BUSINESS MEETING - July 13, 1998

The first business meeting for July was held July 13, 1998 at the Chester Valley Grange Building on Phoenixville Pike in Charlestown. John B. Sauser, Chairman, Robert C. Wert, Vice Chairman, Irene W. Ewald, James E. McErlane, Esq., Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Linda M. Csete, Secretary, and those on the attached attendee list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:45 P.M. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Mr. Sauser announced that Rep. Carole Rubley will be hosting a town meeting on July 14, 1998 from 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. at the East Pikeland Township Building on North Rapps Dam Road.

Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of June 1, 1998 as submitted. Mr. Wert seconded and all were in favor.

Mr. Sauser stated that two versions of the minutes of June 22, 1998 were prepared for the Board’s review in order to discuss alternatives as to the degree of detail the minutes will provide in the future. Mrs. Ewald moved to approve Version I, which provided a more lengthy accounting of the proceedings. Mr. Wert seconded and discussion followed. Mr. Wert agreed that he liked the more detailed style, but stated his concern that from a legal standpoint, the additional information might be misconstrued or taken out of context and used against the Township. Mr. Sauser said that the more concise version meets all the requirements for minute taking, and called for a vote. Mrs. Ewald was in favor and Mr. Wert and Mr. Sauser were opposed.

Mr. Wert moved to approve Version II of the minutes for June 22, 1998 and Mr. Sauser seconded. Mr. Sauser and Mr. Wert were in favor and Mrs. Ewald was opposed. The motion carried 2-1.

Budget Amendment

Mr. Sauser moved to transfer from the 1998 Proposed Budget $2,925.00 from the Road Maintenance Account #430.20 to the Donations Account #405.50 in order to cover check #1679 to the Sycamore Lane Protective Association. Mr. Wert seconded the motion and discussion followed. Mrs. Ewald suggested that the fund transfer be associated with the surplus in the Real Estate Transfer Tax account, a fund unassociated with road maintenance, which could set a precedent for others who might expect township assistance for these costs and activities which are now considered the responsibility of the individual property owners. Mrs. Ewald moved to transfer from the 1998 Proposed Budget $2,925.00 from the Real Estate Transfer Account #310.10 to the Donations Account #405.50 in order to cover check #1679 to the Sycamore Lane Protective Association. Mr. Wert seconded and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for June 1-30, 1998. Mr. Wert seconded and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report dated July 13, 1998 with two changes. The first change represented the addition of check #1700 in the amount of $100.00 to the Fire Marshal to reimburse him for the auto insurance deductible he paid following damage to his car which took place during a storm when he was out on Township business. The second change was to hold check #1695 to Rittenbaugh Inc. until the road expenses on this invoice, and road work scheduling in general could be discussed. There was no second.

Mr. Sauser moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report dated July 13, 1998 as submitted. There was no second.

Mr. Wert moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report dated July 13, 1998 with the addition of check #1700 to the Fire Marshal in the amount of $100.00. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

The Board will schedule a work session with the Roadmaster to work on road expense concerns and procedures.


Written reports from the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, Zoning Officer, Roadmaster, Fire Marshal, Historical Commission and Planning Commission have been circulated.

Zoning Officer

Mr. Kohli provided an update on the re-opening of Yellow Springs Road, now expected at the end of July.

Mr. Zeigler asked what work is being done at the Altemose barn and whether there is a permit on file. Mr. Kohli responded that the barn is being altered for recreational use and that a permit is currently under review.

Mrs. Ewald asked Mr. Kohli to check on extensive excavation work being done at the former Baughman farm property. There is no permit or application on file.

Citizen’s Forum

Mr. Philips asked if the Planning Commission minutes should follow the format determined for the Supervisors’ minutes determined earlier this evening. Mr. Sauser responded that the Planning Commission has the prerogative to make its own policy on this subject.

Hearing: Ordinance Amendment to #71-96

Mr. Sauser opened the hearing and stated that it was duly advertised. The ordinance amendment adds three new names for previously unnamed private shared driveways, the proposed names being: Wild Berry Lane, Whispering Woods Lane and Longview Farm Lane. An opportunity for questions and comments was offered. None were submitted. Mr. Wert moved to approve Ordinance #78-98. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Homerajani Grading Issue - Lot 70 Charlestown Hunt

The Board agreed to provide the Homerajanis with a deadline of July 31, 1998 to submit a grading plan to the Township, which will require extensive regrading and a retaining wall, and an additional 30 days for implementation. Mr. Kohli will communicate with the home owners on this issue.

Deerfield Planning Competition Guidelines

Mrs. Ewald read a draft she prepared of suggested guidelines to be incorporated into the document being prepared by Robin Kohn on the Board’s behalf. Mr. Sauser added his concern that while attention must be given to the specific viewshed and landfall of the Deerfield tract, he wants the planners to develop a general plan and ordinance amendment that would be applicable elsewhere in the Township.

A draft will be prepared by Mr. Kohn by Wednesday, July 15th, and the Planners will receive their package from which to perform the review by Friday, July 17th. A work session with Mr. Panizza’s and the Township’s consultants, Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission was scheduled for August 17th at the Charlestown Elementary School, 7:30 P.M.

Somerset - Road Status

Three neighbors have yet to sign the documents necessary for the approval of the road for the Somerset subdivision. Mr. Wert will contact the Ashenfelters, and Mr. Panizza said he is willing to wait two more days; otherwise, he will return with an amendment to the plan.

Fried - Driveway Plan

Jeffrey Fried and Jim Tupitza, Esq. were present to discuss the shared driveway, Whispering Woods Lane, and the question of whether improvements are required for it when the third house is built on that lane. After lengthy discussion, it was determined that Mr. Fried will return to the Board with a sketch plan.

PennDOT Agility Program

This matter has been tabled until the August 3, 1998 meeting.

Proposal to Restore Gravestone at the Revolutionary War Cemetery

The Secretary will contact the Presbyterian Church for concurrence on proceeding with the restoration, since they are the owners of the cemetery. Mrs. Crowell noted that the original inscription has been altered over the years and will try to locate the correct wording. Once these matters are settled, the Board will be prepared to take action at the next meeting.

Bridge over Route 29

Mr. Sauser requested feedback from those serving on the committee reviewing options for restoring/repairing the historic Ice Dam Bridge over Route 29. Parks & Rec Chairman Mark Connolly stated that if the Township wishes to provide pedestrian access to view the dam and connect to existing trails, wider shoulders and a wider bridge would be needed. However, if the area is to be considered a nature preserve, a narrower bridge design would be suitable. Either way, he noted that to preserve the dam in its present state, some tree removal is necessary. After further discussion, the Board decided to communicate with PennDOT and request a few alternative drawings that a PennDOT representative can present to the Board at a later meeting.

DHR Escrow Release #6

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve DHR Escrow Release #6 in the amount of $61,966.00 and Mr. Sauser seconded. The motion passed 3-0.

Other Business

Insurance Coverage

Mr. Wert moved to direct the Secretary to provide a Broker of Record letter to the Simkiss Agency Inc. to allow them to review other carriers for the Township. Mrs. Ewald seconded and all were in favor.

Turnpike Tower

Mr. Wert suggested that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission be contacted by the Solicitor to request space for the Township and/or Emergency Services on their replacement tower, which will be 360 feet in height compared to the former 270 foot tower.

Altemose Lawsuit

Mr. Wert said costs incurred by the Township should be accounted for separately in order to seek recovery at a later date. He also commented that the Township Solicitor should be the sole individual speaking on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and other Township officials on the Altemose suit.

Citizens’ Forum - Non Agenda Items

Mark Connolly requested that Realen Homes be nudged to begin construction on Broadwater Lane.

Richard Huey stated that he will return to the next meeting with information on an encroachment and drainage problem he is experiencing with Realen Homes at Charlestown Hunt.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:10 P.M. The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held on August 3, 1998 at 7:30 P.M. at the Charlestown Elementary School.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary