Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of November 7, 2011

The first business meeting for November was held November 7, 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, P.E., Dan Wright, P.E., Tom Comitta, Mark P. Thompson, Esq.
Staff: Linda Csete, Manager, Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, Tim Hubbard, Fire Marshal
Public: See attached list

Call to Order:

7:31 p.m.


Mr. Philips reminded everyone of the Great Valley Nature Center Auction Party on Saturday, December 3rd and encouraged them to attend this fun event.

Mrs. Csete announced that PennDOT will be paving Phoenixville Pike at night from Tuesday, November 8th through Thursday, November 10th. She also announced that the Township Office will be closed this Friday, November 11th for Veterans Day.

Citizens’ Forum

Pickering Road

Pickering Road resident Tina Daly voiced her concerns over the dirt and hydroseeding materials being installed along the edges of the newly paved road. She said the road is very narrow and drops off sharply in many areas, and the dirt and seed is being added as a remedy. She had questions on the seeding process and the origin of the dirt to confirm it’s clean fill. She said she was told the hydroseed is an annual rye grass mixed with newsprint, which contains inks. Her organic, biodynamic farm is under easement and they had to agree not to add contaminants to it as part of the easement agreement. She said she hasn’t seen specs or MSDS sheets on these materials, adding that the road is next to a floodplain. She asked who reviews where the newsprint, dirt and seeds come from.

Mr. Willig asked project manager Dan Wright, P.E. for a response. Mr. Wright said after speaking with Mrs. Daly on Nov. 4th, he obtained information from the contractor, including specifications on the seed, which is a 50/50 mix of annual and perennial rye that germinates quickly. He said hydroseeding is a standard procedure acceptable to both the County Conservation District and the DEP. He obtained specs on the wood fibers (paper mulch). 30% of this material is added to the hydroseed to hold moisture and keep the seeds in place. Mrs. Daly asked where the water comes from. Mr. Wright said he didn’t look this up but will find out. Mrs. Daly asked if it will have dye in it, saying she doesn’t want to see aqua blue ground for the next 3 years. Mr. Wright said it does have color added so the workers know where it’s been applied.

Mrs. Daly said hydroseeding is typically done along big highways. Mr. Wright said it works well along steep slopes on the sides of roads and is used throughout residential neighborhoods.

Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Wright to confirm that all work being done along Pickering Road is in compliance with PennDOT and DEP standards, and Mr. Wright confirmed. Mr. Kuhn said in this case he’s not inclined to change the procedure at this point. Mr. Philips agreed, saying the Township is going by the rules and following DEP standards. He suggested that if Mrs. Daly doesn’t want this material applied along her property she can opt to arrange for an alternative and cover the costs herself.

Mr. Willig said the questions give him pause since the property is all under easement, precluding the use of pesticides and herbicides, although he said he hadn’t confirmed this is in the easement document. He said straw mulch may have been better here and they should be aware of this for future work. Mr. Kuhn asked if this is more costly. Mr. Wright said that turns a one step process into a three step process. Mr. Rodgers said the Board is obligated to respond to Mrs. Daly’s concerns.

Mr. Wright gave Mrs. Daly the MSDS sheets for the Green Grow Hydroseed process and for the tackifier that holds the seed in place. After some discussion, the Board opted to continue plans to apply the hydroseed.


Minutes of October 3, 2011 Business Meeting

Mr. Piliero moved to approve the minutes of the October 3, 2011 business meeting, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Minutes of November 1, 2011 Budget Work Session

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the Nov. 1, 2011 budget work session, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report October 1 - 31, 2011

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the October 2011 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report November 7, 2011 Operating Fund

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the November 7, 2011 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion. Mr. Philips proposed that the board members stop getting reimbursed for their internet service, to which the others agreed. Mr. Willig called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Open Space Fund November 7, 2011

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the November 7, 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. Philips moved to accept the October reports as submitted, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion.

Mr. Philips said following the November 1st budget meeting, he and Mr. Jones visited Brightside Farm to inspect the stockpiled equipment that included over 25 items, giving the area a junkyard look. He said since this is public property, it should be more presentable.

Mr. Jones said farm manager Alix Coleman called him and said she would see that this equipment is moved. Mr. Kuhn said he’d like to see a list compiled of what the tenant farmer actually requires for his haying operation, and Mr. Jones said he’ll request this via email.

Mr. Philips said the equipment should be removed by the end of the year. Mr. Kuhn said much of what is stored inside can be removed, providing room for the equipment now stored outside. Mr. Jones asked if any of the equipment was from the Pyles, and the board members responded no.

Mr. Willig called the vote on accepting the reports, and all were in favor.


Ordinance to Provide Exemptions from the Uniform Construction Code

The proceedings were taken by Bill Handy, Court Reporter. Mr. Thompson explained that the ordinance was written to provide exemptions from the Uniform Construction Code for certain residential projects. He entered the following into the record:

T-1 Letter dated 8/4/11 from M. Thompson, Esq. to Kim D. Peck, Assistant Director UCC Administrator responding to her 7/7/11 letter requiring revisions to the draft ordinance;
T-2 Letter dated 8/26/11 from Kim D. Peck with Labor & Industry’s response;
T-3 Letter dated 9/21/11 from M. Thompson, Esq. to Joseph Marchioni, notifying Labor & Industry of the Nov. 7th hearing date;
T-4 Proof of Publication
T-5 Draft Ordinance

Mr. Thompson asked if there were any questions from those present. No one came forward, so he closed the hearing.

Mr. Philips moved to adopt Ordinance #175-2011 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance: Stream Valley Restrictions

The proceedings were taken by Bill Handy, Court Reporter. Mr. Thompson entered the following into the record:

T-1 Letter dated 10/7/11 to the Chester County Planning Commission requesting a review of the proposed ordinance;
T-2 Letter dated 10/21/11 from M. Thompson, Esq. to the Daily Local News requesting publication of the public notice;
T-3 Proof of Publication
T-4 Proposed Ordinance

Mr. Thompson asked if there were any questions from those present. Robert Jones came forward.

Following the hearing, the record was closed. Mr. Philips moved to adopt Ordinance #176-2011 amending Section 27-1612 and 27-1618 of the Zoning Ordinance and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Appoint Tax Collector

Mr. Kuhn said he spoke to one candidate, who declined the appointment. Mr. Kuhn said it’s difficult to explain the need for the position when there are no duties associated with it since the Township contracts with a tax collection firm. The second class township code requires a person in this position nonetheless.

Mr. Kuhn asked if there’s any risk in just leaving the position open. Mr. Thompson said a resident could petition the court so they would be appointed, but if the salary is set at $0.00 at reorganization, this would have no effect on the Township.

Resolution to Execute PennDOT Sidewalk Maintenance Agreement

Mrs. Csete referred to the draft resolution she circulated to the Board, Mr. Kohli and Mr. Thompson that the Board resolves to execute the Sidewalk Maintenance Agreement for State Road 29 Section AL2. She indicated that the insurance agent Ken Moyer, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Kohli have reviewed the agreement and found it acceptable.

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #758-2011 authorizing the Chairman to execute the Sidewalk Maintenance Agreement for Route 29 with PennDOT, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

New Business

BDB Properties LLC – Proposal for Sports Center at Phoenixville Pike and Yellow Springs Road

Barry Buckley Sr., Barry Buckley Jr., Allen Mummert, Mummert Construction, Larry Knopf of Mortgage Network Inc., Chuck Dobson, P.E., and Kristin Camp, Esq. were present to discuss BDB Properties’ sketch plan proposing land development for this 53 acre property now under agreement of sale with Genterra Inc.

Ms. Camp said they propose to build an indoor sports center on this site, although it’s not currently zoned for this use. The first sketch plan they submitted also included a 60-room hotel and a bank pad site. They would look into an adaptive re-use for the Class I historic resource on the site, the Supplee house.

Ms. Camp said they heard positive comments from the Planning Commission at their October 11th meeting. She noted the zoning ordinance provides a definition of recreational use, which in-line hockey and skating fall under, and is the driving use for the site. She said the sketch plan was revised after hearing from the Planning Commission, including the addition of a restaurant, which would accommodate users of the facility as well as neighbors.

Ms. Camp said they understand the approval process would be lengthy, with a zoning change to be made and various conditional use approvals sought, mostly for disturbance of steep slopes.

