The first business meeting for October was held on October 7, 2019, at the Great Valley Middle School Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.
The Planning Commission will meet in the library tomorrow night instead of the choral room.
Ms. Donna Kimmel discussed with Supervisors what exactly they needed from her at the next meeting. She is considering the Swiss Pines property for a healing center, and they suggested bringing a plot plan and conceptual intentions to them before she goes forward with engineering.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes for the September 3, 2019, Business 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 September 2019 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Piliero moved to approve the Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report for October 7, 2019, and Ms. Bednar seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Capital Fund - General Projects Payable Report for October 7, 2019, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the September 2019 reports #1-14 as submitted and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Consultant Mr. Ed Theurkauf was present to discuss a revised concept plan and estimates for meadow maintenance and improvements at the Devault basins along Route 29 at the Turnpike abutments. He distributed 2 photos, one of the current conditions, and one with flowering annuals and perennials. The Supervisor also wanted to include woody vegetation. Mr. Theurkauf will discuss a watering schedule with Mr. Nichols of GreenWeaver Landscapes Inc. The watering is vital due to the soil and sun conditions at the location. The estimate for just flowers as an upgrade was $3500, but with the addition of woody plants for a year-round appeal, the estimate increases by about another $5300.
Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the cost estimate of $8,500-9,000 as submitted, to include the woody plants, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. John Martin, President of the Charlestown Historical Society, was present to discuss a proposal to dissolve the Society and transfer its historical archives, real estate, and financial assets to the Historical Commission. There are restrictive uses for the financial assets (Wisner-Rapp house is the headquarters), and legal issues to be discussed. It was suggested that a subcommittee be formed that would include a member from the Park & Recreation Board and someone from the Charlestown Historical Commission.
The assets should be distributed to the Township, then to another 501C3, and this qualifies the Friends of Charlestown or the Historical Commission. Mr. Thompson said the state Attorney General will need to approve of the dissolution, but it is not an arduous process.
Mr. Findlay warned the Supervisors that the lack of volunteerism in the Township will impact budgets, as demographics change in the Township. Mr. Martin will be contacted once the sub-committee is organized.
Mr. Paul Matsiras and Mr. Edward J. Thrasher, Esq. of McCausland Keen & Buckman were present for a review of Mr. Matsiras’s Zoning Hearing Board Application. They are seeking a variance to allow a single-family home to be constructed on combined parcels #35-3-85 & 86 that will fall under the minimum lot size and required 50-foot side yard. In addition, since some acreage will be removed from these two lots to add to the PA Turnpike’s lot 35-3-87, that lot will also require a variance for expansion of a non-conforming lot and from the 50-foot side yard requirement. The original application did not include these latter two variances, so a revised application was submitted and circulated on 9/26/19. There is currently a bill of sale pending between the two parties.
Mr. Thrasher stated they will comply with the consultant’s review letters. However, in #3 of Advanced GeoServices letter dated September 23, 2019, Mr. Philips wanted the restriction clause about residential development in writing from the Turnpike Commission and Mr. Thrasher said he did not feel as though he would be able to obtain that document. Mr. Philips was concerned that the Turnpike Commission would not honor a promise to not improve unless it was added as a clause. The possibility of a driveway and truck traffic on that newly acquired land was something Mr. Philips did not support. But Mr. Kuhn did not feel a document would hinder the Turnpike’s intentions.
Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Willing agreed with Mr. Thrasher and did not feel a document would be obtainable; it would be a hardship for the applicant to obtain. Mr. Philips wanted this in place of zoning relief.
Mr. Piliero moved to allow the application to proceed to the Zoning Hearing Board with a neutral position from the Board. Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Michael Gill, Esq. and Mr. Neal Camens were present for a review of ABC Supply Co.’s Zoning Hearing Board Application seeking a variance to allow an expanded storage area for the existing warehouse and wholesale facility at 25 Spring Mill Drive. It will further expand the existing non-conformance concerning maximum permitted impervious coverage by 10%. He said there is no potential for neighbors being adversely impacted.
Mr. Gill stated that the Applicant has not submitted the Zoning Permit Application, erosion, and Sedimentation Control & Grading Permit Application, and has not designed stormwater management plans and calculations referenced Mr. Wright’s review letter dated September 24, 2019.
Mr. Willig moved to allow the application to proceed to the Zoning Hearing Board with a neutral position from the Board. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Paul Grafinger and Mr. Christopher Daly. of D.L. Howell & Associates were present to seek approval for a Minor Subdivision Plan (last revised August 15, 2019) for a lot combination of parcels #35-4-12.1 & 35-4-12 on Hollow Road. Mr. Grafinger proposes the consolidation of the two lots to form a single conforming lot.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Grafinger Minor Subdivision Plan consolidation, last revised August 15, 2019, subject to Mr. Wright’s August 27, 2019 review letter. Ms. Bednar seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Thompson announced the official decision of the Board regarding the Conditional Use for a sketch plan submitted by Mr. Richter. It showed a one-story floor plan for a proposed guest quarters at his property at 141 Ravenhill Road (35-01D-0001.000). There is no plan for subdivision and it will remain a single property.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Conditional Use for a guest quarters and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, call for a vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Barry DeSantis said Spring Oak residents have requested approval for a stop sign at Quigley and Spring Oak Drives. There are two playgrounds and a future basketball court nearby, and this will help slow traffic in the development. 81% of surveyed residents were in favor of this improvement. Mr. Thompson said both roads are to be dedicated to the Township and the Board can have the developer add this signage if they wish. Mr. Wright will notify the developer.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the addition of a 4-way stop sign to the intersection of Spring Oak and Quigley Drives and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.
Ms. Lorraine Fillippo, a Devault Lane resident, complained tonight about noise from Devault Foods and the problem of trucks missing the entrance to the plant and instead of driving up Devault Lane, causing both noise and damage to yards and roadsides. This happens mostly in the evening.
The trucks are not turning at the correct spot because there is no visible plant entrance sign and the plant cannot be seen from the road. Trucks must back up or turnaround creating dangerous conditions. Mrs. Fillippo also said that the employees and trucks also ignore the 4 way stop sign.
Mr. Thompson suggested the Township use a “vacate ordinance” and/or change the configuration of Devault Lane. Mr. Philips suggested to close the road; the few residents could use the post office lot to access their homes.
Mr. David McNitt, Esquire suggested restricting the weight and size of trucks on Devault Lane and was curious about the expanded operations vs. noise and nuisance issues.
Mrs. Csete said the County had visited the site, and named the access road that runs past the Post Office/Township Office building as Fillippo Way, and giving the address for Devault Foods as 1 Fillippo Way, but she suspects that the plant has not embraced the new address and uses the bill of ladings, etc., that don’t reference the change.
Several meetings have taken place over the years to address these issues, and Mr. Wright said there have been improvements. But very often there is no follow-through and then things slip backward.
The Board asked Mr. Wright to sketch two lighted standard PennDOT size signs to be posted at the plant’s entrance, and sketching a bollard and its placement to prevent trucks from being able to turn onto Devault Lane. Emergency vehicle access will need to be considered. But, if this doesn’t help, then Mr. Kuhn suggested using the Township’s traffic consultant.
A resident told the Board that when he purchased his Spring Oak home over a year ago, he was told the plant was moving. Back then, the odor of meat was one out of four days, now it is 4 days a week. The smell and the noise are worse, where it used to be a white noise at night, it is now so loud that he cannot open his windows. He believes, as does Ms. Fillippo that the capacity has increased, or that manufacturing has changed.
