considering Level I certification, or at least offering upgrade packages to buyers.

Mr. Philips reported that he and Mr. Kuhn met with the Planning Commission to discuss the Stormwater Management Ordinance. He said the Planning Commission wants more flexibility than is now contained in the SMO, and in response a subcommittee was formed that will meet tomorrow at Mr. Kohli’s office at 2:00 pm. He said that the Supervisors’ position is that all systems are to be subsurface, and if any exceptions are to be granted by the Board the design would have to comply with a Design Manual that needs to be created.

Mr. Alston reported that budget constraints are limiting the amount of road work that can be done and he wanted to express his concerns prior to the next budget round. He said that continuing to cut the road budget will cause bigger problems down the line.

Mr. Philips called for discussion on the motion to approve the reports, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Robal Associates Curative Amendment Application

Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for Robal Associates and referenced a letter dated 7/17/09 from James Tupitza requesting a continuance in order to prepare exhibits from the Altemose matter that he wishes to incorporate into the record. Mr. Philips asked Mr. Thompson to brief the Board on the material to be included. No testimony was heard this evening. Mr. Rodgers moved to continue the hearing to September 8, 2009, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. The letter was entered into the record.

Ordinance to Adopt Rules and Regulations for Discharges to the Sewer System Tributary

Mr. Thompson opened the hearing to consider an ordinance adopting rules and regulations for discharges to the sewer system tributary. Mr. Thompson entered the following items into the record:

T-1 Letter to the Daily Local News dated 7/24/09 from Mark Thompson, Esq. requesting publication of the public notice.
T-2 Letter to the Chester County Law Library dated 7/24/09 from Mark Thompson, Esq. attaching a copy of the Ordinance.
T-3 Public Notice
T-4 Proof of Publication
T-5 Draft Ordinance

Mr. Thompson read the title of the ordinance and explained that the proposed revisions were requested by the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, of which Charlestown is a member. The VFSA has reviewed the proposed draft and found it acceptable. He said the provisions involve the monitoring of discharge, record keeping, accidental discharge, and non-compliance issues. Mr. Philips asked Mr. Kohli if he had any comments or concerns with the proposed ordinance, and Mr. Kohli said the ordinance was straightforward and he had no issues to bring forward. The hearing was closed.

Mr. Rodgers moved to pass Ordinance #155-2009 adopting rules and regulations for discharges to the sewer system tributary and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Open Space

Mrs. Gerhard referred to correspondence from West Whiteland Township which stated they declined to join Charlestown in an acquisition of a conservation easement on property located in both Townships citing economic conditions. She said the property owner is still willing to move forward with Charlestown, and she’ll research whether any additional funding is available from the local land trusts. Mr. Willig asked if the property owners have any time constraints, and Mrs. Gerhard said no, they are just interested in having it done. Mrs. Gerhard said updates on other projects are listed in her monthly report.

Jenkins Property

Mr. Alston said he, Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Kohli, and building inspector Anthony Merklinger met at the Jenkins house for an inspection to determine the condition of the house. Mr. Kohli provided a report that listed numerous deficiencies and a cost estimate for correcting them. Mr. Alston also obtained a proposal from Melchiorre Construction, currently under contract with the Township, for demolition. The proposal for $16,800 was a not-to-exceed figure and includes recycling of as much material as possible. Mr. Willig said Mr. Kuhn obtained a second estimate from Dan Acquilante for $14,000. Mr. Rodgers was concerned with the liability of the house in its current condition and said they should proceed with the demolition with Melchiorre Construction. Mrs. Csete said that if they opt to use a contractor other than Melchiorre, the project will have to go out to bid and the cost of preparing and reviewing a bid package will make Mr. Alleva’s estimate comparable to moving forward with the contractor already under agreement.

Mr. Rodgers moved to demolish the Jenkins house and accept the proposal from Melchiorre Construction. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Kohli said he has demolition specs he can provide to the contractor. Mr. Alston said he’ll work with the contractor to submit the demolition permit application for review and approval.

New Business

Resolution to Adopt New Building Permit Fee Schedule

Mrs. Csete referred to the draft resolution to update the 1984 building permit fee schedule which was prepared using Mr. Kohli’s recommendations. The proposed schedule brings fees into line with the increased number of inspections now required under the Uniform Construction Code. Residential project permit fees will increase approximately 15% with the new schedule. Commercial projects are more difficult to compare because the current schedule doesn’t utilize the square foot values from the ICC valuation chart and the new schedule will do so. Mr. Kohli said they will have to monitor commercial fees and if they come in higher than needed they can be dropped back with a revision to the fee schedule.

Mr. Hogan moved to adopt Resolution #718-2009 establishing building permit fees, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Preliminary Land Development Plan – Exeter 3222

Mrs. Csete said that the deadline for the Supervisors to make a decision on the preliminary land development plan for Exeter 3222 is August 11, 2009. The plan is still under review with the Planning Commission, so they haven’t made a recommendation yet. She referred to her email dated 7/16/09 to Jason Honesty of Exeter 3222 and Neal Camens, P.E., requesting a letter granting the Township a time extension for making the decision. She hasn’t received a response, and therefore recommends that the Board of Supervisors deny the plan provided no letter of extension is submitted prior to August 11, 2009.

Mr. Philips moved to deny the plan due to noncompliance with the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance as outlined in review comments in Mr. Theurkauf’s review memorandum dated 6/4/2009, Mr. Kohli’s review letter dated 4/29/09, and the Planning Commission minutes dated 1/13/09, 5/12/09 and 6/9/09. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

Parks & Recreation Board

Mr. Philips asked Mrs. Csete to contact the individual who applied for a position on the Parks & Recreation Board and let him know his information has been forwarded to the Parks & Rec Chairman Bob Jones.

Mr. Philips asked Mrs. Csete to contact Mr. Jones and ask that he attend the September Board of Supervisors meeting to provide an update on Parks & Rec activities.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:33 p.m. The next business meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2009 at 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete,
Township Administrator