FEBRUARY 26, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held a third monthly meeting on Monday, February 26, 1996 at the Charlestown Elementary School, Charlestown Road, Devault, Pa.


John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robin J. Kohn, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, Member, Thomas F. Oeste, Esq., William Wilson of the HARB Board, Rosemary Philips and Janet Baldwin of the Historical Commission, Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:04 P.M.


Mr. Sauser announced that the Board of Supervisors held an executive session on Thursday, February 22, 1996 at the solicitorís office to discuss legal matters.

Minutes of January 15, 1996

Mr. Sauser distributed a revised draft of the minutes of January 15, 1996 and moved to approve them. Mr. Kohn seconded and the motion passed.

Accounts Payable

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report of February 26, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Presentation - Good Samaritan Awards

Mr. Sauser described the rescue actions undertaken by three township residents and Great Valley High School students, Mark DíAmbrosio, James Fox and John Ohler, to come to the aid of longtime resident Harry Nyce, who suffered a heart attack last month while outside working on his car. Through their teamwork efforts, which included performing CPR, they succeeded in sustaining his life until the ambulance arrived. Unfortunately, Mr. Nyce died later at the hospital.

Mr. Sauser read the Good Samaritan Award aloud, which commended each of the three for his valiant efforts and concern for his fellow citizens. The Board then presented each of them with his award certificate.

Citizenís Forum

No issues were brought forward at this time.

Discussion: Possible Combination of the Historical Commission and Historical and Architectural Review Board

Janet Baldwin submitted to the Board a written recommendation prepared and approved by both the Historical Commission and the Historical and Architectural Review Board to amend the Historical Ordinance and Section VII-H, the Historic (Charlestown Village) District for the purpose of combining the separately established Historical Commission (CHC) and Historical and Architectural Review Board (HARB) into a seven member board. The purpose described in the proposal to merge the two groups was to provide a comprehensive framework for the preservation of historic sites, buildings, structures and districts in Charlestown Township. Mrs. Baldwin went on to describe other items included in the submission, including their wish to have all vacancies filled on the two existing boards, and, in order to set the recommendations for a combined Board in motion, the creation of an ad-hoc committee composed of one member each of the Board of Supervisors, HARB, and CHC to draft the proposed ordinance.

The Supervisors all stated their willingness to consider combining the two boards. Mrs. Ewald stated her opinion that the proper functioning of the Boards, whether separate or combined, is her primary concern.

Mr. Sauser stated his concern with obtaining the proper mix of individuals, which varies for the two boards. Certain actions of the proposed combined board, such as recommendations for a plan submitted for Historical and Architectural Review, would require a quorum of three out of five particular individuals including the code enforcement officer, an architect, a realtor, a planning commissioner, and one other individual with general historical preservation interest, which would describe all Board members.

Mr. Oeste stated that meetings for the purpose of historical and architectural review must follow the guidelines of the Sunshine Act by meeting at least once a year, advertising 24 hours in advance of a special meeting, and three days in advance of a regular meeting, and that language on advertising should be included in the proposed ordinance. Mrs. Ewald said that a review under HARB should follow a similar pattern to Planning Commission reviews, with requirements for advertising, plan submission, notification of abutting landowners and a fixed review period followed by a recommendation to the Supervisors.

Mrs. Philips stated that the Historical Commission has been drafting a Historic Preservation Ordinance which would enable the Township to help preserve historic structures not in the present Historic District, although not under as strict guidelines. Mrs. Baldwin said that the Historical Commission is in the process of completing its files on the structures to be included under this draft ordinance and had planned to present the draft when all research is completed. Mrs. Ewald stated that she would like to review the most recent draft, which Tom Comitta has on file. The Secretary was directed to distribute copies to the Supervisors.

Mr. Sauser stated that the Board of Supervisors wished to clarify two recent HARB reviews, one for the Garvin property and one for the General Store. Mrs. Ewald stated that no plans for the Garvin property was submitted to the township office, and Mr. Sauser stated that he was concerned over the size of the additions being proposed for it. Kevin Kuhn asked whether plans requiring HARB review, such as Garvinís, should go through the Planning Commission, and Mr. Sauser agreed that they should do so and that the HARB would review the plan first and make their recommendation to the Planning Commission. Further, Mr. Sauser stated that a building permit application should accompany the submission to the Planning Commission. After being presented to the Planning Commission, they would make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. He pointed out that if done in this manner, the HARB review period of 45 days would be insufficient and must be re-examined along with the general submission requirements.

Mr. Sauser stated that the owners of the General Store are under a Cease and Desist Order preventing them from working on the site until they receive Board approval. He wishes to communicate to the applicant that the question of whether the Bed and Breakfast they plan is a permitted use has yet to be determined. Issues such as parking, approved septic system, highway occupancy permits, and number of guest rooms have yet to be addressed.

Mrs. Baldwin stated that the CHC and HARB will schedule a meeting with Tom Comitta to work on the draft ordinance combining the boards and will notify the Supervisors through the township office so they may attend.

Mr. Sauser moved to re-appoint Rosemary Philips to the Historical Commission for a 4 year term beginning January 1, 1995. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Mr. Sauser moved to re-appoint Grace Mohler to the Historical and Architectural Review Board for a 4 year term beginning January 1, 1996. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to appoint Kevin Kuhn to the HARB Board. There was no second.

Mr. Sauser moved to appoint Dale Frens, Historic Architect to the Historical and Architectural Review Board for a 4 year term beginning February 26, 1996. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to appoint Surender S. Kohli, Code Enforcement Officer, to the Historical and Architectural Review Board for a 4 year term beginning February 26, 1996. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald thanked the members of the HARB and CHC and voiced her appreciation for their many efforts.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary