Board of Supervisors
Business Meeting
December 16, 1996

The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their second regular monthly meeting on Monday, December 16, 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 8:05 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


There were no announcements.

Accounts Payable Report:

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Accounts Payable for December 16, 1996. Mrs. Ewald moved to table two checks, numbers #8747 & 8750 to Rittenbaugh Excavating Company until the Roadmaster has an opportunity to review them. Mrs. Ewald pointed out questions she had on the invoices, including a listing on the November 5, 1996 invoice which indicates 4 workman at 7 hours for tarring Union Hill Road. She states that this 1.1 mile road should be a 1-2 hour job for 2 persons. She also questions whether the proper equipment was used.

After some discussion, Mrs. Ewald revised her motion to move that these two checks be approved and signed, but be held until after the Roadmaster reviews them and resolves any questions. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Citizen’s Forum:

There were no comments.

Ordnance Amending Names Assigned to Private Driveways and Private Roads:

Mr. Sauser read proposed the proposed Ordinance to change names assigned to private driveways and roads and moved to approve it as Ordinance #75-96. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Resolution: Sexual and Other Harassment Policies and Guidelines:

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Resolution #518-96 adopting policies and guidelines on sexual and other harassment. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald stated that she would like to supply an outline including a broader scope of employee policies which is long overdue at the Township. Mr. Kohn agreed that an employee manual is needed.

State Parks & Recreation Grant Application:

Mr. Sauser tabled this item until the January 6, 1997 meeting.

Great Valley Materials Request:

Michael Furey, Esq. Was present on behalf of Great Valley Materials to request as outlined in his letter of December 2, 1996 to the Board that the deadline for relocating the non-conforming walls at the GVM site be extended to match the deadline for plantings, which is May 15, 1997. He explained that the frequent rains this fall delayed the work and his client would now like to coordinate this work with the planting work this spring. He stated that GVM still plans to post escrow moneys and record their land development plan by March 31, 1997 as previously agreed upon with the Board.

Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Furey if he also represented Devault Crushed Stone and he answered affirmatively. She said that the Township office as well as herself still receive a great many complaints about the quarry blasting. Some residents report that objects in their homes fall off shelves when the blasting occurs. She requests a review of the blasting patterns and an investigation into how they could be altered to diminish the percussion effects of the blasting. She acknowledged that seismographic reports are in the normal range, but clearly the effects are stronger than expected. Mr. Furey agreed to coordinate with Mr. Kohli on the matter and to report back to the Board by January 15, 1997.

Mr. Kohn moved to approve the extension for relocating the non-conforming walls at the Great Valley Materials site to May 15, 1997. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Commons at Great Valley - Discussion:

Tim Townes was present to discuss his letter of December 2, 1996 to the Board concerning his request that the requirement of office space percentage for a building in the NC District be reduced to accommodate a potential buyer who would like to construct a multi-tenant flex building on a Commons at Great Valley lot that is located next to the quarry. Mr. Townes indicated that Mr. Kohli stated this is not permitted under NC zoning, which requires that the principal use of the building have more than 50% of the floor space. Mrs. Ewald asked if this is permitted in the LI-2 district, and Mr. Kohli responded that it is.

Mr. Townes suggested that he supply ordinance copies from other municipalities for the Board’s consideration. Mrs. Ewald suggested that Mr. Townes send a letter to the Planning Commission with his request. The matter was tentatively scheduled for the January 14, 1997 Planning Commission meeting.

Garofalo - Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan:

Dr. Garofalo and Andrew Eberwein of E.B. Walsh & Associates were present to seek approval for a 2 lot subdivision off Howell Road. Mr. Kohli referred to his review letter dated December 16, 1996, item #1, which indicated that two notes on the plan conflicts over who maintains the shared driveway. It was determined that note 16-A will be eliminated, and note 24 will remain indicating that the owner of Lot 2 will be responsible for maintaining the driveway.

There was some discussion on tree replacement following clearing to place a new house and how to determine whether it would be necessary considering the wooded nature of the lot. Mrs. Ewald suggested changing note #20 on the plan from “The Township Supervisors may require the land owner/developer to plant replacement trees” to the “Township Supervisors shall require” She continued her suggestion that the applicant request a waiver at the time of the building permit application submission if they feel that tree replacement is unnecessary. Mr. Eberwein agreed.

Dr. Garofalo indicated he would prefer not to deed restrict the properties as he feels the natural constraints preclude further subdivision.

Mr. Kohn moved to approve the Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan for John A. Garofalo subject to the elimination of note 16-A, the change in note 20 to reflect the understanding on tree replacement, and subject to Mr. Kohli’s review of the re-submitted plan. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Charlestown Oaks - Revised Final Plan:

Mr. Kohli stated that the applicant didn’t submit the revised plans in time for his review. Mrs. Ewald moved to table this item until the January 6, 1997 meeting. Mr. Kohn seconded. Mr. Sauser tabled the item.

Little People Day Care:

Mr. Sauser asked Mr. Kohli if he was satisfied with the Land Development Plan for Little People Day Care. Mr. Kohli indicated in item #1 of his December 16, 1996 review letter that the zoning information table needs to be revised to reflect the correct proposed lot areas. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Land Development Plan for Little People Day Care subject to the satisfaction of the items on Mr. Kohli’s letter of December 16, 1996. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Spring Meadow Farms Conditional Use Hearing:

Michael Main, Thomas Main, James DelBello, Esq. And Dave Fiorello, P.E. were present for the Spring Meadow Farms Conditional Use Hearing. Prior to convening the hearing, the Board allowed Mr. Main to provide some background on the plan. Mr. Oeste commented that this plan, which includes the further subdivision of Lot 11 of the Whitehorse Meadows Plan, can’t be recorded until the Whitehorse Meadows Plan is recorded. Mrs. Ewald asked about equestrian trails, and Mr. Main outlined his intentions as stated in the homeowners documents to provide bridle path trails.

The hearing was convened and the proceedings were recorded by a court reporter.

Spring Meadow Farms Preliminary/Final Plan:

Mr. Sauser stated that action cannot be taken until a decision on the Conditional Use application is rendered. Mr. Main provided a letter granting the Board an extension on taking action on the plan until February 18, 1996. He also agreed to provide the Homeowners Documents to the Board for the Solicitor’s review.

Stephen Winckelman, a resident on Howell Road, asked for information on the existing pipe running under the road from the MCF tract, which this plan proposes to connect to and run under one of the Spring Meadow Farms lots to a pond. Mr. Fiorello responded that the existing pipe is 18” in diameter and the proposed pipe would be the same. Mr. Winckelman asked who will be responsible for maintaining the piping and Mr. Kohli responded that the Homeowner’s Association will be responsible.

Mr. Sauser asked for the relationship of the surrounding homes to this project. Mr. Main indicated the approximate placement of homes in the Charlestown Brae subdivision, still under construction, as well as the location of other nearby lots and houses.

Mr. Sauser informed the applicant that under the Township Ordinance on private driveways, the shared driveways in this plan will need to be named.

Mrs. Ewald commended Mr. Main on the sensitivity and creativity of his subdivision plan.

Spring Meadow Farms Sewage Facilities Planning Module:

Mr. Sauser moved to pass Resolution #519-96 adopting the Sewage Facilities Plan for Spring Meadow Farms. A discussion on historic resources on the site, which were determined to be insignificant, was held. Mrs. Ewald seconded the motion, and all were in favor.

Somerset Preliminary Plan:

John Panizza and George Asimos, Esq. Of Saul, Ewing, Remick & Saul were present to discuss the Planning Commission’s action on December 10, 1996 on the Somerset Preliminary/Final Plan, which they recommended the Board of Supervisors deny.

Mr. Panizza provided his observations on the Planning Commission meeting held December 10th. He requested the assistance of the Board of Supervisors in two areas. First, he requested that they authorize a letter to PennDOT requesting a review of the plan as it pertains to the state road, Hollow Road. Second, he requested that they schedule the conditional use hearing for Somerset. The conditional use request is for construction of a road in a high ground water area.

Mr. Panizza referred to Mr. Kohli’s review letter of December 9, 1996, which he states contains only minor technical items in addition to those items referring to PennDOT or the conditional use application. He stated that he will comply with Mr. Kohli’s recommendations on these other items.

