The first business meeting for October was held October 5, 2009 at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, Pa 19355, Room 154.
Mr. Philips announced that an executive session took place just prior to the meeting to discuss real estate matters.
Mr. Kuhn announced that he and Mark Thompson attended a meeting with PECO and Church Road residents on October 28th to discuss ongoing problems the residents are having with outages and power surges. He said Mr. Thompson communicated the Township’s position very well. Mr. Thompson said he spoke to several residents after the meeting and they were pleased that PECO agreed to reroute several lines. However, PECO didn’t agree that the last power surge incident was their fault although the residents felt they caused the problem when they switched the power back on. Damages to electronic equipment average $500.00 per household for those affected.
Mr. Kuhn said he was contacted about the Turnpike Commission Roundtable scheduled for October 8th and that he will attend.
Andy Fifer of Maryhill Road asked if the park gate across from his street could be better secured to prevent soccer parents from stopping on Coldstream Road and dropping their children off for sports practice, then having the children squeeze through the locked gate rather than drive into the park and dropping them off more safely.
Mr. Kuhn asked if the gate could be welded shut. Mr. Alston said the gate is needed for emergency access, but he can make an effort this week to make the gate fit tighter so people can’t squeeze through when it’s locked. He said he contacted the field manager for the Soccer Club, who in turn notified the club president of the problem. The club president sent a strongly worded message to the parents not to stop along Coldstream Road, but they suspect the visiting teams’ parents are causing much of the problem. Mr. Alston said “no parking” signs can be posted on Coldstream Road.
The Board asked Mr. Alston to proceed with his suggestions.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the business meeting held Sept. 8, 2009, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Hogan moved to approve the Sept. 2009 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the October 5, 2009 Operating 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. Kuhn moved to approve the October 5, 2009 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Hogan moved to accept the September monthly reports and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion.
Mr. Philips said a resident in Butler County, PA has agreed to take the dismantled Stonorov steel house that has been stored for some time at the Brightside Farm and will pay for its transportation.
Mr. Philips asked the Administrator to check on the status of replacement of the Ashwood hedgerow that was removed by several property owners in violation of the conditions of approval for the subdivision, and to get back to him after hearing from Ed Theurkauf.
Mr. Philips reported on the Design Review Committee meetings for the Spring Oaks TND plan, and said Dewey Homes intends to submit its preliminary plan application to the Township Office tomorrow. The plan will be reviewed by the Planning Commission at their October 27th meeting. He said he agreed that the applicant could submit reduced size plans for the Board and Planning Commission and provide full sized sets for the consultants. Mr. Willig asked if they’ll provide a CD and Mr. Philips said yes.
Mr. Philips said signs are cropping up around the Township again, and he asked if the Regan Tree Service signs on a property on Charlestown Road across from the former Ott’s Fur Shop are permitted by the ordinance. Mr. Kohli said they are not.
Mr. Alston expressed deep appreciation on behalf of the fire companies for the use of the Jenkins house for practice drills. He said they’ll continue with training through October, and the house would be demolished in early November. He said no concerns have been brought forward by neighbors of the property.
Mr. Philips asked if any of the Board members checked the area marked out for the new parking lot at the Revolutionary War Cemetery, and when they replied no, he asked that they take a look and provide comments. Mr. Hogan said the plan they received for review looked good.
Mr. Philips said he and Mrs. Philips, along with Mr. Alston, are meeting Wednesday to determine the exact locations to install the 9 historical interpretative signs designed and produced earlier this year. He said he’d like the sign for the Elementary School to be installed first so it’s there prior to election day since so many visitors will see it. He asked when the signs could go up, and Mr. Alston said almost immediately. Mr. Philips suggested there be a newsletter article about the signs written for the next issue.
There being no further discussion on the reports, Mr. Philips called the vote and all were in favor.
Greg Davis, Esq. and Bob and Jeannie Roggio were present to request that the Board consider whether the Roggios could begin the subdivision application process for their property on Eastwick Drive, which, according to the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for the Eastwick Subdivision states that the Township is not obligated to accept any application for subdivision for 15 years from the date of use and occupancy approval, which is 10/13/2010. Mr. Davis said they would seek an approval with a condition that the approval not be effective until after that date.
Mr. Roggio indicated they want to subdivide their parcel into two lots to provide a 3 acre parcel at the top of the hill for a new, downsized home for themselves. Mr. Davis provided a color aerial photo of the site and displayed the subdivision plan.
Mr. Thompson said he agreed with Mr. Davis’ assessment that the Declaration allows for the Board’s discretion in accepting the plan early. Mr. Davis said they’d include a waiver from the decision deadline upon submission. Mr. Thompson said the Township would also want an agreement that the Roggios would pay all review costs, to which Mr. Davis responded absolutely.
Mr. Philips asked if there was any concern over setting a precedent. Mr. Thompson said no, as long as the plan isn’t recorded until after the 10/13/2010 date, it’s within the Board’s discretion to accept the plan for review early.
Mr. Kohli indicated that the additional lot will constitute a 4th driveway on private Eastwick Drive, which will require a zoning variance since only three driveways are permitted.
Mr. Philips asked if the Roggios plan to place a conservation easement on the two lots after this subdivision. Mr. Davis said they haven’t discussed it yet. Mr. Kuhn said the Township would be interested in discussing the acquisition of development rights.
Mr. Kuhn moved to accept for filing a preliminary subdivision plan for the Roggio property in advance of the 15 year anniversary date of the use & occupancy permit issuance, subject to the applicants’ acceptance of a Memorandum of Understanding to be prepared by the Solicitor which will include but not be limited to the issues discussed this evening including a waiver from the decision deadline mandated by the MPC, agreement to cover review charges, and the Township’s holding the plan back from recordation until after the 15-year date.
Mr. Willig/Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Philips called for further discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.
John Martin, member of the countywide earned income tax collection committee representing Charlestown, provided an update from the first meeting of the committee held on September 10th.
Mr. Martin said Act 32 allows for each county to either appoint a single tax collector or form its own bureau. For Chester County, the tax committee recommends appointing a single collector. He said that Berkheimer Associates handles 85% of Chester County School Boards and municipalities - so it’s likely they’ll be selected as the Chester County Tax Officer. Phoenixville Borough, East Whiteland and Charlestown have CENTAX, but few if any other county municipalities do, so Berkheimer looks likely.
Mr. Martin said that although Act 32 says the new system starts 1/1/12, there is some interest in starting a year earlier, which is permitted under the act. The early start seems particularly driven by school district business managers such as Downingtown and West Chester, as they will collect extra revenue by reducing collection costs and collecting from those not paying. The Downingtown School District collects about $10 million in EIT and pays Berkheimer 1.5%. They think Berkheimer will charge a lesser rate as a County Tax Collector. Charlestown pay CENTAX 1.75% and smaller Oxford Borough pays Berkheimer 2%. The consensus of committee members is to move forward for 1/1/2011 and asked for the Board’s opinion. Mr. Philips said he didn’t see a down side to the early start, to which Mr. Martin agreed.
He said that a problem for some municipalities is that Act 32 abrogates all contracts to collect EIT after 1/1/2012 but not a year earlier. However, Charlestown’s CENTAX contract is now year to year - so it would be no problem to end the contract if the start date is a year earlier.
Mr. Martin said that the DCED is negotiating with the largest payroll service, ADP, to work out how they can comply with the state regulations for each employer to withhold EIT.
Mr. Martin said that later on, the committee will be asking each municipality if they want countywide collection of their Local Services Tax (LST), but he said the County Study Group will first want to get a year of EIT collection experience before expanding into LST collection.
Mr. Kuhn asked if the countywide tax collector will also collect delinquent EIT. Mr. Martin said discussions haven’t addressed this question yet.
Mr. Martin said he put his name forward for consideration of an appointment to the 11-member management committee. He said the first formal meeting for the county membership is November 10th. Mr. Philips thanked Mr. Martin for representing Charlestown’s interests.
The following bids for road salt material were opened and read aloud:
North American Salt Company - no bid
Oceanport Industries - $65.00 FOB plant; $68.79 FOB delivered
Cargill Salt - $80.29 FOB plant; $88.04 FOB delivered
Morton Salt - no bid
International Salt Co., LLC - $75.00 FOB plant; $75.44 FOB delivered
The bid documents were turned over to Mr. Kohli for review and recommendation.
Mrs. Csete said that the official website will be completed soon but before it goes on line a contract must be signed covering website ownership and ongoing maintenance. Mr. Thompson will draft an agreement that can be executed at the November 2nd meeting.
Mrs. Csete asked if any of the Supervisors were planning to attend the annual Chester County Association of Township Officials convention on November 5, 2009 so she can register them for the event. Mr. Willig and Mr. Kuhn indicated they will attend.
A public meeting was scheduled for October 26, 2009, 7:00 p.m. at the Township Office, 4030 Whitehorse Road, Devault, PA, to draft the 2010 budget.
A hearing to consider amendment to Zoning Ordinance Section 1614, Agricultural Use Regulations was scheduled for December 7, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.
A hearing to consider adoption of the Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission Consistency Review Report was scheduled for December 7, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA. Mr. Willig indicated that a final version of the document will be distributed to the member municipalities within the next week.
The Conditional Use Hearing for James Bruder’s tenant, Dominique Damico to permit a major home occupation consisting of a horse training business at his property at 4255 Whitehorse Road, was scheduled for November 2, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.
Planning Commission Chairman Andy Motel provided an update on ordinance reviews currently being considered by the Commission. He said member Sarah Peck is taking the lead on the wind & solar energy ordinance, noting that solar energy regulations are a more pressing concern, although both need regulation. He said they have ordinances from Lititz, East Whiteland Township and Edgemont Township to study while they become better acquainted with the technology.
Mr. Motel said the Planning Commission is still discussing proposed amendments to the Stormwater Management Ordinance, which currently mandates that all stormwater systems be underground. He said they had an expert from Pennoni Associates, Eric Lowry, speak at their last meeting and participate in their discussion.
Mr. Motel said the state regulations address water quality and water management issues, but not aesthetics. The Planning Commission wishes to address both. Mr. Kuhn said he thinks the requirement for underground systems should remain compulsory, allowing an above ground system as a substitute only if the applicant can prove it’s a better alternative. He said the inclusion of a set of design guidelines is an excellent idea. Mr. Philips agreed with Mr. Kuhn that the developer shouldn’t be given the option of selecting an above ground system unless a strong case for it can be made. Mr. Motel communicated to the Board the Planning Commission’s disappointment that the ordinance was enacted prior to their recommendation, and some discussion followed.
Mr. Motel said the Planning Commission is also working on a number of amendments to the TND ordinance that they expect to complete and recommend by the end of the year.
The Board discussed a draft ordinance Mr. Thompson prepared relating to tree removal outside of the road right of way.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m. The budget meeting is scheduled for October 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Office. The next business meeting is scheduled for November 2, 2009 at 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.