Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of September 11, 2000

The second business meeting for September was held September 11, 2000 at the Valley Forge Christian College, Storms Research Center. Irene W. Ewald, Chairman, Hugh D. Willig, Vice Chairman, Paul J. Hogan, Kevin R. Kuhn, Michael J. Rodgers, James E. McErlane, Esq. (arrived later), Surender S. Kohli, P.E., Tom Comitta, Planner (arrived later), Ed Theurkauf, Planner, Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary and those on the attached list were present.

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 P.M.


Mrs. Ewald was pleased to announce she attended the Phoenixville Area Soccer Club’s opening ceremonies on September 8, 2000 at Charlestown Park. She said the Phoenixville Marion Youth Club started its new season on September 10th and have added two new programs this year for younger children: flag football for 4-7 year old boys and cheerleading for girls.

Citizens’ Forum - Non-Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward at this time. An opportunity will be permitted later in the meeting due to the change in meeting location that may cause people to arrive late.

No matters were brought forward at this time. An opportunity will be permitted later in the meeting due to the change in meeting location that may cause people to arrive late. No matters were brought forward at this time. An opportunity will be permitted later in the meeting due to the change in meeting location that may cause people to arrive late.

Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Ewald moved to approve the minutes of August 28, August 29, August 30, and September 5, 2000. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote and all were in favor.


Reports from the Zoning Officer, Planning Commission, Roadmaster and Fire Marshal/EOC coordinator are on file. Minutes from the Valley Forge Sewer Authority for August are on file. There was no report from the Historical Commission/HARB or Parks & Recreation Board for August.

Zoning Officer

Mr. Kohli cited difficulties in obtaining the permits from PennDOT for the Route 401/Valley Hill Road intersection. He said he’s also waiting for the permits for the flashing lights and stop signs for the Route 401 and Newcomen Road intersection. The first project must go out to bid, but the second project can be undertaken without a bidding process.

Planning Commission

Mr. Philips reported that the Planning Commission held only one meeting in August, with no second workshop meeting for the comprehensive plan. Work on the plan will continue on September 26, 2000. He said the Commission is completing the fact-finding portion of the project and is anxious to proceed with substantive issues. He said the attendance and comments of several Supervisors at the meetings have been very helpful, and wished more of the public would attend.


Mr. Faggioli read aloud his report for August 2000. He referred to a memo dated 9/11/00 by Mrs. Ewald to Mr. Rodgers and stated his objection to her suggestion to name both himself and Mr. Kohli responsible for decisions pertaining to the 2000-01 Equipment Rental Contract. He said he should be the sole party named. He objected to another memo item suggesting the Engineer review the entire contract prior to advertisement and bid letting.

Mr. Faggioli objected to being told by Mr. Kohli that he shouldn’t speak with residents about roadwork, specifically, about the construction of a pipe to be installed for Blackberry Lane. Mr. Kohli responded that he spoke to Mr. Faggioli about contacting developers, not residents. The Roadmaster disagreed with the road improvement work currently underway on Blackberry Lane and whether it is being constructed according to the approved Burch subdivision plan. Mr. Kohli indicated that widening is being done in accordance with the plan, but Mr. Faggioli disagreed.

Fire Marshal

Mr. Alston read his August report aloud. There were 3 false automatic alarms, 3 reports of open burning, 2 odor investigations, 1 fumes/smoke investigation, 1 building fire and 3 vehicle accidents all at the Coldstream Road AS@ curve. He reminded everyone to drive carefully with school back in session.

Emergency Operations Center

Mr. Alston reported that the EOC received some nice donations of computers and computer equipment.

Parks & Recreation

Mr. Hogan said Mr. Connolly requested tabling discussions on the Round 10 grant improvement bid package and plans for the Yellow Springs Road property to September 18, 2000. Some discussion was held on the best way to construct the trails and which materials to use.

Valley Forge Sewer Authority

Minutes for August are on file.

Turnpike Commission Community Advisory Committee

Mr. Kuhn announced that the next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be held Wednesday, September 13, 2000, 7:00 P.M. at the Desmond Hotel in Great Valley. Mr. Philips said updated traffic data report will be discussed.

Citizens’ Forum

Pam Smith, Valley Hill Road, was present to ask the Board to consider forming an open space committee. She said she attended a presentation on the effects of water run off given by John Johnson, President of the West Chester Fish, Game & Wildlife organization at a CAC meeting, which led to discussions with him on open space preservation. She then attended a meeting at Mr. Johnson’s home, along with Mr. Kuhn, Mr. Hogan, Mr. Philips, and resident Tom McClure to listen to details on East Bradford Township’s open space committee. She gave some details on how that committee functions, including their contacting all property owners with 10+ acres to inform them of East Bradford’s interest in acquiring land. They also supported a referendum to raise taxes to raise funds for land acquisition, which were then placed in a separate, non-commingled fund.

