The first business meeting for April was held on April 4, 2016 at the Great Valley Middle School in Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.
|Supervisors:||Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Charles A. Philips, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Michael J. Rodgers, and Hugh D. Willig.|
|Consultants:||Mark P. Thompson, Esq., Daniel T. Wright, P.E., and Thomas J. Comitta.|
|Staff:||Linda Csete, Manager, Jim Thompson, Public Works, Tim Hubbard, Property & Safety Coordinator, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary.|
|Public:||See attached sign-in sheet|
Mr. Philips announced that a potential Eagle Scout project regarding historical research for the veterans, at the site of the former Valley Forge General Hospital, is pending approval from the scout’s troop leader. The scout will be working with Mrs. Philips. Any sign costs will be covered by the Township.
Mrs. Csete announced that the Supervisors held an Executive Session following the March 7th meeting to discuss legal matters.
She also announced that Charlestown’s Earth Day event is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th with a rain date of April 23rd.
Mrs. Csete told those in attendance that there were many flyers available for community and recycling events. One event on May 7th for paper shredding, which is in need of volunteers from 8 a.m. to noon.
Mr. Hitesh Patel, of the Spring Oak Development, requested more information about supposed changes to what was approved on the Final Plan for his development. He had heard there were changes regarding the types of homes being offered on his street, plus driveway and alley changes, causing questions to arise about street widths, garage accessibility, etc.
Mr. Philips briefly described the vision of the TND’s, the Township design process, the DRC, and the standard operating procedure that would take place in such a circumstance (beginning with the development’s HOA). He invited Mr. Patel to a Planning Commission meeting, and told him that his HOA had an obligation to inform the members of his community of any changes. Mr. Dugan of JP Orleans said the HOA is currently being handled by Associa, an outside company.
However, the Board told Mr. Patel that Spring Oak’s Approved Final Plan was not something that was being deviated from, and the changes he had heard about were not actually planned or approved.
An audience member asked the Board if the hiking trails facing north in the development were accessible for motorized dirt bikes. Someone is bringing them on a trailer and destroying the vegetation along these once green trails.
Mr. Hubbard said the HOA for that community is working with him along with East Whiteland Township to stop this, and soon a barrier will be installed. There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the trails except emergency vehicles.
Mrs. DeWilde announced a Bluegrass and BBQ party at the Wisner-Rapp House, on Saturday June 4th. She distributed flyers and asked the Supervisors to reserve the date. They are renting tents, and are opening the home to visitors. The Supervisors gave their approval to her request for certain parking accommodations (parallel to Yellow Springs Road and also near the gardens at Brightside Farm).
Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes for the March 7, 2016 Business Meeting and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the March 2016 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the General Fund Accounts Payable Report for April 4, 2016 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report for April 4, 2016 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the March 2016 reports #1-13 as submitted and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Robert Dettore gave an update on the improvements at Charlestown Park.
Mr. Willig reminded Supervisors that any changes to the Regional Plan have to be unanimous. This prevents other townships from imposing their requirements on neighboring townships. It also will not limit Charlestown Township’s ability to change or expand focus.
Mr. Comitta distributed the Future Land Use Map from 2001 and the 2008 Future Land Use Map from the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan. He explained benefits of updating.
However, stemming from items #1 and #2, is the need for Charlestown and East Whiteland Township to reestablish cooperative and collaborative ties. Mr. Comitta is setting up a Meet and Greet so that can be achieved.
Mr. Philips moved to adopt the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Gene Grimaldi of Omnia Group Architects, and Mr. Larry Dugan and Mr. Roy Myers of JP Orleans, were present to discuss Ordinance #194-2015 adopted October 5, 2015. This Ordinance changed the requirements for garages and the units above them. Mr. Dugan told Supervisors that the Ordinance did not say they were not allowed to have 3 car garages attached (but underneath), and 3 car detached garages. They did not find the Ordinance prohibitive in its wording. They distributed two maps with possible 3 car detached and 3 car underneath garages marked.
Supervisors were unsure why the representatives were asking them to reconsider the change to the Design Manual, after spending years planning the development. Mr. Dugan replied, “To meet market demand”.
JP Orleans’ points for discussion:
Supervisors and representatives from the Planning Commission responded:
Mr. Comitta explained that since JP Orleans was not the original developer, but took over the project, they had come into this not knowing the background and expectations. He suggested JP Orleans stay true to the precision laid out in the Design Manual. In the past, changes have been minor, but this request is quite large in scale and proportion. This request is not true to the scale of Charlestown Township’s vision.
Lastly, the buyer for Lot 55 wants to put plumbing in the bonus room. This also was met with a denial, with the Design Manual being the final legal backing for the Township to control this type of activity. Mr. Philips said he would not entertain any compromise or creative discussion regarding 3 car garages. Mr. Kuhn complimented their project and what they have built so far. Finally, the developers said they could live with the Plan, they just want to make it better.
