The first business meeting for November was held on November 2, 2020, via remote dial-in/log-in via Webex due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
Ms. Cathy DiFilippo sought help or advice from the Board of Supervisors tonight from an issue at her home in the Charlestown Hunt community. Her home’s steps began to separate from her porch due to ground settling. The Zoning Officer came to her home twice. She was told to get an engineer and the engineer told her to move a downspout. Eventually, her sidewalk light fixtures began to sink, her stair rails came off, and the estimate she received to fix it was $5,000.
Then an unannounced contractor removed $1000’s worth of flowers and plants (and trees she had just sprayed for lanternfly infestation-$200). She also lost a fence and is left with high weeds, pavers, and dirt. The state police arrived and questioned those removing the landscaping. By the time the Zoning Officer showed up they were finished. She was sued for $10,000 in a Phoenixville court and now she is headed to the County court.
She is in an end unit with a 200’ nearby drop. Now her marble bathroom has a crack due to sloping from settlement. Mr. Wright stated the removal of her landscaping was by the HOA and a new 30’ retaining wall was constructed. Although Mr. Wright has visited a few times, this time he has offered to meet with Ms. DiFilippo’s lawyer and the other lawyer and the HOA.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve:
Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the October 2020 reports #1-17 as submitted and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Wright gave an update on Devault Foods, especially the suggestions made by the acoustical engineer.
Following a previous discussion on generator requirements at the October 5th meeting, the Board proposed adopting a stand-alone ordinance to be drafted by Mr. Thompson. It will be codified to the current operating requirements for a generator permit applicable to both standby units and portable units with transfer switches. The below current requirements would be retained:
An additional requirement would be added stating that stand-alone generators and transfer switches may be installed for only single-family homes, due to noise concerns. Mr. Kuhn would like to replace the word “emergency” with “standby” and strike the word “permanent” and have it read “for all electrical connections”. This would not regulate portable generators. If the resident wishes to pursue a waiver further, they would need to talk to the Zoning Board (independent from the Board of Supervisors).
Mr. Namit Jain has a corner lot in a cul de sac. He was declined a generator permit however since he has less than 21 feet of property before the HOA open space is reached even though he has 40-50’ between his and the neighbor’s house. After the adoption of this stand-alone ordinance, he can reapply for the permit and likely be approved.
Mr. James said that the modification to the ordinance doesn’t help everyone (Spring Oak) and asked Supervisors to help the residents living closer together. But this amendment is worded to consider the noise tolerance levels of the residents. Therefore, the Township is looking to the HOA to grant exceptions or communicate to the Township the level of community tolerance. The Township is aware that some homes have only 16 feet between them, and if the neighbors have an understanding, it becomes a problem if one neighbor moves. This should be handled by the HOA before it comes to the Board.
A hearing to consider this ordinance was scheduled for December 7, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.
After a brief history of this property in foreclosure by Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust, Mr. Thompson stated that the bank and the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust have come to an agreement. After settlement for this property, it will be reused as the Trust’s offices but tonight’s formality is the next step in this lengthy legal maneuver.
Mr. Kuhn moved to ratify the Settlement Agreement with the Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust for the acquisition of the Great Valley Nature Center, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Vastardis and Mr. Meyer were present to seek Preliminary/Final Approval for his five-lot subdivision at the corner of Bodine and Foster Roads. He has obtained NPDES, PennDOT approvals (HOP), septic, and planning module approvals. Mr. Wright stated all engineering issues are resolved and the waivers approved.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Meyer Preliminary/Final Subdivision application last revised 10/25/19, subject to:
Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The following representatives were present to discuss their Land Development Plan for a new maintenance facility along the eastbound lane of Route 76 near the intersection at Valley Hill Road:
The site is located between Valley Hill Road and Yellow Springs Road near the Aqua water tank to the west. It is roughly ¾ of a mile from the current facility but on the other side of the highway. There is already an access drive nearby and parcels consolidated by the Turnpike. The proposed site is accessible by the east and westbound lanes and is midway between the Plymouth Meeting and Bowmansville Maintenance facilities.
Mr. Gill stated they will seek Final Land Development Approval in December.
Mrs. Csete asked who would like to register for the County convention on November 12th, which is being held virtually this year from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m. No one requested to be registered.
Mrs. Csete noted the current 3-year contract is in place until February 1st of next year, but a 60-day notice is required to either terminate the agreement at that time or extend it for an additional year. The current rate of $65.00 per hour would likely be increased to $70.00 per hour if the contract was extended. She said Mr. Thompson related to her that he’s been satisfied with their performance over the past several years.
Mr. Kuhn moved to extend the current contract with Armour & Sons Electric Inc., for an additional year to February 1, 2022, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mrs. Csete presented the proposed agreement with Mr. Allen Underkofler, who requested a small increase in his hourly rate in the new contract.
Mr. Philips moved to approve the Website Design and Maintenance Agreement with Allen P. Underkofler for the period of 11/1/2020 to 10/31/2021 with the proposed rate increase, and Ms. Bednar seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Hubbard stated he had reviewed the existing Plan and determined that the Plan remains current and needs no amendments.
Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #972-2020, re-adopting the Emergency Operations Plan of Charlestown Township and Mr. Bednar seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to authorize the Township Manager to advertise the proposed 2021 Budget for consideration of adoption at the December 7, 2020 Board of Supervisors Meeting, 7:00 P.M., via Webex, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to authorize the Township Manager to advertise the Board’s intention to appoint a certified public accountant at the Reorganization Meeting, to conduct the 2020 audit. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips adjourned the meeting at 8:53 p.m. The next Board of Supervisors Meeting is scheduled for December 7, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. via Webex.