Board of Supervisors
Business Meeting
June 3, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 3, 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., 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. Sauser announced that there will be a public meeting of the Joint Board of the Valley Forge Sewer Authority on June 6, 1996 at 7:30 P.M. at the VFSA Administration Building. Topics will include the Regional 537 Plan, Odor Reduction, Operating Fund, and Sale of Capacity.

Mrs. Ewald announced that she attended a West Chester University dinner in honor of James E. McErlane, Esq. where a scholarship was named in his honor to benefit international relations students at WCU, for which nearly $40,000 was raised. Mrs. Ewald noted that Mr. McErlane has been Charlestown’s solicitor for 25 years and recognized his efforts on behalf of the community.

Mrs. Ewald also announced that she attended a Hazardous/Nuclear Waste Disposal session hosted by Tina Daly at the Charlestown Playhouse last month. The session focused on educating the public on the amounts and types of nuclear waste, which include military, medical, and commercial and which pose a serious problem due to their long decomposition time.


Mr. Sauser moved to approve the minutes of May 6, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and two were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of May 20, 1996. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report:

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for May 1 - 31, 1996. Mr. Sauser seconded and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report:

Mrs. Ewald asked what work product has been submitted by Frens & Frens relating to their invoice listed on the June 3, 1996 Accounts Payable Report. Mr. Kohn stated that thus far Dale Frens has issued a directive and a list of questions to the Municipal Office Steering Committee for them to utilize in conducting an internal needs analysis. Mr. Sauser added that Mr. Frens has also visited the site and spoken with Janet Baldwin. Mrs. Ewald expressed an interest in attending future meetings of the Steering Committee.

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report for June 3, 1996 with the exception of Checks #8451, 8452 & 8453. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Accounts Payable for June 3, 1996 as submitted. Mr. Kohn seconded Mr. Sauser’s motion and it carried two to one.

Zoning Officer’s Report:

Mr. Kohli stated that Mr. Matsinger on Charlestown Road has ignored a stop work order issued in February for grading and fill work being performed on his property without an Erosion, Sedimentation and Grading Control plan submission. He stated that he is prepared to file a civil complaint against Mr. Matsinger for which the Court requires a certified letter and check for $51.22 in order for the Township to proceed. Mrs. Ewald moved to amend the June 3, 1996 Accounts Payable Report to add check #8485 made payable to District Court 15-2-01 in the amount of $51.22. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Mr. Sauser referred to the letter sent by Mr. Warner and Mr. Kelly regarding problems with their shared driveway at the base of Lindsay Lane. They asked if the developer and/or the Township would assist in stabilizing the area, which has washed away around and under the driveway and has begun to damage it. Mr. Kohli stated that he has spoken to them, explaining that after the development project has been completed along with providing the required stormwater handling measures, establishing and maintaining the area around the driveway is the homeowners’ responsibility. He provided some suggestions to them for taking care of the problem.

Mr. Sauser asked for clarification on the Zoning Hearing Board application made by Alicia Schultze/F. Jamison on Tinkerhill Road. Mr. Kohli stated that as their plan indicates they will increase the non-conformity of the building by adding to it, a variance must be obtained.

Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Alston if he had any new information on the Fergusson property on Phoenixville Pike where a hazardous materials spill took place in April. Mr. Alston stated that the DEP has sent them a a notice of violation letter and that he has spoken with representatives of the company, who are seeking a remedy to the situation.

Planning Commission Report:

Mr. Phillips reported the Planning Commission’s vote to recommend denial of the conditional use application for W. Kielinski’s stormwater basin constructed in steep slopes. As Mr. Kielinski did not seek approval prior to constructing the basin, Mr. Phillips stated that the reason for the recommendation was based on concern over setting a bad precedent.

Mr. Philips also described the progress being made on the Somerset subdivision plan on Hollow Road, stating that the Planning Commission and several property owners in the vicinity of the proposed plan are working with the developer hoping to improve the plan’s conformity with the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Roadmaster Report:

Mr. Rittenbaugh reported that the during the month of May, the roads have been swept and cleaned. Mowing and trimming should be completed this week, and almost all patching has been completed as well. Mr. Sauser commented that several compliments have been received with regard to the state of the roads in the past few weeks.

Fire Marshal’s Report:

Mr. Alston reported that during the month of May, there was one vehicle fire, one vehicle accident and one ambulance assist. He attended a training course for Hazardous Materials Response: Ammonia at the County Government Services Center and has begun the inspection program for commercial establishments.

Parks & Recreation:

Mr. Connolly reported that the rough grading work is complete at the site of the new intermediate soccer field and that the snack bar has been moved as planned. Top soil and seed work will be taking place shortly, and a grand opening is scheduled for the fall. He stated that prior to final grading, he and Al Derkas will continue to be in contact with the VFCC to determine why the hill is so wet to ensure there is no leak from the college.

Mr. Connolly stated that the Phoenixville Marian Youth Club has made minor repairs to their field and that the bids for a field hockey field to be partially funded by the County’s Round 8 Small Improvement Grant are expected to go out in the fall. Also, the PMYC will sponsor a 3 week field hockey camp this summer as well as a basketball tournament in July.

Mr. Connolly stated that he met with Bob Brocker and Charlie Berger of the YMCA, who are interested in developing a parcel of the Township’s land in Devault near White Horse Road and Route 29 for soccer. They are also interested in pursuing the adjacent parcel on the corner. The YMCA expects to develop a proposal for the Township. Mrs. Ewald suggested the proposal go first to the Planning Commission. She noted that years ago, this site was examined by the Nature Center for possible use and there was some concern over possible wetlands.

In other business, Mr. Connolly stated that he and Michael Allen plan to schedule and attend a site visit at the Ice Dam on Route 29 with PennDOT’s environmental engineer and project manager for the project. He also reported that the Green Valleys Association is nearly finished with the French & Pickering Creek study it has undertaken and will have digital maps of the Township that could be a valuable resource to the Township. Mr. Connolly stated that Green Valleys is hoping for a financial contribution from the Township to assist them in this study.

Mr. Connolly stated that the Parks and Recreation Board is badly in need of members and that Al Derkas has stated an interest in serving. Mr. Sauser suggested that Mr. Derkas send the Board a letter to this effect.

Charlestown Meadows

Mr. Sauser instructed the Secretary to send copies of J. Panizza’s letter regarding VFSA sewage capacity for the Charlestown Meadows tract to Mr. Winckelman and the Planning Commission.

Citizen’s Forum:

Bill Hochwind described the actions taken by him and two adjoining landowners to mitigate the erosion problem on their shared driveway accessing Lindsay Lane.

Steven Schlichter asked if a general notification would be sent to the residents regarding the June 10th town meeting, and Mr. Sauser said a newsletter containing information on the meeting will be sent and that ads appeared in the local papers.

Myrtle Burgess of Valley Hill Road was present to seek an explanation for the reason why an addition she has planned requires a zoning variance since the house was constructed prior to the current zoning and is already in non-conformance. Mr. Kohli explained that he spoke with Mrs. Burgess’ architect and that he has seen a sketch plan indicating that the addition will increase the size of the house by over 50%, which requires a variance according to the ordinance. Mrs. Ewald suggested that the Board meet with Mr. Kohli at the site to review her situation.

911 Re-Numbering Plan

A discussion of the proposed Ordinance drafts for re-numbering in the Township was held. The first ordinance would include the requirement that all affected property owners comply with posting their assigned address within a given time period. The second ordinance would require the naming of private driveways serving more than one property.

Mr. Phillips of the Re-numbering Committee stated that the Committee reviewed the re-numbering ordinance draft and had several suggestions. First, if the number is displayed on a post as opposed to on the house itself, there should be a maximum height for the display of house numbers, perhaps between 2 and 6 feet from road grade. Second, there should be an indication of how far from the road the number can be placed and that it be visible from both directions. Third, the number may be placed on the mailbox if the mailbox is in front of the house, noting that some home owners’ mail boxes are placed in clusters or across the street for the convenience of the post office making them unsuitable for emergency numbering purposes.

Mr. Sauser stated that a printout of all assigned numbers should be attached to the Resolution that accompanies the Ordinances.

Mrs. Ewald asked that Mr. Oeste determine whether it is permissible for the Township to pay for the initial road signs for the private lanes, as she recalls that this was not possible in the past for roads not dedicated to the Township.

Mr. Sauser directed Mr. Oeste to advertise the Ordinances for the first meeting in July.

Insurance Renewals

Mrs. Ewald moved to renew the existing policies as proposed subject to Mr. Oeste’s review for deficiencies therein. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Government Auditing Standards Mrs. Ewald distributed the material from the State Government Auditing Standards publication which she referred to at the May 20, 1996 Board meeting as well as additional material referencing a Supreme Court ruling on the subject of pre-audit and post-audit authority. She requested that the Board review both documents and be prepared to discuss them at the June 17, 1996 meeting.

Kenney - Lot Line Change

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the lot line change per the Kenneys’ plan for Lots 2 & 3 Rolling Meadows. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Resolution #512-96:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve Resolution #512-96 adopting the sewage facilities plan submitted for the Marcozzi property. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Mr. Sauser announced that a town meeting will be held on June 10, 1996 at 8:00 P.M. at the Charlestown Elementary School to present Pennrose Properties’ proposal for apartments on a portion of the Valley Forge Christian College property in Charlestown Township. The next regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors will take place on June 17, 1996 at the same location and time.

Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn, and Mr. Kohn seconded. All were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary