The first business meeting for May was held May 7, 2018 at the Great Valley Middle School in Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.
Mrs. Csete announced that the Supervisors held an executive session following the April 2nd meeting to discuss legal matters.
Mr. Joseph Rabino, of the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association, thanked the Board Members for the financial support that has helped decrease their debt from 4 million dollars to $1,370,000 while also obtaining a new ambulance and ordering two new tanker trucks.
Lisa Tull asked how to move forward the proposed resolution to go to 100% clean energy by 2030. The Board expressed concerns over the increase in electricity cost and binding future boards’ actions. They asked if the interest group could simplify the language in the resolution template and return for further discussion.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes for the April 2, 2018 Business Meeting and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes for the May 3, 2018 Special Meeting and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the April 2018 Treasurer’s Report 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 General Fund Accounts Payable Report for May 7, 2018 and Mr. Kuhn 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 May 7, 2018 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to accept the April 2018 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. Philips mentioned the list of violations at Spring Oak to Mr. Wright. Mr. Wright will be reviewing the findings. He will be contacting the Supervisors and prepare a report for the next Board Meeting.
Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Hubbard about the fire in the Borough of Phoenixville. Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Sheridan explained that the fire went to 4 alarms quickly due to weather conditions, a broken water main, and the fire stops not yet installed. The wind helped the fire jump to an adjacent structure.
Mr. Philips asked Mr. Hubbard to arrange for weed removal in the rocks at the Mill.
Mr. Philips said there is a public input meeting May 16th for the Phoenixville Regional Multimodal Transportation Plan.
Mr. Willig stated there will be a meeting May 30th for the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee.
Tomorrow Mr. Dettore will meet with the University to review boundaries and the upgrades made to the Park. He will wait to hear further instructions from the Board, regarding a new Township Building.
Resident Laurie Ann Lee, and a representative from Ted’s Pools, were present to provide an overview of a Zoning Hearing Board Application. They sought support of their application from the Board, to allow construction of a swimming pool in very steep slopes at 5 Whisper Lane. This property has a conservation easement since Horseshoe Trail borders the back. The pool would encroach upon a neighbor if moved off the very steep slope. There is also a proposed deck in the side setback.
Mr. Philips stated he would recommend to oppose, due to the very steep slope. Cut and fill methods that the installer planned to use, disturb too much ground.
Mr. Kuhn stated he would recommend the same or neutral due to the very steep slope.
Mr. Wright stated that the hardship had not been proven, and in addition the impervious data was nearing unfavorable.
Mr. Thompson said the pool would be permitted by Conditional Use if it was in steep slope (but not very steep slope).
Mr. Wright and Members said if the applicant reconfigures the pool away from the very steep slope, and move the deck out of the 20 foot setback, they do not need to go to the Zoning Hearing Board (even though the very steep slope was made by a builder and not naturally occurring). The applicant would need to apply for Conditional Use for construction of an accessory use in steep slopes.
Mrs. Csete suggested they could withdraw this application and refile for a Conditional Use, which needs to go to the Planning Commission. The Board said Ms. Lee could apply the fees collected by the Township for the present application toward the Conditional Use Hearing. The applicant will also need to provide a letter to withdraw the Zoning Hearing Board Application then begin with the Planning Commission Conditional Use instead.
The applicant made the choice to try and move the pool out of the very steep slope, and the deck from the setback, and not go to the Zoning Hearing Board with an opposing recommendation from the Supervisors.
Mr. Thompson opened the hearing and the proceeds were taken by court reporter Ms. Nancy Sage Sciarretta. Mr. Thompson entered the following exhibits into the record:
|T-1||Conditional Use Application to the Township|
|T-3||Proof of Publication for April 16 and April 23, 2018|
|T-4||Advanced GeoServices review letter dated April 6, 2018|
|T-5||Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. review letter dated March 27, 2018|
|A-1||Drawing of the proposed changes to the property|
Following testimony by Eric Davison, Mr. Thompson closed the hearing.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Conditional Use subject to the review letters of Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. and Advanced GeoServices. Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the waiver request to allow the building to be placed in the side yard abutting a street, due to it being a pre-existing, non-conforming property (see Zoning Ordinance 27-1608.1.C2). Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Allan Zimmerman of Commonwealth Engineering, and Mr. Daryl Luginbuhl from the Apostolic Christian Church stated they had clean review letters and were seeking approval for the Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for the church addition and parking lot upgrade. All items being addressed, he also recommended approval of two waiver requests. One waiver is for the requirement to show all existing manmade structures within 500 feet (SLDO) and the other to allow the project to occur without a letter of adequacy from the Conservation District (SMO).
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Preliminary/Final Plan of the Apostolic Christian Church last revised 3/20/18, subject to Mr. Wright’s review letter dated 4/5/18 and Mr. Comitta’s letter dated 3/30/18, and to grant the two waivers requested. Mr. Kuhn seconded, Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn explained the financial background for funding and granting money to conservation organizations within the Township, which is permitted by the Open Lands Act.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the grant agreement with the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust to provide funding of $300,000 for open space projects within Charlestown Township, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Thompson provided the financial background for the loan. Negotiations between the Township and Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust are proceeding for the purchase of the loan on the Great Valley Nature Center, parcel #35-4-16E. This was in response to the receipt of a letter of intent from the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust. This letter agrees to enter into a long-term lease of the property from the Township following the Township’s purchase of the property from them in the amount of $400,000 less the cost of the loan. The Trust agrees to use the sale proceeds for a tenant fit-out of the barn at the former Nature Center.
Although the amount will be confirmed with an appraisal report and additional agreements are forth coming, this action is required for the bank to proceed to the next step
Mr. Piliero moved to approve Resolution #914-2018 to acquire the loan from the Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust in the amount of $145,000.00, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn stated that the Township is working with the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust to renovate the existing barn at the Nature Center for use as offices by the Trust, providing the Township can come to terms on purchasing the property from the Nature Center’s creditor and other negotiations falling into place.
Planning Commissioner and Architect Bill Westhafer generously offered his services as a partner of NORR to provide a limited field survey, preparation of base drawings, and preparation of a preliminary floor plan pro-bono, seeking compensation only for staff time and materials. The Members suggested the funding be provided from the funds the Trust holds from the Estate of Harry Burhans rather than from the Township directly.
Township Engineer Mr. Wright updated the Board on the MS-4 Program (Municipal Separate Storm Systems) and the new requirements the Township will have to provide for in 2019. Mr. Wright said the Township’s NPDES Permit is up for renewal in November, and at that time, a pollution removal plan for the Valley Creek Watershed will be required. He distributed a summary of anticipated activities and frequencies for the Township regarding the operation and maintenance necessary. One method is to employ regular street cleaning, as often as every two weeks, where the sediment is removed and weighed. If the weight is under what is expected, other methods of removal may be required.
He explained that only a small portion of the Township is in the Valley Creek Watershed, which is designated as an exceptional value creek. The Township Roads involved include:
Mr. Wright said the pollution removal plan is a five-year plan that provides a method to remove suspended solids from the Township Roads in the watershed. Therefore, the 2019 Budget should include additional funding for this new requirement of the MS-4 program.
The majority of the Township is in the Pickering Creek watershed, and at this time, no additional requirements must be met, although this may change in the future.
Mrs. Csete provided details on the spreadsheet she prepared dated 4/25/18, proposing amendments to the 2018 Budget. Adjustments were made to the carryover figures for the General Fund and Open Space Fund to reflect the actual year-end balances from 2017.
The carryover to 2019 for the general fund was increased by $70,529 after all adjustments were made, primarily due to a large commercial real estate transfer received last month.
The carryover to 2019 for the open space fund decreased $2.385 million, primarily due to the Board’s decision to pay off the 2010 bond issue in its entirety last fall that resulted in a lower beginning balance.
Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #915-18 amending the 2018 Budget as proposed, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #916-18 authorizing the disposition records as listed, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn stated he will be meeting with a Tinker Hill property owner regarding a possible conservation easement.
Mr. Thompson stated there will be an executive session after tonight’s meeting.
Due to Mr. Rodgers’ recent passing, the Board is required to fill his position within 30 days. A letter was sent to all residents inviting interested candidates to come forward to fill the position until 12/31/19. The next election cycle for the position of Supervisor takes place in 2019 for terms beginning 1/1/2020. In this case, the term would be for four years, to complete the remainder of Mr. Rodgers’ six year term.
Mr. Willig moved to appoint Susan Bednar to the vacant position on the Board of Supervisors until 12/31/2019, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Ms. Bednar was congratulated and took her Oath of Office, being duly sworn in by Mrs. Csete, a notary public.
Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 4, 2018, 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, in Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA 19355.