The first business meeting for August was held August 1, 2011 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.
|Supervisors:||Hugh Willig, Chairman, Frank Piliero, Vice Chairman, Kevin Kuhn, Charlie Philips and Mike Rodgers, Members|
|Consultants:||Surender S. Kohli, Dan Wright, P.E., Mark Thompson, Esq.|
|Staff:||Linda Csete, Manager|
|Public:||See attached sign-in sheet|
Mr. Philips announced that the Great Valley Nature Center will be hosting a meet & greet event for the members of the Township Boards and Commissions on Sunday, October 9th in order to acquaint them with the Center and its programs.
Mrs. Csete announced that the Board held an executive session on August 10, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at the Township Office to conduct interviews for the vacant positions of Roadmaster and Fire Marshal. She also stated that the summer newsletter has been mailed to all residents and extra copies are available this evening.
No matters were brought forward this evening.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes of the August 1, 2011 business meeting, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.Treasurer's Report August 1 - 31, 2011
Mr. Philips moved to approve the August 2011 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.Accounts Payable Report Sept. 6, 2011 Operating Fund
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the Sept. 6, 2011 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.Accounts Payable Report – Open Space Fund Sept. 6, 2011
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Sept. 6, 2011 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the August reports as submitted, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion.
Mr. Philips said there was a Design Review Committee meeting with the applicants for Spring Oak this morning at the Township Office, and they’ll be coming back on the active roster soon for review of a final plan submission. Mr. Kuhn noted that the grass has been cut on the property as the Board requested. Mr. Philips added that they also plan to repair the door on the historic barn as had been requested.
Mr. Willig said he and Mr. Philips met with Parks & Rec Chairman Bob Jones and they’ll be updating the 2001 Master Plan for Charlestown Park. They also want to submit a plan for trails, ideas for the Brightside Farm and the Jenkins property, and are designing a questionnaire with guidance from their consultants, to be sent to all residents in order to gauge their interests and needs.
Mr. Willig called the vote on accepting the reports, and all were in favor.
Mrs. Csete said that she, Mr. Piliero, Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Rodgers conducted interviews for the vacant positions of Roadmaster and Fire Marshal and made the following recommendations to the Board.
She introduced Tim Hubbard, who presently serves in an administrative capacity for the Westtown-East Goshen Police Department as a Corporal. She said the interview group found him to be knowledgeable in the field and thinks he’ll deal very well with both residents and businesses. His schedule is flexible, and he is available if called out during his working hours to come to a scene in Charlestown. While the position is a volunteer position, the committee recommends that Mr. Hubbard reinstate the Township’s code inspections of commercial, industrial and institutional establishments and suggested that a fee per inspection be set for the site visit and follow up report. This matter is still to be worked out.
Mr. Philips moved to appoint Timothy Hubbard as Fire Marshal, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion. Mr. Philips noted that the Board will decide the building inspection fee at a later date. Mr. Willig called the vote, and all were in favor.
Next, Mrs. Csete introduced Jim Thompson, who had served as Roadmaster in the late 1990’s. She said he again came forward with an interest in the position and the committee recommends that he be appointed as Roadmaster, with the appointment to be made retroactive to August 12, 2011 and to be reviewed at the end of the year.
Mr. Rodgers moved to appoint Jim Thompson as Roadmaster retroactive to August 12th with the position to be reviewed at the end of the year. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and the Board members complimented Mr. Thompson’s recent handling of the hurricane and its aftermath. Mr. Willig called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to set the annual salary for the part time position at $24,000 with the potential for a bonus of up to $6,000 annually to adjust for a year with a higher than expected work load. Mr. Piliero/Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The Board then welcomed both gentlemen to their positions.
David Fadness was present in response to the enforcement notice he received from Mr. Kohli on 7/28/11 regarding the need to re-establish the hedgerow in the protected area along the back of his property. Mr. Kohli said Mr. Theurkauf consulted with him on what must be done.
Mr. Philips said this has been an ongoing issue since 2009. Mr. Theurkauf said during his initial inspection of the property in June 2008, he found that the hedgerow had been cleared of understory trees, shrubs and vines. There was no response from the Fadnesses until August 2010 when he met with them on site and outlined ways to mitigate the clearing through re-planting of shrubs and other vegetation. Container plants and bare root plants were suggested as a way to keep costs down. They were also to produce a plan to control invasive vines that got a foothold due to the original clearing.