After attending construction review meetings at Spring Oak, Mr. Detorre has been asked to enhance and supplement the current efforts of the Charlestown Township Planning Commission team in an advisory and overseeing service manner. This team is currently charged to monitor the ongoing efforts of JP Orleans consistent with the approved TND Design Manual. Mr. Detorre is drafting a scope of proposal.
Mr. Detorre first steps will be to gain a thorough understanding of the history of the development, plus phases of completed or nearly completed work. He plans to focus on a more linear quality control process to remove the need for Township policing of JP Orleans. Mr. Kuhn added that the services being provided by Anthony Merklinger of Advanced GeoServices have been excellent.
Mr. Dettore submitted a proposal dated March 18, 2016 to secure compliance with TND approved documentation, proposing an hourly rate of $125.00 not to exceed $6,000.
Mr. Philips moved to accept Mr. Dettore’s proposal dated March 18, 2016 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to appoint Laura Assayag to the Parks and Recreation Board to fill the remainder of a five year term ending 12/31/17 and Mr. Rodger seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. The Supervisors thanked Mrs. Assayag for volunteering to help Charlestown Township.
Mr. Wright distributed two different sketches for a gravel parking lot being planned for the cemetery off of Charlestown Road. There may also need to be a fence or boulders along the road edge. Supervisors were unhappy with the inability to see the lot from the road, but a parking area for events is needed. The goal is to stop people from parking on one side and then walking across busy Charlestown Road. A cost estimate will be circulated via email.
Mr. Wright believes that by working with the Chester County Conservation District, they have found a creative way to avoid the expensive stormwater management hurdle for the trail. The next step is obtaining PennDOT approval for the parking lot. Mr. Kuhn told Mr. Wright he would like the bid to go out in spring for work to be completed this summer.
Mrs. Csete explained that FEMA has now approved funding for the January 22nd snow storm; Chester County Emergency Services asked all municipalities interested in applying for funding to complete certain forms to be eligible. One form is a resolution designating an agent to apply for the funds.
Mr. Philips moved to designate Mrs. Csete as their agent authorized to execute all required forms and documents to obtain financial assistance for the snow event of January 22-24 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Wright distributed the cost estimate for the 2016 road project previously outlined at the March 7th meeting. He will use SharePoint for receiving bids, since this produces competitive local bids. Like last year, the Township will purchase the material through CoStars. Although Mr. Wright was hoping to get approval tonight, the Supervisors wanted to add a second section of Bodine Road since material prices are at a low.
Mr. Rodgers asked Mr. Thompson to speak with PSATS council regarding bidding the paving by road (since each road was under $100,000), instead of bidding as one paving project. He expressed his concern that the work be done as economically as possible since taxpayer money is being used. Although Mr. Thompson had responded in the past that a single job cannot be broken up, Mr. Rodgers said PSATS representatives said it could be done. Mr. Thompson will confirm. There was also a suggestion to add the South Parking Lot of Charlestown Park to the paving project bid request, but it was determined that the timing did not suit.
Mr. Philips moved to authorize Mr. Wright to post the bid documents on SharePoint and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Wright reviewed his recommendation to award the Labor and Equipment Rental contract to Melchiorre Construction Company, which listed the same prices as those for the previous year.
Mr. Philips moved to award the 2016-2017 Road Labor and Equipment Rental Contract to Melchiorre Construction Company and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Wright gave his recommendation for approval of the Pickering Crossing escrow release.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve Escrow Release #26, in the amount of $76,625.00 for Pickering Crossing and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete gave an overview of the three proposals received for ordinance codification services and after comparing costs and obtaining references, recommended that General Code’s proposal be accepted. Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the General Code proposal dated March 1, 2016 and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete said the subcommittee consisting of herself, Mr. Piliero, Mr. Philips and Mr. Westhafer met on March 21st to revise her first draft attempt of a five year plan for non-recurring major projects. The subcommittee requests that the other Board Members review the plan and provide comments and suggestions before the committee’s next meeting in June.
Mr. Thompson advised Supervisors that Charlestown Township needs alternate counsel for the lawsuit filed by Tredyffrin against the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer System users and recommended they use the Valley Forge Sewer Authority’s attorney for representation. Mr. Philips moved to authorize the VFSA to represent Charlestown Township (in docket No 2016-01966) in the lawsuit filed by Tredyffrin Township at Chester County Court of Common Pleas. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there was none. All were in favor.
Mr. Thompson asked Supervisors to entertain a motion to appeal the decision handed down by the court during a 60 day response window, in a land use case filed by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Marshall. Mr. Thompson suggested Supervisors appeal to the Commonwealth Court in Reconsideration. Motion would read: Motion to approve the filing of an appeal to the Commonwealth Court and reconsideration to the Court of Common Pleas of the April 1, 2016 Order of the Court of Common Pleas, in the case of Marshall vs. Charlestown Township. No# 2015-03045. Mr. Kuhn moved to appeal the decision, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there was none. All were in favor.
Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 2, 2016, 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA 19355.