Chuck Dobson, P.E. of InLand Design said the discussion before the Planning Commission was productive. He circulated the revised plan to the supervisors and pointed out the proposed sports facility at the southeastern corner of the site, which would have a 103,000 sq. ft. footprint and include a 120,000 sq. ft. mezzanine. No architectural plans are available yet. The building would be situated to work with the topography. The plan also shows a bank pad, a 3 story, 92 room hotel and a restaurant adjacent to it. The revised sketch relocated the main entrance from Phoenixville Pike to the east after discussions with the Planning Commission. The sports facility and parking layout didn’t change, and the bank pad is similar. 51 parking spaces would be held in reserve, and an emergency access is shown to Yellow Springs Road. The restaurant would create minimal steep slope disturbance. The revision also adds a small parking area for the Supplee house. He said they may need latitude on an adaptive re-use. The proposed uses are proportional to the lot size, and the group is here this evening requesting feedback.

Ms. Camp introduced Allen Mummert and Larry Knopf, who have been involved with in-line hockey for some time and have travelled the country studying similar facilities to get an idea of facility requirements. She said there are currently no local facilities of this type, the closest being in Oaks, PA.

Mr. Philips said TND Area 4 is zoned for hotels, and asked why the Board should consider one at this site. Ms. Camp said the economic reality of the indoor facility is that other uses are needed to support it. Also, people coming for weekend tournaments will be looking for a place to stay. Mr. Philips disagreed with the need for a hotel with so many others close by. He indicated he’s not necessarily in favor of rezoning to allow the proposal. Mr. Dobson said a hotel was just one idea for a credit tenant, and they can re-visit other potential ancillary uses.

Mr. Kuhn asked if the facility would be similar to the one in Thorndale. Ms. Camp said they have indoor soccer at that location but outdoor fields as well.

Mr. Philips asked for the hours of operation. Ms. Camp said the sports facility would open early in the morning and remain open into the evening. There would be high use all day on the weekends. She noted security would be needed during the peak time.

Mr. Philips was concerned with loitering and its effects on the neighbors. He said there are better places for this use. Mr. Piliero asked if the facility could be membership driven so others can’t use it as a hang out, but Mr. Dobson said no. Ms. Camp said while there are leagues there would also be open time.

Mr. Kuhn said a hotel will generate a lot of traffic. Mr. Dobson said this isn’t so large a hotel; it’s not on the scale with others in the area, yet its location on Phoenixville Pike gives it better access to Routes 401, 202 and the future slip ramp. Having travelled for league play with a family member, he said he knows how convenient an adjacent hotel would be.

Mr. Knopf said local teams, sports groups, clubs and private schools all want indoor facilities, and college and high schools are generally interested as well. He said hours of 6 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. would be possible, and daycare could be provided. Mr. Philips said college students will mean beer on the site, although Mr. Mummert said this hasn’t been his experience. Mr. Philips said he’s in favor of athletics but not in favor of a zoning change to accommodate that use here. Ms. Camp said the use isn’t provided for elsewhere in the Township. Mr. Philips said the tract is zoned for an office park, which is a more controlled environment.

Mr. Kuhn asked Parks & Recreation Board Chairman Bob Jones for comments. Mr. Jones said he needs more familiarity with the use, although in general it’s good to have activities to involve kids. He was concerned with controlling access and providing security.

Ms. Camp said Planning Commission Chairman Wendy Leland said she was energized by the proposal, and the Planning Commission wants to encourage this use. Mr. Philips said he’s in favor of recreation programs, but there’s the Great Valley Middle School and High School very nearby. While young children can be monitored, others can be a problem. He asked if they plan to obtain a liquor license for the site. Mr. Dobson responded they haven’t thought that far ahead.

Mr. Willig asked how they decide what sports to allow inside and whether they do surveys to determine the uses. Mr. Mummert said fifteen years ago in Lancaster, he started an in-line park for adults that evolved to include youth, and soon there was a waiting list. They started an indoor youth hockey league that included college students, adults and children. Most colleges have at least one in-line club. He said basketball is another use, and they would be glad to present more at a later date.

Mr. Willig asked if they’ve considered a 200 meter banked indoor track. Mr. Knopf said they hadn’t considered a banked track, but had thought of a track on the mezzanine that would accommodate walkers.

Mr. Jones suggested that to allay Mr. Philips’ concerns they check numerous places operating in the area to see if they have the problems he mentioned.

Mr. Comitta said he missed the October Planning Commission meeting, but notes they need a different circulation pattern for an effective drop-off. He’s also aware that at Ice Line in West Goshen, the hours expanded to 5 a.m. to midnight due to demand. That would be a good operation to contact for information.

Mr. Comitta said he knows the Planning Commission has been frustrated in years past by proposals for this property, and thinks they may have been overly enthused about this plan.

Mr. Willig said the Board needs more information, including the experience of others. There are questions on the viability of an additional hotel in this area, and demand for the bank use would need to be demonstrated.

Mr. Buckley Jr. said they wanted to include examples of a few credit tenants on the sketch. The parcel is extremely challenging and costly to develop. They’re looking for a way to spread the risk. He said some proposed uses may not be a fit, but at this time they’re just floating ideas since credit tenants are necessary to balance the project.

Mr. Willig asked if there are options, such as partnering with colleges and private schools to get some financial security. He asked if any have been approached. Mr. Dobson said this causes a chicken and egg dilemma.

Mr. Willig asked if any of the sports they’re considering are cyclical in nature. Another problem could occur if interest in a sport declines. Mr. Dobson said the interior can be altered for a new use.

A resident of Aston Woods said she has concerns about traffic, since even now it’s hardly possible to turn left onto Phoenixville Pike from her neighborhood in the morning. She said she’s aware of early morning training, and asked how much more traffic there would be on the weekends. She said she likes the proposed use but is concerned about the location. She added that she wouldn’t want to see a fast food restaurant on the site.

Mr. Kuhn said he can’t see the benefit for the Township community, saying there are lots of hotels elsewhere, and traffic will be a disaster.

Ms. Camp thanked the Board for their time.

TCA Proposal to Update Parks & Recreation Plan

Tom Comitta and Parks & Rec Chairman Bob Jones were present to discuss Mr. Comitta’s proposal to update the Parks & Recreation Plan. Mr. Jones said he met with Mr. Philips and Mr. Willig to discuss how to proceed, and then met with Mr. Comitta to request the proposal to update the 1993 Recreation Plan.

Mr. Comitta said the 1993 Recreation Plan allowed for the later adoption of a Fee-in-lieu Ordinance. At the October 20th Parks & Rec Meeting, the Board talked about creating a concept plan for each park and discussed Sue Staas’ draft of a township-wide questionnaire that was based on the 1993 version.

Mr. Comitta said his firm is also working on Recreation Plans for Cranberry Township and Edgemont Township, and Charlestown would see some savings as a result. He said his proposal will be a not-to-exceed price. He said they need to do an overview of the Township, build justification for the fee-in-lieu ordinance and increase it. He spoke to the County about grant funding, and it appears that the first funding would be available in Fall 2012 or early 2013. He asked the Board if they want to wait six months to try for grant funding or move ahead now.

Mr. Philips said the cost has already been provided for in the 2012 budget and he thinks they should proceed now. Mr. Willig agreed. Mr. Comitta said he may need work sessions with the Supervisors in addition to visioning sessions. Mr. Jones said he’d like to see the Supervisors involved with the County as well. Mr. Comitta said it would be advisable to have a PennDOT representative participating in the process since the plan may involve crossings on state roads.

The Board did not vote but indicated the proposal was acceptable at a maximum cost of $24,600 and should proceed.

French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust Agreement for the Gill Property

This matter was removed from the agenda as there was no need to address it at this time.

Open Space Easement Acquisition under the Open Space Lands Act – Gill Property

Mr. Kuhn said the appraisal for an easement on the Gill property was $550,000, which would extinguish all development rights and contain no trail or public access. The Gills would cover all preparation and conservancy costs. Mr. Thompson said a hearing will be required under the Open Lands Act.

Mr. Philips moved to authorize the Township Manager to send a letter to Irvin Gill outlining the offer, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Authorization to Order Appraisal on the Grange Property

Mr. Kuhn said he’s received proposals to appraise the Grange property from Brian O’Donnell, John Davison and Carmody & Associates. Mr. Kuhn confirmed with Mr. Thompson that Martin Carmody would be acceptable as the lowest quote even though he’s not an MAI. Mr. Kuhn moved to authorize the appraisal by Carmody & Associates for $1,500.00, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Exeter 3222 Phoenixville LP Request for Extension

Mrs. Csete said the Board received a letter dated 11/3/11 from Denise Yarnoff, Esq. requesting an extension on the time for the Board to render its decision on the final land development plan for Exeter to December 15, 2011.

Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the request for extension to 12/15/11, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Discuss Whether to Repeal the Per Capita Tax

Mrs. Csete indicated that at the budget work session the Board discussed abolishing the per capita tax. The reason to consider this is that the tax is collected unevenly, with many adults over 18 years old not on the tax rolls. The per capita tax brings in about $15,000 per year, which could be made up by increasing the real estate tax from .75 mils to .78 mils if necessary in the future. Mr. Thompson said the tax can be repealed through an ordinance that only has to be advertised once and can be ready for December 5th.

Mr. Kuhn moved to schedule a hearing for December 5, 2011 to consider an ordinance to repeal the per capita tax, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion. Mr. Philips asked if the tax was already removed from the 2012 draft budget, and Mrs. Csete said yes. Mr. Willig called the vote and all were in favor.

Pickering Preserve – Littering and Parking in the Pickering Dam Road Area

Mrs. Csete related the incident in October with dumping in the area of Pickering Dam Road and Peaks Pike. In addition, there are complaints of general littering along the stream where fishermen gather, and the question was whether providing trash receptacles would improve the situation or invite more dumping.

Mr. Kuhn said adding two trash cans couldn’t hurt as something needs to be done. He suggested asking Mr. Comitta and Mr. Jones to review the area and make recommendations. Mrs. Staas said the Pickering Trail is the most heavily used one in the Township.

Mrs. Staas added that the parking pull off at Pickering Dam Road has deteriorated. Roadmaster Jim Thompson said he contacted PennDOT and they agreed to put stone down in this area.

Mr. Comitta said he’s arranging with Mr. Jones to tour park areas of the Township and this will be included. He added that he has a contact for free trash cans and will contact him on the Township’s behalf.

Award Road Salt Bid

Mrs. Csete referred to the recommendation by Mr. Kohli in his letter dated 10/10/2011 that named Oceanport Industries as the lowest responsible bidder to provide road salt to the Township for the 2011-2012 season. Mr. Philips moved to award the road salt contract to Oceanport Industries and Mr. Rodgers/Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Ratify the Award of the Brightside Septic System Bid

At the October 3rd meeting, the Board voted to authorize the Manager to execute the contract for the Brightside Septic System project with the lowest responsible bidder as recommended by Kohli & Associates, with ratification at the next township meeting. Mr. Philips moved to ratify the award of the Brightside Septic System contract to Aqua Resources, Inc., and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Authorize Traffic Safety Study for Coldstream and Charlestown Roads

In response to a request by resident Thomas Carr, Mr. Philips moved to authorize the Manager to request a traffic safety study to determine if a three-way stop is warranted at the intersection of Charlestown and Coldstream Roads. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Schedule Advertising and Adoption of 2012 Budget (Dec. 5)

Mr. Rodgers moved to authorize the Manager to advertise the proposed 2012 Budget for consideration of adoption at the December 5, 2011 Board of Supervisors meeting, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Authorize Advertisement of Intent to Appoint a CPA to Audit the 2012 Accounts

Mr. Philips moved to authorize the Manager to advertise the Board’s intention to appoint a certified public accountant to conduct the 2011 audit at the Reorganization meeting. Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Willig called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

Mr. Wright said Mrs. Daly passed him a note on the material he gave her earlier this evening, indicating that acrylamide is in the hydroseed’s tackifier material and is considered toxic. Mr. Wright said this material is acceptable to PennDOT, but he can look into whether there is a viable alternative. Her concern over the blue dye is harder to resolve. He asked the Board to address this quickly as seeding needs to take place as soon as possible.

After some discussion, the Board directed Mr. Wright to continue with the hydroseeding as planned.

Roadmaster and Fire Marshal

Mr. Philips complimented both gentlemen, relatively new to their posts, that they’ve been doing a great job and he’s appreciated the prompt follow up on several recent matters.


Mr. Willig announced that an executive session would be held following the meeting to discuss legal matters. He adjourned the meeting at 9:35 p.m. The next business meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 5, 2011, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Manager
sheet, 11/7/2011