Mr. Theurkauf said this spring he emailed Mr. Fadness to ask for an update and received a response including photographs, and stating his intent to leave the area as-is and let the hedgerow regenerate naturally.
Mr. Fadness agreed with this summary and said he is here to respond to Mr. Kohli’s notice of 7/28/11. He said in his letter dated 8/23/11, he has no debate with the Township on the restoration itself but on the way to achieve it. He said he’s not here to appeal the zoning order. He explained that he moved into the house during the summer of 2008 and undertook various projects including the clearing of a lot of vegetation in the hedgerow, including poison ivy. He said he didn’t have information on the protection required in the buffer zone, or if it was given with the paperwork at closing it may have been overlooked.
Mr. Fadness said they were installing a deck in June 2008 and although Mr. Kohli was on site for that inspection, he didn’t mention the clearing. Mr. Fadness said they would have stopped if they had been told. Five days later he received a letter dated 6/18/08 from Mr. Theurkauf that recommended allowing the natural vegetation to regenerate. Then a second letter arrived from Mr. Theurkauf dated 6/23/08 that was contrary to the first regarding replanting. The second letter outlined specific plants to be used including seven trees. He said they hadn’t removed any trees but they understood the rationale. He exchanged several calls and emails with Mr. Theurkauf but has now relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and put the house up for sale.
Mr. Fadness said he’s spoken to seven landscape architects and each proposed a different plan, mostly recommending natural regeneration with replanting only a few shrubs. He said that natural regeneration is faster, and the landscapers said they wouldn’t guarantee their work since the natural plants would overtake them. Also, since there is a high deer population, the landscapers said by adding plants they would only be supplying deer food. Mr. Fadness said this is why he wanted to let the hedgerow come back on its own. He said he only returns to the area once or twice a month for a couple of days at a time.
Mr. Fadness said he met with Mr. Theurkauf in the fall of 2010 after he emailed Mr. Theurkauf to inform him he sprayed “round-up” on the mile-a-minute vine to control it, and would make plans to re-plant the hedgerow. Then in the spring of 2011, Mr. Theurkauf requested a status update, and Mr. Fadness said his consultations with landscape architects told him the hedgerow would regenerate faster on its own.
Mr. Fadness then displayed three photographs of the hedgerow at different times after it had been accidently mowed by the Homeowners Association, as was the neighbors’. Since he’s not living at the house this has been disconcerting. He said he’s not questioning the directions of the Township but some of the circumstances are beyond his control. He repeated that he thinks a natural regeneration is the way to go.
Mr. Theurkauf said he wished to clarify that the initial letter he sent recommending natural regeneration was sent to Mrs. Csete and Mr. Kohli only. After further discussion with Mr. Kohli and Township officials it was decided to send a letter advocating active regeneration. Between 2008 and 2010 there has been no effort to do either one.
Mr. Willig said members of the HOA were at a prior meeting where they were clear their mowers did inadvertently mow the hedgerow. Mr. Fadness said Mr. Kohli met with the mower and they were sent a letter.
Mr. Philips asked if Mr. Fadness thought of putting markers out indicating the area is not to be mowed, and Mr. Fadness said he’d be happy to do so. Mr. Philips also suggested spacing the new plants in the way Mr. Theurkauf recommended so they won’t overtake one another. Mr. Fadness asked if they can just allow for natural regeneration if he puts out the markers. Mr. Philips responded no, that after three years, this matter must be resolved to the Township’s satisfaction. Mr. Willig suggested the area be marked out and place mesh cages around new plants to protect them from deer. Mr. Fadness could go back to the HOA and ask them to agree to tend the area since they caused part of the problem. Mr. Kohli said the HOA has now instructed their mowers to leave the area alone so the buffer is maintained.
Mr. Kuhn asked why this wasn’t resolved three years ago. Instead, Mr. Fadness has made no genuine effort to restore the hedgerow, watched as three mowings were done by the HOA, consulted seven landscape architects and has had the benefit of the Township’s consultant at no cost to him. Mr. Fadness said the first recommendation from Mr. Theurkauf was to let the hedgerow regenerate on its own, but Mr. Kuhn said that communication was an internal memo not addressed to him.
Mr. Philips said he had no sympathy for the situation and said it just needs to be fixed. Mr. Fadness should work with Mr. Theurkauf.
Mr. Fadness said the HOA is more liable than he is, but Mr. Kuhn disagreed, stating this is his property. Mr. Philips said the protection of the hedgerow was on the subdivision plans from the beginning of the review process. The Township is very concerned with open space preservation and the Board expects these plans to be followed. He said there is nothing more to discuss and the problem must simply be fixed.
Mr. Fadness asked if he can make a counter proposal to remedy the problem. Mr. Theurkauf said he recommends that Mr. Fadness provide a list that includes deer resistant plantings. He said he wanted a layering of species, including trees, since their height would combat invasive species. While trees weren’t removed initially, mowing the area changed the environment. He said it was good that Mr. Fadness did control the mile-a-minute vine. He said he’d be happy to look at Mr. Fadness’ proposal as he did with the three other Ashwood neighbors who have now restored their hedgerows.
Mr. Kuhn said he has no problem with the review of a plan but his concern is that the area be planted now. Mr. Philips agreed, saying he wants a deadline. Mr. Willig asked what is needed in the plan, and Mr. Theurkauf said it should list species, sizes, quantities and whether they are container or bare root plants. The locations can be flagged in the field.
Mr. Fadness said he removed the hedgerow once and hasn’t touched it since. Why is this his responsibility? Mr. Philips said because it’s his property. Mr. Kuhn said the HOA wouldn’t have mowed it if Mr. Fadness hadn’t done so first, and he can pursue them if he wishes, but the responsibility to fix the problem with the Township is his since the property is his. Mr. Thompson agreed, stating that the key point is that the Township issued the notice to the property owner, not the HOA. If the HOA is responsible, Mr. Fadness can pursue them on his own to see if they’ll compensate him for the restoration.
Mr. Fadness said part of the hedgerow is in the HOA open space, but Mr. Theurkauf said his letter addressed the Fadness property only.
Mr. Fadness again asked if he can be allowed to simply let the hedgerow regenerate. Mr. Kuhn said that was never the Township’s recommendation. Mr. Thompson said the Board consensus is that he must comply with the notice. Mr. Fadness asked what he must do next, and Mr. Willig said he should submit a list of plantings for Mr. Theurkauf’s review, and flag the locations on site. Mr. Kuhn said he recommends a simple plan accompany the list with a diagram of where the plants will be located. Mr. Philips agreed, calling it a landscaping sketch.
Mr. Fadness asked if the Board will agree he doesn’t have to begin planting until he’s settled the matter with the HOA, but Mr. Philips disagreed. He said he wants this done by the end of the year.
Mr. Willig asked if the Board could help him pursue the HOA, but Mr. Philips said he thinks the Township has done all it can, even offering its consultant at township expense.
Mr. Fadness asked if further enforcement action can be removed. Mr. Philips said he doesn’t recommend this until the Board sees some action. Mr. Thompson said the enforcement notice wasn’t appealed, so the Supervisors can go to the district justice at any time to assess fines. He said he doesn’t recommend the Board withdraw the notice until steps have been taken.
Mr. Fadness said he’ll give it his best effort. Mr. Kuhn said if he gives Mr. Theurkauf a plan to review, the Board will sign off on his recommendation. Mr. Fadness said he’ll consider doing so.
Brad Spiegel, 121 Sagewood Drive, was present to provide an overview of his application to the Zoning Hearing Board to seek a variance allowing a deck expansion of four feet two inches into open space at the Charlestown Meadows development for a total deck size of 136 sq. ft. He said the Homeowners Association has approved the application and he then showed the plan to the Board.
Mr. Kohli said of the previous similar applications, owners proposed expansion into the setback areas, while this is the first one that wants to extend into the open space itself. Mr. Kuhn confirmed that this property is among a bank of units that are all close to the open space area. Mr. Thompson noted that the Board previously discussed allowing expansions for this building and the one adjacent to it.
The Board then recalled their earlier discussions that the Charlestown Meadows development has about 12,000 sq. ft. of open space above the minimum required 50%, and they had considered that allowing these deck expansions on a first-come, first-served basis until this limit is reached would be a sensible approach. Mr. Willig noted they’re unlikely to reach this limit anyway. Mr. Kuhn confirmed with Mr. Thompson that since there are no more PRD’s to develop in Charlestown, allowing the expansion isn’t of concern.
Mr. Kuhn moved that the Board take a favorable position toward this application, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Thompson stated that under the Open Lands Act, the Board is required to hold a hearing prior to considering an open space acquisition using open space tax funds so that property owners have notice and an opportunity to comment. He said a notice was published as required twice in the Daily Local News stating that the Board will consider the acquisition of the 22.4 acre Hevner property, tax parcel #35-3-14.
Alix Coleman said she’s thrilled with the proposal. Mr. Thompson said his office is still clarifying issues relating to trail language, and some discussion is needed on providing liability insurance and providing maintenance on eased trails. Mr. Kuhn asked if there is a formal dedication of the trail easement, and Mr. Thompson said no, just a grant of easement.
Mrs. Csete will contact the insurance broker to ask for confirmation in writing that the Township can take on liability insurance for protection on trails on private property on which it holds an easement. Mr. Thompson said he’ll contact the Hevners again to bring the acquisition to its conclusion.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve moving forward on the acquisition of the Hevner Easement and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips said he met with Mr. Kohli, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Wright to go over the proposed revisions on Thursday, August 4th at 3 p.m. at the Township Office after questions had been brought up at the August 1st meeting. He said they reviewed the ordinance in detail and he believes all their questions have been addressed. There had been a few clarifications needed and a few omissions to rectify.
Mr. Philips moved to schedule a hearing to consider the amendments to the Stormwater Management Ordinance for October 3, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and then asked if it has to go to the County Planning Commission. Mr. Thompson said he sent it over last week. Mr. Willig called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mrs. Csete said this matter had been tabled at the August 1st meeting to give the Solicitor time to review the contract. Mr. Thompson said it’s a confusing document as it reads as though it’s to be used primarily for red light enforcement. In this instance, the contract allows for the Township to receive a grant to install a battery back-up device for the traffic signal at Route 401 and Newcomen Roads. It makes the Township responsible for maintenance of the device but he said this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Mr. Piliero moved to approve Resolution #754-11 authorizing the Township Manager to execute the ARLE Program Project Funding Agreement, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete noted that the cost of the project is completely covered by the $9,800.00 grant obtained by former Roadmaster Fred Alston.
Mr. Thompson said the attorney for Exeter requested that this matter be tabled. They have granted an extension to the decision deadline to October 15, 2011 as they wanted to work out the details on staging the improvements and posting security in advance of each stage.
Mr. Kohli said only two bidders attended the mandatory pre-bid meeting out of the twelve companies that requested the bid documents. He suggested that the two bids, from Aqua Wastewater Management Inc. and Cedar Springs Construction be returned to them. The project should be re-bid with the twelve original companies to be contacted and invited to participate.
Mr. Kuhn said he discussed using PennBID with Mrs. Csete this morning and suggested the bid also be posted through their website. Mr. Willig asked how bad the septic system is at present, and Mr. Kohli said it may need to be pumped out once or twice before the new system is ready. Mr. Willig asked if they need to be concerned about approaching winter weather. Mr. Kohli said it could still be installed as late as December.
Mr. Willig asked for an approximate value of the project, which Mr. Kohli provided.
Mr. Kuhn moved to re-solicit bids for opening October 3, 2011 following a mandatory pre-bid meeting, and to return the two bids received today unopened. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Wright explained that he and Mr. Thompson met at the site to determine how to best effect repairs on the storm drain on Tinkerhill Road. The present head walls have collapsed and a new pipe must be installed. He will meet with a DEP representative on September 13th to see if an emergency permit can be obtained. He has documentation ready for this meeting. The area is less than 100 acres, has no PNDI hits and is not in a flood plain.
Mr. (Jim) Thompson said he has a price for the pipe and end walls from Pipe & Precast Concrete for $5,500 and is trying to get a second price. He said he feels they can do better. Melchiorre Construction Co.’s price for labor and equipment is $6,350.00.
Mr. Willig said there’s been some discussion on the need for gates following concerns of littering and loitering in the picnic grove area at Brightside Farm, which is surrounded by woods and kept mowed by the tenant farmer. Farm Manager Alix Coleman said the use of a chain could be dangerous at night. Mr. Hubbard suggested they place boulders in the area, and the Board was amenable to that idea. They also considered putting gates at the grove entrance and at the road, although Ms. Coleman said people would just drive around them. Mr. Philips said a ditch could be created on either side, although Ms. Coleman felt this would likewise not deter them.
Ms. Coleman said she’d also like to change the signage at the property, as the existing sign listing rules and regulations are too small to be noticed. She suggested a large sign “authorized vehicles only” on the dirt road leading to the grove. Mr. Kuhn said a sign would just be used to cite an individual who was caught; it wouldn’t be a deterrent.
The Board agreed to try the boulders first, and there are boulders available on the property. Mr. (Jim) Thompson will arrange with Melchiorre Construction Co. to place them and coordinate with Ms. Coleman.
Mrs. Csete referred to proposed changes to the MPC and MAA that would allow applicants for subdivision and land development approval to select among a minimum of three professional consultants in each discipline to review their plan. She asked the board members if they want to consider expressing opposition to the bills to Rep. Milne and Senator Dinniman. The Board agreed they would like to send a letter, which Mrs. Csete will draft and circulate to them for comments.
Mr. Kohli updated the Board on three zoning matters as follows.
Mrs. Csete said the Township is required to vote each year to provide for the minimum pension plan obligation in each year’s budget. She indicated that a state grant of approximately $3,200.00 covers a portion of the cost. Mr. Philips moved to authorize funding the employee pension plan for 2012 in the amount of the minimum municipal obligation provided by Trustees Insurance of $8,144.00 and to include this amount in the budget for 2012. Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion. Mr. Kuhn noted that the administrative cost, approximately 10%, is outrageous. Mr. Willig called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Piliero moved to authorize advertising of the 2011-2012 Road Salt Bid for opening at the October 3, 2011 meeting, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete referred to a letter she received from Joel Frank, Esq. dated 7/29/11 providing background on this cellular tower development company that works exclusively with municipalities. The Board did not express interest.
Dan Wright referred to his review of the invoices for the Pickering Creek Footbridge from Eastern Gunite Co. and for the 2011 paving work by Dan Malloy Paving Inc. and asked if there were any questions. Mr. Kuhn said the paving work was done under the $400,000 budget so the Board may wish to consider paving an additional road. He suggested reviewing Melchiorre Construction Co.’s not-to-exceed prices and see what could be done. Mrs. Csete said all the costs for the present project will be accounted for just prior to the October 3rd meeting, so this could be determined more accurately at that time.
Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Wright if he recalled the quote for paving Tinkerhill Road, and Mr. Wright said this hadn’t been prepared as it wasn’t part of the paving bid package. However, he can provide an estimate. Mr. (Jim) Thompson said they should mill the road and repair the roll gutters on each side. Mr. Wright said there may be base repair needed due to more alligatoring as compared to the other roads that were paved. Mr. Kuhn said another option would be to wait until spring to do this road.
Mr. Wright asked if there were any other suggestions for roads that need to be paved, and Mr. Willig named Sycamore Lane. Mr. Kuhn said the cost for removing dead trees along Sycamore Lane should be considered in the estimate. Mr. Philips said Mr. (Jim) Thompson should provide a list, and the previous road tour report can be reviewed.
Mr. Piliero said at the Green Lane and Valley Hill Road intersection, cars have to move into the intersection to see oncoming traffic due to overgrown trees on the Coyle property. Mr. Philips said since Valley Hill Road is a PennDOT road, they can be contacted to remove branches since this is a safety issue.
Mr. (Jim) Thompson said he’s received two prices for line striping on Union Hill Road, and Guidemark’s is $3,000 higher but is for epoxy paint which lasts three times longer. He said he spoke to representatives at Glasgow Inc. who said striping must be done immediately as there is a higher risk of an accident without center lines. Mr. Philips moved to approve the Guidemark quote for $6,050.00 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn said the Board received a letter from Richard Hevner resigning as elected tax collector. He consulted Mr. Thompson on the procedure to appoint a replacement, and Mr. Thompson said an appointment must be made within 30 days or a vacancy board must convene to do so.
Mr. Philips moved to accept Mr. Hevner’s resignation as Tax Collector effective today, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Kuhn has a possible candidate he will speak with about the appointment.
Mr. Philips moved to adjourn and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig adjourned the meeting at 9:45 p.m. The next business meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 3, 2011, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.