Mr. Philips said an open space committee would report to the Board and endeavor to get Township residents and property owners involved in the process. He said it may be time for Charlestown Township to consider such a committee. Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Hogan agreed, both saying they were impressed with Mr. Johnson’s presentation. Mrs. Ewald suggested inviting Mrs. Houseman, who has been involved in similar efforts in Willistown, and Nancy More to present additional information to Charlestown.

Mr. Kuhn said Willistown Township functions in a different way than would be expected to work in Charlestown, and Mr. McErlane agreed with this assessment since Willistown has funded many land purchases through private sources. He noted, however, that no township has done more than Charlestown with regard to the acquisition and preservation of land for open space.

Mr. Willig agreed with Mr. Kuhn that Charlestown needs to be more proactive in this area and that something should be set up. Mr. Rodgers suggested that two supervisors investigate open space committees with neighboring townships and report back. Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Willig agreed to do this fact finding, and will report back to the Board on October 16, 2000.

In a separate matter, Pam Smith distributed some literature on bobcat hunting in Pennsylvania and urged those present to write letters of opposition to their legislators.


Emma Builders - Conditional Use Application

The hearing was opened and continued to September 18, 2000, 7:30 P.M. at the Valley Forge Christian College per the applicant’s request.

Old Business

Myers - Request for Building Permit Approval

Mr. McErlane submitted a letter he received from the Myers’ attorney granting the Board an extension on their decision to October 2, 2000 in order to allow the Myers more time to speak with neighbors about their driveway access issue.

New Business

Award Paving Contract: Blackberry Lane/Newcomen Road/Oak Lane cul-de-sac

Mr. Rodgers moved to award the bid to the lowest bidder, Delaware Valley Paving Company, in accordance with Mr. Kohli’s review letter dated September 11, 2000. Mr. Willig seconded, and Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and public. Mr. Kuhn asked who will oversee the work, and Mr. Rodgers responded that the Roadmaster should be responsible. Mr. McErlane noted that a precedent was set when the Board took a different position with Rittenbaugh Inc. Mr. Rodgers said that the Rittenbaugh issue involved an annual maintenance contract and not a firm bid contract. Mr. McErlane agreed on this distinction but cautioned the Board that they may draw criticism nonetheless. He recommended the Roadmaster Liaison oversee the project. Mr. Rodgers will draft the memorandum of understanding as outlined in Mr. Kohli’s letter. Mrs. Ewald called the vote to award the bid to Delaware Valley Paving, and all were in favor.

Mr. Kuhn moved to appoint Mr. Rodgers as supervisor of the paving project, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the board and then the public. Mrs. Ewald said both Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Kohli should oversee the job. Mr. Kuhn said Mr. Rodgers can call on Mr. Kohli if needed, and Mr. Willig agreed. Mrs. Ewald called the vote to appoint Mr. Rodgers project supervisor and all were in favor.

McClure Subdivision

Vic Kelly, Commonwealth Engineers, was present to discuss the McClure/Todd Preliminary/Final subdivision plan last revised August 23, 2000. Mr. Kohli’s review letter dated September 1, 2000 indicated that all outstanding engineering issues have been addressed satisfactorily. Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the plan and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. She said this is the type of plan the Township likes to see and commended Mr. McClure for taking this initiative. She called the vote and all were in favor.

Official Map

Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Comitta for a briefing of the GIS work being done at his office for the Township. Mr. Comitta said that mapping has been undertaken for the Official Map and the Comprehensive Plan update. County data has been fitted into these maps. At the September 26, 2000 Planning Commission meeting, he will distribute a list of all the maps being prepared. Mr. Kuhn asked if this information will be available in the Township office, and Mr. Comitta said a disk will be provided to the Township, which will need to obtain software to access the information.

Mr. Comitta said that a draft of the official map and accompanying ordinance were distributed to the Board late last week. The Board gave suggestions for additions to the draft map, including the addition of easements. Mr. Kuhn asked if property owners should be informed that an official map is being developed and will be considered for adoption, and Mr. Comitta said this is not a requirement.

Mr. Philips stated his concern that the Board is moving forward without the Planning Commission’s input. He said that a good pattern of communication between the two bodies has been established this year and he believes moving too quickly with this map review process will set it back. He asked the Board to submit the draft map to the Planning Commission for review and recommendations. After some discussion, Mrs. Ewald moved to send the map to the Planning Commission with a request that the review process begin at the September 12, 2000 meeting and conclude prior to the Board’s October 16, 2000 meeting so it can be placed on their agenda. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mrs. Ewald called for discussion from the Board and then the public. There being none, she called the vote and all were in favor.

Other Business



The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 P.M and the Board went into Executive Session. The next meeting will be held on September 18, 2000, 7:30 P.M. at the Valley Forge Christian College.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Township Secretary