There is also an obnoxious sound when the plant is filling the nitrogen tanks. In addition, the smell of sewage is often present on the nearby trail, and Mr. Wright said this complaint was new to him. Mrs. Fillippo and another Spring Oak resident said they had both smelled gas and called the gas company, but there was nothing the company could do as it wasn’t a gas problem. Mr. McNitt said that when a company changes the manufacturing from meats to a vegetable matter it produces a bad odor, including the process of disposing of any waste bi-product.
Mr. Wright said he will look into it and contact the state and the DEP if necessary. Mr. Thompson will look into the noise ordinance and research how it applies to manufacturing operations. He said he needs to see how nuisance ordinances handle smells.
As far as the nitrogen filling, Mr. Wright said there was a procedure in place that prevented the filling after 10 p.m. but as with the noise, this also has slid backward and is beginning to be an issue again. He has talked with Mr. Fillippo Sr. but at their next meeting he will initiate not only a response but an action plan and time line. Mr. Wright will send a letter to Mr. Fillippo and if they do not comply, the company will be cited.
Ms. Carol Quigley presented plans outlining proposed repairs to the walls at the Charlestown Cemetery. Having sent a very detailed packet to the Board for review earlier, she said the packet was ready to go out to bid. The north, west, and most of the east wall were collapsed, so the walls will be rebuilt on cement foundations. The stone that is least likely to match will be used on the least visible side of the wall. Access to the cemetery will be established from the northeast corner of the property.
Ms. Quigley suggested an October 15 Pre-Bid non-mandatory meeting, a November 4th deadline for receiving the bids, and the award of bids at the December Board Meeting.
Mr. Philips moved to accept the proposed bid documents and to set a date for bid opening at the December Board Meeting. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Lawrence distributed a modified version for review. The document mentions the renegotiation of the agreement if the turf field ever comes to fruition. The Board asked Mr. Lawrence to wordsmith the document and submit a clean version for Mrs. Csete to execute since Mr. Thompson has already reviewed it.
Mr. Piliero moved to authorize the Manager to execute the 7-year Franchise Agreements with the Phoenixville Area Soccer Club and Phoenixville Area Youth Clubs and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Piliero said the new lease is proposed to begin Nov. 1st for a 3-year period at a rent of $1,300.00 per month and includes a list of improvements to be made to the office. Mr. Piliero doesn’t have the lease yet but will forward it to Mr. Thompson when he does. It has an option to renew, and clause #14 regarding sale of the property was removed. It will be authorized at the next meeting.
Mr. Thompson provided some background on the amendments. Mr. Comitta has two more Uses to be finalized but that will occur after the current amendment is adopted.
Mr. Philips moved to authorize advertising a hearing on the Conditional Use Zoning Ordinance Amendments for November 4, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School Room 154 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete asked the Board to schedule the Budget Work Session for review of the draft 2020 Budget. The Budget Meeting was scheduled for October 21 at the Township Office at 6 p.m. The public is welcome.
Mrs. Csete said she had circulated an updated long-term plan to the Board last week for them to provide input this evening on recommended projects. The following are listed on the plan:
Mr. Wright said everything was for this release. Mr. Piliero moved to approve Escrow Release #12 for Cedar Run for $8,618.46 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The Board discussed the possible ownership of the Wisner-Rapp house and the storage of archives. They wondered if it was a suitable storage location for something other than archives.
Mr. Kuhn said the Kimberton Fire Company requested reasonable amounts again this year from the Township. $70,000 for the Annual Fund and $100,000 to go toward the purchase of two new engines.
Mr. Wright recapped for the Board the ongoing issues with Devault Foods over the years. He said that Mr. Tom Fillippo has more duties there than before. They do establish positive changes but there is no follow-through. But, now is the time for a serious response. This is due to the increase in non-meat manufacturing with no adjustments. He will obtain a clear plan that is monitorable and sustainable. The sewage is a new issue that he will also address.
Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m. The next Board of Supervisors Meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 4, 2019, 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room #154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.