MAY 22, 1995 MINUTES

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors met on Monday, May 22, 1995 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John C. Martin, Jr., Chairman, John B. Sauser, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary and those on the attached attendee list.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M.

Mr. Martin moved to approve the Subdivision and Land Development Agreement between the Township and Devault Foods Inc. Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor. Mr. Martin commended Devault Foods Inc. as good corporate citizens and acknowledged with thanks their $10,000.00 contribution to the Phoenixville Pike Improvement Fund received earlier today.

Mr. Martin referred to Carole Rubley’s recent letter requesting comments on House Bill 1128 for a Uniform Construction Code, which would set a maximum building code standard for all Pennsylvania municipalities. He cited a number of organizations, including the Chester County Association of Township Officials, which oppose the bill, and stated that he is likewise opposed. Mrs. Ewald agreed, stating that she supports the freedom of municipalities to develop their own codes to suit their individual situations. Mrs. Ewald moved to strongly recommend rejection of the bill , and Mr. Martin seconded. All were in favor. Mr. Martin will communicate this action to Carole Rubley.

Mr. Martin moved to approve Resolution #496-95 for Plan Revision for New Land Development for J.D. Souder Builders, Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor. Mr. Martin stated that Greg Souder has met with Mr. and Mrs. Weit, abutting landowners, and has reached an agreement with them on the question of buffering with 15 spruce trees to be supplied by Mr. Souder and to be planted by the Weits.

Before the Altemose Curative Amendment Decision was announced, Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Oeste to explain the curative amendment procedure to the audience, who described it as a procedure created by the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code to allow a landowner to challenge the ordinance as unconstitutional for some specified reason. The Altemose application proposed to amend the zoning ordinance to permit multi-family dwelling apartments at a density of 15 units per acre in the FR District.

Mr. Martin announced that the Laurabrooke Partnership curative amendment appeal to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been discontinued due to the applicant’s failure to file a brief.

Therefore the decision of the Court of Common Pleas, which upheld the township’s decision, stands.

Mr. Martin then read the Conclusions of Law and Order for the Altemose Curative Amendment request. The order dated May 22, 1995 denies the request for Curative Amendment and states that the Board declines to enact and adopt the Curative Amendment Ordinance and the plan attached to the request. A discussion of the application followed, in which Mr. Martin stated that he expects the applicant to appeal the decision, and commented on the substantial costs incurred by the township thus far. While the township has no power to order the payment of legal fees and costs at this time, they can be pursued at the Common Pleas level. Mrs. Ewald supported Mr. Martin’s comments and cautioned the applicant to think very carefully as to whether they want to continue with an appeal. Mr. Martin moved to adopt the decision of the Board and Order of 12 pages including the findings of fact, conclusions of law and discussion . Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor.

Mr. Martin announced the retirement of Township Secretary Ruth Buckwalter after six years of service as well as many years of service in this position at an earlier time during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Mrs. Ewald commended Mrs. Buckwalter for doing a phenonmenal job with grace and dignity under pressure and as a gracious spokesperson for the Township.

Mr. Martin proposed the appointment of Linda Csete, currently the Treasurer and Planning Commission Secretary, to the position at a salary equal to the combined salaries of her current salary plus the Secretary’s salary and including the $1,000.00 allotted for benefits. Mr. Martin announced that in addition to Mondays and Wednesdays, the office would now be open on Fridays, between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. He then asked the Secretary to keep track of her hours for several months in order to get a better idea of the time required for the job. Mrs. Ewald noted the high level of responsibility and skills required in this position, and that in adjoining townships the salary for the position is considerably higher. She suggested a review of the position at budget time or possibly sooner. Mr. Martin moved to appoint Linda Csete as Secretary with the combined compensation of Secretary, Treasurer and Planning Commission Secretary, Mrs. Ewald seconded, and all were in favor.

Mr. Martin asked for the status of the PA Historical and Museum Commission Grant. Mr. Sauser said that when he followed up, they acknowledged receiving the grant application and were working on it. Mr. Martin will contact Mrs. Rubley, who had promised to check into it on the township’s behalf.

In other business, Mr. Martin moved that Mr. Jones be authorized to perform weed whacking and poison ivy control at the Revolutionary War Cemetery in time for Memorial Day Weekend. Mr. Sauser seconded, and all were in favor. Mrs. Ewald will notify him to proceed.

Mrs. Ewald introduced Chris Benzing of Boy Scout Troop 67 of Charlestown who was attending the meeting in order to fulfill some of the requirements in earning his Merit Badge in Communications.

At this time, the meeting was turned over to Mr. Oeste, who conducted the Conditional Use Hearing for Comcast/Metrophone, seeking conditional use approval for the construction of a 130 foot high cellular telephone communications tower off Warner Lane. A transcript was taken by a court reporter.

Because the notification of landowners was not accomplished by the applicant, the hearing did not proceed and will be continued until June 15, 1995 at 7:30 P.M. This will also give the applicant the opportunity to appear first before the Planning Commission on June 13, 1995 as they were unable to attend on earlier dates.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary