Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of August 2, 2010

The business meeting for August was held August 2, 2010 at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA 19355, Room 154.


Supervisors: Charlie Philips, Chairman, Hugh Willig, Vice Chairman, Kevin Kuhn, Frank Piliero, Michael Rodgers
Consultants: Surender Kohli, P.E., Mark Thompson, Esq.
Staff: Linda Csete, Administrator, Fred Alston, Public Works Superintendent
Public: See attached sign-in sheet

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.


 – none

Citizens’ Forum

No matters were brought forward.


Minutes of July 6, 2010 Business Meeting

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the July 6, 2010 business meeting, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer's Report July 1- 31, 2010

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the July 2010 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Operating Fund August 2, 2010

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the August 2, 2010 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Piliero 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 2, 2010

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the August 2, 2010 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the July reports as submitted, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion.

Inlet Repairs

Mr. Kuhn noted that the road contractor charged 88 hours for inlets repairs in the Whitehorse @ Charlestown development and asked why this was needed for a relatively recent subdivision. Mr. Alston displayed a picture of one of the inlets showing that the front end is blown out, stating that was typical of the others that needed repair. Mr. Kuhn asked for the bond period, which Mr. Thompson responded is 18 months. Mr. Alston said the same problem has occurred at Charlestown Hunt. Mr. Kohli said settlement occurs after the clay soil compacts. Mr. Willig asked if the developer submits compaction reports, and Mr. Kohli said no. Mr. Kuhn asked if the specifications should be changed, and Mr. Alston said no, because they should follow the new PennDOT specs which require poured concrete instead of bricks across the top. This will reduce water build up in the future for new inlets. The repaired inlets also followed the new spec. Mr. Kohli said more inspection is needed during the 18 month bond period, and Mrs. Csete said she’ll track this from now on.

Mr. Alston said four inlets are failing at the Ashwood subdivision, for which acceptance of road dedication is being considered this evening. Mr. Kohli said the Board can make any action subject to repairs, because in addition to the 18 month bond, there are still escrow funds being held for Ashwood.

Mr. Willig suggested making changes to the Maintenance Security Agreement developers sign that indicate there will be an inspection at the 16 month point and the Township and HOA will have to sign off on it. Mr. Kuhn suggested changing the agreement so the Township makes the repairs and deducts it from the posted funds.

Eagle Scout Project

Mr. Alston said the Township was contacted by Eagle Scout candidate Alex Morin, who is interested in completing a project this month before his family moves in September. He said Mrs. Csete had suggested storm drain stenciling as a project that could be organized and completed within this timeframe, and Board approval is requested. Stenciling the storm drains with words similar to “no dumping – drains to waterways” as seen in neighboring communities would help fulfill the Township’s MS4 program obligations. Mr. Philips moved to approve the project under Mr. Alston’s supervision, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called the vote, and all were in favor. He thanked Mr. Morin for offering his service.

Valley Hill Road Inlet Construction

Mr. Alston said that the last property on Valley Hill Road approaching Route 401 has had drainage problems since the road was widened a few years ago. At that time, a culvert that had been handling the water was removed. The road in front of the property is very level, causing water to accumulate there. He said they created a French drain to solve the problem, but the clay soil doesn’t percolate so he now proposes installing a 2” x 2” box with U drain about 700 feet from the intersection for a cost of about $8,000. Mr. Willig asked if it would be better to reconstruct a portion of the road, but Mr. Alston said a new inlet would be less expensive. Mr. Philips moved to approve the inlet construction, and Mr. Kuhn/Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called the vote and all were in favor.

Mr. Philips called the vote on acceptance of the reports, and all were in favor.


Gluchanicz Conditional Use

Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for Paul Gluchanicz, continued from June 7, 2010, and the proceeds were recorded by Mark Hagerty, Court Reporter.

The following items were entered into the record:

T-7 Letter from Greg Davis, Esq. dated 4/20/10 waiving the Section 908 requirement;
T-8 Letter from Greg Davis, Esq. granting an extension to the deadline for a decision on the Minor Subdivision Plan to 9/7/10;
T-9 Letter from S. Kohli, P.E. dated 6/8/10 reviewing the application;
T-10 Letter from Thomas Comitta Associates dated 5/10/10 reviewing the application;
T-11 Letter from Thomas Comitta Associates dated 5/28/10 reviewing the application.

Testimony was taken from the following sworn witnesses for the Applicant:

Mr. Davis entered the following items into the record:

A-1 Conditional Use Application
A-2 Deed
A-3 Thomas Comitta Associates’ review letter dated 5/10/10 and 5/28/10
A-4 S. Kohli review letter dated 6/8/10
A-5 Planning Commission Minutes from the 6/8/10 meeting
A-6 Neal Camens Curriculum Vitae
A-7 Site Plan
A-8 Aerial Photo of Property
A-9 Environmental Impact Assessment Report

The following residents came forward with questions and comments:

The hearing was closed.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the conditional use application for Paul Gluchanicz for construction of a driveway to a single family home through steep and very steep slopes subject to the consultants’ review comments, an approved stormwater management plan, and the applicant’s agreement to abandon the non-conforming use of the Fur Shop building at the time of plan recordation. Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion, and Mr. Philips called for further discussion. There being none, he called the vote and all were in favor. Mr. Thompson said the written decision would be circulated prior to the September 7th meeting and acted upon at that time.

Old Business

Ashwood Lot #8 Update

Mr. Philips asked for an update on the remediation of Lot #8 at the Ashwood subdivision, where the property owner had removed vegetation in violation of the subdivision approval. Mr. Kohli said he sent a certified letter notifying the property owner of their responsibility to restore the vegetation, but nothing has been done. The letter indicated that a zoning enforcement notice is the next step if there is no response. The notice can be enforced through the District Justice. The Supervisors were in agreement to proceed with the enforcement notice, and Mr. Kohli said he’ll coordinate with Mr. Thompson on the language. Mr. Philips asked if any potential buyers would be informed of the notice, and Mr. Thompson said yes, the seller would have an affirmative responsibility to disclose it. The HOA will also be notified.

Blue Haven Pool – Request for Surface Stormwater Basin Waiver, Sullivan Property

Matt Mesko, P.E. was present to request a waiver to permit a surface stormwater basin on the Sullivan property as part of their pool construction project. Mr. Mesko said the ground is very flat with no percolation over a 3 hour period so they propose a rain garden instead of a subsurface basin. To create the rain garden, the soil would first be amended, which involves removing an area approximately 100 sq. ft. in size by 2 feet deep. That soil is mulched, aerated and put back. Plants are selected that are not susceptible to excess moisture, have a good root structure and are of a meadow variety.

Mr. Mesko said he’s received two rounds of review comments from Mr. Kohli and Thomas Comitta Associates. The review from Thomas Comitta Associates was clean, with some very minor changes, one indicating that a few plant symbols must be added to the plan. Mr. Kohli’s review comment #3 indicated more information was needed, which is being provided this evening.

Mr. Mesko said they meet the Stormwater Management Ordinance requirements for qualitative and quantitative controls for the 2-year rate through infiltration and containment with some sheet flow exiting the site through a discharge pipe. The differential volume is contained on site. He said the 25-100 year rates are the same as or better than the pre-development rates. Mr. Philips said the neighbors should be notified of the proposal. Mr. Mesko said the neighbors will be notified downstream of the property when they contact them for a right of trespass while they are constructing the rain garden. Mr. Kuhn noted that water currently runs off the site, and Mr. Kohli said the properties in that area all have poor drainage.

Mr. Philips asked if they could dig deeper when amending the soil. Mr. Kohli said the depth is based on Best Management Practices to contain the 2-year differential volume. Mr. Mesko noted the pool itself has 6 inches of surface that acts as a basin for the rainwater directly falling on it. He said he creates 2-3 rain gardens per month and doesn’t like to remove more than 2 feet of soil, but he would be willing to make the garden a little larger if Mr. Kohli thinks it would be advisable.

Mr. Philips was concerned over maintenance of the plants to ensure there wouldn’t be any invasive species like Canadian thistle as time goes on. Mr. Kohli said this covered in the maintenance agreement the owner has to execute. Mr. Thompson asked Mr. Mesko if there is any problem with this, and he said no.

Mr. Piliero moved to approve the request for a waiver from the Stormwater Management Ordinance in order to allow for an above ground system, subject to a recorded maintenance agreement containing a routine inspection schedule and subject to notification to the neighbors. Mr. Kuhn seconded, and Mr. Philips called for discussion. Mr. Kuhn noted that the maintenance agreement provides for redress for the neighbors if they have any complaints later on. Mr. Philips called the vote, and all were in favor.

New Business

Zoning Hearing Board

Zoning Hearing Board Chairman John Martin informed the Board they still needed an alternate 4th member for those occasions when a voting member has a conflict or is unable to attend a hearing. Mrs. Csete confirmed that the notice of the vacancy is posted on the Township website. The supervisors said they would make some inquiries of potential candidates.

Mr. Martin asked if the Board would like to consider a way to simplify the zoning hearing process for owners of the Victorian model at Charlestown Meadows, which have very small lot areas and small decks. Any deck expansion triggers a need to apply to the Zoning Hearing Board for a variance. Some residents have avoided doing so because of the expense, and some are grilling in their garages since their decks are too small to use. Mr. Thompson said the Homeowners’ Association could file on behalf of all the owners of that model home.

Mr. Martin reported that the Roggio hearing from July 28th has been continued to August 9th after it was noted the application must be amended to include a variance request from Section 1609A of the Zoning Ordinance to allow the private driveway to extend beyond 1,000 feet in length.

Countywide EIT Collection

Mr. Martin provided an update on the changeover to countywide EIT collection, which is expected to take place a year earlier than the mandated start date of 1/1/2012 for earned income taxes. Bids have been received from Berkheimer Associates and Keystone Collections Group and the contract will be awarded at the County’s 9/9/10 meeting. Mr. Martin said that causes a time issue for the Township because they must notify the current tax collection agency, Central Tax Bureau of PA that their contract will be terminated at least 90 days before the end of the year. Since the Township’s September meeting is 9/7/10, the Board won’t know the outcome of the County meeting. Mr. Thompson said the Board can send the termination notice to Centax in September after September 9th and ratify its decision at the October 4, 2010 meeting.

Thompson Property Agreement – Ratify Changes

Mr. Thompson explained the Board approved and signed the agreement of sale to acquire property rights on the Thompson property in a joint effort with Schuylkill Township at the April 5, 2010 meeting with ratification at the June 7, 2010 meeting. The approval was made subject to any changes to be made as a result of Schuylkill Township’s review. Now that Schuylkill Township has reviewed it, there were some minor changes that are acceptable to Charlestown. The changes included a correction to one of the legal descriptions and correction of some typos. Mr. Thompson recommended that the Board ratify the previous approval. He noted that after the agreement is executed by both Townships, arrangements would be made to place a deposit for 10% of the acquisition cost in escrow. Mr. Kuhn said the Thompson family was hoping to go to the Planning Commission in August but it’s now been decided they’ll first meet with Mr. Kohli, Mr. Thompson and the Schuylkill Township engineer to work out some items before presenting to the two planning commissions. Mr. Kohli said that meeting has been scheduled for a day next week.

Mr. Kuhn moved to ratify the agreed upon changes to the Thompson property Agreement of Sale and to authorize the Chairman to sign on behalf of the Board, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Paul Gluchanicz Minor Subdivision Plan

Paul Gluchanicz, Greg Davis, Esq. and Neal Camens, P.E. were present to discuss Mr. Gluchanicz’ Minor Subdivision Plan. Mr. Camens said he’ll have a response to the consultants’ review comments prepared shortly along with revisions to the plans.

Mr. Philips asked if the farmhouse is demolished, would the front lot abutting Charlestown Road be subdividable? Mr. Gluchanicz said it wouldn’t meet the setback requirements. Mr. Thompson said the existing farmhouse is nonconforming, so if it was damaged, for example, by fire, it could be rebuilt, but if demolished, a new structure would have to meet the current ordinance and would be unable to do so. Mr. Philips said the farmhouse is a historic structure, and they wouldn’t want to see it demolished with a new structure built regardless. He noted that if Mr. Gluchanicz does want to demolish it, he’ll have to seek approval from the Historical Commission because the house is included on the historic resources protection map.

Mr. Thompson asked if Mr. Gluchanicz would be amenable to placing a deed restriction on the front lot against further subdivision. Mr. Davis said it’s not an issue since it can’t meet the requirements for subdivision. Mr. Gluchanicz said he’d be willing to do so but would like reassurance that he could rebuild the garage as a two-story structure, possibly with a guest house on the second floor. Mr. Kuhn said a two-story structure is permitted, but not with living space. Mr. Thompson suggested a note be added to the plans to indicate that the existing garage may not be used for habitable space. Mr. Gluchanicz said that should only apply while the farmhouse was still there. If it were demolished, guest quarters would be permitted as an accessory use to the main residence at the Fur Shop.

The Board indicated that the plan should be revised before they take action on it at the September 7, 2010 meeting.

Ashwood Lane Deed of Dedication

Mr. Kohli circulated his letter dated 8/2/2010 indicating that he recommends the acceptance of the deed of dedication for Ashwood Lane and security posting for the 18-month maintenance agreement.

Mr. Alston said he checked the road this morning and found that it was in need of inlet repairs to 4 of the 8 inlets and adjustment of the ADA ramp slopes at the crosswalks was also needed. Andy Capelli of Bentley Homes questioned whether the new ADA regulations had to be met when the subdivision was approved and the road built four years ago. He added that the HOA owns the sidewalks; they won’t be owned by the Township and so wouldn’t be liable for any problems. The Board asked Mr. Thompson to confirm this.

Mr. Thompson said under the current 18 month security agreement, the Township must give the developer 60 days notice to repair any deficiencies in the road. However, earlier this evening the Board discussed changing this so that the Township would make the repairs and deduct the cost from the posted security. Mr. Capelli objected to this, stating that the bank that provided the Letter of Credit will see this as a failure on the developer’s part which would have a similar detrimental effect on the developer as having bad credit. There was some discussion about why the inlets are failing so soon after construction, with Mr. Capelli stating they built them according to the Township’s specifications. Mr. Kohli said this is a continuing issue in several developments, caused by water infiltrating the sediment next to the inlets.

The Board expressed some interest in deferring the acceptance of the road until the repairs are made, although Mr. Capelli was concerned with making the Liquid Fuels deadline of September 1st. Mr. Alston said he agreed with the Supervisors, saying he’s tired of all the time and money being spent to repair inlets instead of using the Township’s resources for more road resurfacing. Mr. Philips moved to postpone acceptance of the deed of dedication until the inlets are repaired, and Mr. Rodgers seconded.

Discussion continued, with Mr. Kohli noting that in addition to the 18 month security agreement, the developer still has money in escrow that can be held until the repairs are effected. Mr. Capelli said he did everything asked of him, and today all parging to fix hairline cracks was completed. Mr. Philips withdrew his motion and made a new motion to conditionally accept the deed of dedication subject to repairs being completed to Mr. Alston’s and Mr. Kohli’s satisfaction within the next 20 days. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for further discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Ratify 1995 Approval of Roggio Lot Line Plan

Mr. Thompson explained that the Roggio lot line plan approved in 1995 was never recorded at the Chester County Recorder of Deeds office, which affects Mr. Roggio’s plan to apply for a further lot line change this fall. He recommended that the Board of Supervisors ratify the previous plan approval so it can be recorded. Mrs. Csete noted that the Chester County Planning Commission will have to review the plan prior to recordation. Mr. Rodgers moved to ratify the 1995 Roggio lot line change plan, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion. Mr. Davis asked what changes would be needed to the signature lines and Mr. Thompson discussed the appropriate language with him. Mr. Philips called the vote and all were in favor.

Discussion on Consultants’ Review Fees

Mr. Philips said the Board wants to consider what reviews are needed for various subdivision or land development applications following several complaints from applicants about high fees. Mr. Kuhn said he sees some duplication of effort between the engineer’s and planner’s reviews. He asked Mr. Kohli and Mr. Thompson if they knew of other townships where the planner does full reviews on every application. They both responded no, and Mr. Thompson said other townships refer only selected applications or specific items related to the application to their planner for review. Mr. Piliero said that as a former subdivision applicant, he agrees that there was duplication in the reviews.

Mrs. Csete asked how they would determine what will be forwarded to the planner for review. Mr. Kohli said larger projects and those with landscaping plans and environmental assessment reports should be reviewed. Mr. Willig said he sees the benefit of having two sets of reviewers who may notice different things in the plan. He said thoroughness is important and he doesn’t want to sacrifice it, although he did also agree there has been duplication.

After more discussion, the Board decided to try the new approach for a six month period, where plan submissions would not automatically go to the Planner for review, but instead a determination would be made by Mr. Kohli on what should be referred to that office. The two TND projects already underway would be excluded from this policy. Mr. Kuhn said he’ll speak with Planning Commission Chairman Andy Motel about this approach.

Resolution to Adopt Fee Providing Verification of Granting of Approvals

Mrs. Csete explained that recently approved Act 46 of 2010 provides for an extension of township granted approvals that expire after 12/31/08 and prior to 7/2/2012 to 7/1/2013 and mandates that the Township provide a written verification of the approval and expiration dates of any application upon receipt of a request. As a result, Mr. Thompson drafted a resolution to adopt fees for providing these verifications for the Board’s consideration.

Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #737-2010 adopting fees for verification of residential and commercial approvals, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Resolution in Opposition to Forced Mergers and Consolidations of Local Government Units in Pennsylvania

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #738-2010 opposing the forced merger and consolidation of local government units in Pennsylvania, which would eliminate townships, cities, and boroughs, so that the counties would oversee all municipal operations, including roads, land use and zoning, sanitation, health and safety, and law enforcement. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Authorize advertising for road equipment bid opening 9/7/2010

Mr. Piliero said Mr. Thompson suggested a few changes to the revised bid documents after they had been discussed by the board at the July 6th meeting. These included adding the right to renegotiate the contract if the ownership of the company changed hands, that this contract period would be 18 months, and that deicing equipment would be added to the equipment list.

Mr. Kuhn asked if equipment hours are still specified for each piece of equipment, and Mr. Rodgers said yes. Mr. Kuhn asked if there is a provision to allow the Township to bid larger projects separately, and Mr. Piliero and Mr. Rodgers both indicated that was already in the documents.

Mr. Piliero said an item should be added asking the bidder to clarify their policy on damaged curbs and mailboxes, and it was agreed this question would be added to the Statement of Qualifications section of the bid document.

Mr. Rodgers moved to direct the Administrator to advertise the road labor & equipment bid with the revision to add a damage policy question to the Statement of Qualifications, for bid opening on September 7, 2010, 7:30 p.m. at the Board of Supervisors meeting to be held in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, Pa 19355. Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

De-Icing Equipment

Mr. Alston indicated that he’s been looking into where to obtain de-icing equipment that could be installed on his truck and so he could pretreat roads in anticipation of smaller snow storms up to two inches. He said he’s still waiting to hear from the Turnpike Commission on whether they can supply the brine solution; otherwise a supplier must be found. This pretreatment method has numerous advantages, including cost reduction, reduction of runoff and less need for road sweeping following antiskid application.

Mr. Kuhn asked how the equipment was described in the road bid document, and Mr. Piliero said Mr. Alston provided very specific language for it. Mr. Kuhn said the Township may want to consider procuring a second truck to be used for winter maintenance, specifically for pretreating the roads.


Mr. Philips adjourned the meeting at 10:31 p.m. The next business meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School. The meeting is a day later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Secretary
sheet, 8/2/2010