Mr. Panizza referred to a poll taken of the Planning Commission members at the December 10th meeting, in which each indicated their opinion of the density of the site, a 12 lot subdivision on 31 acres. He stated that at a previous meeting, two members indicated that the density was acceptable. At the December 10th meeting, one member indicated that it was acceptable. The others indicated that it should be reduced. He believes the Planning Commission’s vote to recommend denial of the plan was based on non-ordinance issues, namely, the density issue. He stated his intention to revise the plan so that no waivers would be required, making the plan fully compliant with the ordinance.

Mr. Panizza then discussed the review deadline, which he questioned. He then agreed that the deadline is January 22, 1997 and stated that he would like the opportunity to submit a revised plan.

Mrs. Ewald asked if a neighbor to the site, Mr. Hughes, had contacted Mr. Panizza about acquiring some land as a buffer. Mr. Panizza responded that he has corresponded with Mr. Hughes regarding his interest.

Mr. Oeste asked Mr. Kohli if the Conditional Use application is now complete. Mr. Kohli responded that some supporting documentation is still missing. Mr. Panizza responded that it will be provided at the hearing. Mr. Oeste stated that if it was not provided prior to the hearing for the engineer’s and Board’s review, the hearing record would have to remain open until a review could take place and the hearing would have to be continued as a result. Mr. Asimos agreed that this was appropriate.

Mr. Sauser stated that he would like the applicant to work out all issues with the consultants and Planning Commission before coming to the Board. He wants the Planning Commissions recommendation on both the Conditional Use application and the Subdivision Plan. He urged the applicant to cooperate with the Planning Commission.

At 10:50 P.M., a recess was called in order to allow the Board to meet with counsel. The meeting was reconvened at 11:03 P.M.

With regard to the request that a letter be sent to PennDOT by the Board requesting a review, Mr. Kohn indicated that this can’t be done without the Planning Commission’s recommendation and a determination of how many lots will be proposed. Mr. Asimos responded that the applicant would like to submit the plan to PennDOT with the 12 lots now shown, stating that the question of the road width can’t be answered without PennDOT’s input. Mr. Kohli stated that PennDOT’s input is generally based on an acceptable Preliminary Plan. Mr. Asimos discussed the points of Mr. Kohli’s review letter and stated that the plan complies with township ordinances. Mrs. Ewald stated that compliance to the ordinance has yet to be determined. She urged the applicant to take another look at his plan and consider reworking it with some creativity in planning. Mr. Asimos commented that concepts such as lot averaging, clustering, and transference of development rights is not in the Township ordinance. Mrs. Ewald responded that while not in the ordinance by right, negotiation is possible.

Mr. Oeste referred to the design shown by the Brandywine Conservancy in the EIA report submitted with the plan, which shows a cluster design. Some discussion was held on alternative design concepts.

Mr. Panizza stated that he is making arrangements with two members of the Planning Commission to discuss how to make the plan more suitable. Mr. Panizza again requested that the hearing date be set and stated that he will produce all supporting documents prior to the hearing for the township’s review.

A hearing date was scheduled for February 3, 1997. Mr. Panizza produced a letter granting an extension to the township for action on the plan until February 18, 1997. Mr. Sauser stated that the Board will wait for the Planning Commission’s comments before supplying the plan to PennDOT for its review.

Charlestown Brae Escrow Release #4:

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Charlestown Brae escrow release #4 in the amount of $50,052.00. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Mrs. Ewald briefly discussed landscape review comments received from Tom Comitta received at the township office via fax this afternoon.

PennDOT - Revised Snow & Ice Agreement:

Mr. Sauser tabled this item until the January 6, 1997 meeting.

Whiteland Ridge - Intergovernmental Agreement with West Whiteland Township:

Mrs. Ewald moved to pass Ordinance #76-96 accepting a maintenance agreement between West Whiteland and Charlestown Townships for Grandview Road in the Whiteland Ridge development. The agreement states that West Whiteland Township will be responsible for the maintenance of Grandview Road. Mr. Kohn seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Addressing on Buckwalter Road:

Mrs. Ewald referred to a letter received from Louise Wennberg at the County Emergency Services department regarding the fact that Buckwalter Road has been numbered odd on both sides. Mr. Sauser stated that he will look into the matter and advise the Board.


Mrs. Ewald moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:05 A.M. Mr. Kohn seconded and all were in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary