MAY 21, 2001


Hugh Willig, Chairman, Kevin Kuhn, Vice-Chairman, Paul Hogan, Mike Rodgers, Irene Ewald, Tom Oeste, Esq., Gary Bender, Esq., Ed Theurkauf, Planner, Linda M. Csete, Township Administrator, and those on the attached attendee list.

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 p.m.


Mrs. Ewald announced that Mr. Willig won the Republican nomination in the recent primary for a 6 year term as Township Supervisor, and offered her congratulations.

Citizens Forum for Non-Agenda Items

No items were brought forward.


Minutes of May 7, 2001

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of May 7, and Mr. Hogan seconded. There was no further discussion. The vote was called and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – May 21, 2001

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Accounts Payable Report listing one check to Petty Cash and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Willig called for comment. Mr. Kuhn asked the Secretary if a solution was found to prevent similar cash shortages in the future and she replied not yet. The vote was called and all were in favor.


Emma Builders – Conditional Use Application

William H. Handy, Court Reporter, was present to record the proceedings. The hearing was continued to June 4, 2001 with an emergency date of June 18, 2001.

Saddlebrook – Conditional Use Application

William H. Handy, Court Reporter, was present to record the proceedings. Upon the Applicant’s request in a letter faxed to the Township office today, the hearing was continued to June 4, 2001 with an emergency date of June 18, 2001.

Altemose – Conditional Use Application

William H. Handy, Court Reporter, was present to record the proceedings. The hearing was continued to June 18, 2001 with an emergency date of July 2, 2001.

Old Business

Charlestown Park Improvements – Lights

Mr. Hogan said the Parks & Recreation Board was available at Charlestown Park on two occasions last month with a balloon demonstration of the height of proposed lighting for the intermediate soccer field. No one attended. Mr. Hogan said the Board should decide whether night games are desirable at the Park, and if so, proceed with lighting installation. He expressed his own opinion that he is in favor of the lighting upgrade. Mr. Kuhn said he also favors the lighting project, since the Park is a facility that sees very active use, and considering its location, it should be used to its full potential. Mr. Hogan added that funding is in place for this project. Mrs. Ewald dissented from the others, stating that she opposes the lighting vehemently. She said this type of lighting is inappropriate at this location. She asked if adjoining property owners had been notified that lights are under consideration, as she believes they will diminish their quality of life and decrease their property values.

Mr. Theurkauf said the proposed lights will have less spillage effect than the current lighting. Higher lights can be better directed onto the playing fields; however, since there can be significant impacts on neighbors, he recommends extensive buffering per the Master Site Plan along the perimeter in order to hide the ground activity and the lighted ground. Mr. Hogan said the site has been a recreation area for 60 years, and upgrades of this nature are simply going with the times. Mr. Willig asked what the proposed hours for use of the lights are, and Mrs. Ewald said the current concessionaires’ agreements state that lights go out at 10:00 P.M. She suggests this be changed to 8:00 P.M.

Mr. Kuhn asked what the Parks and Recreation Board’s opinion of the lighting is, and member Marge Crawford said they were generally in favor with one dissenter. Mr. Kuhn requested a formal recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Board. Mr. Willig said the neighbors should be notified and be provided an opportunity to comment. Mr. Theurkauf will draft a letter with input from Parks and Rec Chairman Mark Connolly. The letter will be sent after a date for the discussion is scheduled. Areas to receive notification will include the Tyrone Farms residents, Township Line Road residents, the Valley Forge Christian College and Evergreen Acres in East Pikeland Township. The Secretary will check on the grant deadline and notify the Board and Mr. Theurkauf.

Charlestown Park – Township Line Road Piping and Guardrail

Mr. Hogan said he’d like Mr. Kohli and Mr. Theurkauf to meet with him at the site to consider options for repair of a drain that presently travels under Township Line Road and empties into the stream in East Pikeland Township. He said options, all of which would abandon use of the pipe, would be (1) to ditch the run off to the Charlestown side of the stream; (2) block up the stream and create a culvert, or (3) block up the stream and improve the wetlands. Mr. Theurkauf said the stream already has a problem with flash flooding and he prefers the third alternative. Mr. Rodgers stated a concern with creating a pond so near the playground.

Mr. Kuhn said the estimate of $16,000 recently received for wood guardrail for a section of Township Line Road approximately 150 feet east of Coldstream Road is high compared with the less costly option of metal guardrail, which is 1/3 the cost. The Board requested that the Roadmaster obtain a price on wooden guard rail from PennDOT, which may be able to supply it at a lower cost.

Subsidence – Blackberry Lane

Mr. Rodgers said that when the developer replaced the pipe on Blackberry Lane, the dirt wasn’t packed well enough, causing the paving to deteriorate along the road edge. The pipe itself was checked and is in good condition. Mr. Kuhn noted that the pipe was to be backfilled with gravel, not dirt, and that the developer should be responsible for the needed repair. The matter was tabled to June 4, 2001 so Mr. Kohli would be present to provide input.

Award Tree Contract May 1, 2001 – April 30, 2002

Mr. Rodgers asked if the sign-off on his letter to Barrett’s Tree Company was returned from them. The letter asked for an acknowledgement that the actual hours anticipated for the length of the contract would be less than those shown in the bid document. The Secretary responded no. Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the Barrett’s Tree Company bid for the annual tree maintenance contract from May 1, 2001 to April 30, 2001 subject to receipt of this acknowledgement, and Mr. Hogan seconded. All were in favor.

New Business

Stoudt Builders, Inc. – Final Subdivision Plan

Ted Gacomis, P.E., of E.B. Walsh & Associates, and Daniel K. Stoudt of Daniel K. Stoudt Builders, Inc., were present to request approval for the final plan last revised 4/23/01 for a 3 lot subdivision on Merlin Road. Mr. Gacomis said that they have received highway occupancy approval for the 3 parcels from PennDOT, approval from the Chester County Conservation District, and a recommendation for approval from the Township Planning Commission. He said the latest revision incorporates changes per Mr. Kohli’s review letter dated 3/28/01. He agreed to further change the plan to comply with Thomas Comitta Associates’ revised review memo dated 5/21/01. Mr. Willig asked if all trail issues were addressed, and Mr. Gacomis responded that easements are in place for both the shared driveway and the trails. Mr. Theurkauf stated that he is recused on this application but made a general comment that the remaining review items in Mr. Comitta’s memo are minor in nature. Mrs. Ewald asked how many trees would be removed, and Mr. Stoudt responded 12 over 12” in caliper. Mr. Hogan asked if limbs and trunks not suitable for the lumber yard could be cut into 18” lengths and donated to the township yard for use as firewood by residents of the Township. Mr. Stoudt agreed to do so.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Final Subdivision Plan for Daniel K. Stoudt Builders Inc. last revised 4/23/01 subject to the Solicitor’s approval of the following documents: the Maintenance and License Agreements for the common driveway and utilities and the Restrictive Covenant Agreement as well as the all review comments submitted by the Township Engineer and Township Planner in their memos dated 3/28/01 and 5/21/01 respectively. The approval is further conditioned on the developer’s agreement to pay a fee in lieu of planting those trees that can’t be physically placed on the property but are required per the Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance. Mr. Willig seconded the motion and called for further discussion. There being none, he called the vote and all were in favor.

Stoudt Sewage Facilities Planning Module

This matter was tabled until June 4, 2001.

Road Paving Estimate Review

Mrs. Ewald said it’s difficult to determine if the prices listed in Melchiorre’s cost estimate letter dated May 11, 2001 are fair without an indication of the width of the roads in addition to their length. Mr. Rodgers recommend approving the 5 roads listed one at a time. He said that Peakes Pike has already been paved. Mrs. Ewald questioned this work, which should have been directed by the Board. Mr. Willig agreed that direction on paving work should come from all five Board members, preferably at a public meeting. Mr. Rodgers proposed starting out with Bell Circle. Mr. Kuhn suggested starting with 2 or 3 smaller roads, checking on the work, and then going on to the larger roads. Mrs. Ewald asked for the cost of paving Peakes Pike. Mr. Willig said it was approximately $7,000, which is under the cost estimate of $8,850.00. Mrs. Ewald proposed paving Bell Circle and Bodine Road together, then inspecting the work and evaluating the costs. Mr. Willig and Mr. Kuhn said they are content to allow the Roadmaster to undertake the inspection, and Mrs. Ewald said she’d like to inspect the work in addition to the Roadmaster. The Board agreed to begin with Bell Circle and Bodine Road. Mrs. Ewald requested that the Roadmaster obtain estimates on paving F Street, 5th Street and Township Line Road from Coldstream Road up to the section paved by East Pikeland Township last year.

Brightside Farm Issues

Several items were discussed as follows:

  1. Gate Installation: Mr. Hogan asked for input on how far back the gate should be placed. It was generally decided that 20-30 feet was sufficient. He’ll arrange for Dave Ludwick to install the gate. Mr. Hogan said he has six posts to be placed on either side of it.
  2. Mowing: Dave Ludwick will handle mowing at the Farm this season.
  3. Fencing: Mrs. Ewald suggested a post and rail fence along the perimeter of the property. Mr. Willig suggested a high tensile strength wire fence as a temporary measure in the area of the driveway only. Mr. Hogan will look into pricing.
  4. Seeding: The Board asked that Mr. Kohli contact PennDOT about seeding along the road where they recently cut into the bank.
  5. Removal of plastic: Mr. Hogan said Dave Ludwick is taking care of removing the black plastic from the vegetable garden area.
  6. House Inspection: Mr. Willig suggested that Mr. Kohli visit the farmhouse and advise the Board as to which agencies need to be called in to inspect it. He is concerned that the house is uninhabitable and may need to be demolished. He asked if the Historical Society should look at it. Mr. Kuhn said he’ll request that the Historical Commission/H.A.R.B. visit the site along with Dale Frens and provide feedback. Mr. Hogan will get estimates on demolition for the house and the other buildings on the parcel. He’ll also assign a number for each building on a map for future reference.
  7. Non-Profit Status: Mr. Oeste will look into the question of maintaining the non-profit status of the parcel while collecting either rent or a combination of rent and services.
  8. 21st Century Demonstration Farmhouse Grant: Mr. Theurkauf will ask Dottie Dewey at his office to research this.
  9. Location for Township Office: Mrs. Ewald suggested the site for a township office designed to look like a farmhouse, but structured inside like an office. Mr. Kuhn said he prefers to focus on the Devault area as the ideal location for the Township office.

Zoning Hearing Board Appointment of Alternate

Mr. Kuhn will contact both candidates, Cheryl Atkins-Lubinski and Michael Bowell, to confirm their interest in serving as Zoning Hearing Board Alternate. Interviews of ˝ hour each will be scheduled just prior to the June 4, 2001 meeting.

Dogs Running at Large

Mr. Oeste will review the Township’s Dog Ordinance to determine what can be done about repeated complaints of one owner’s dogs running at large in the Tyrone Farms area.

Union Hill/Rees Road Traffic

Mr. Kuhn said the heavy traffic on Union Hill and Rees Roads should be revisited. He proposed a “no-left turn” sign on Route 29 at Union Hill Road. Mr. Willig asked if traffic on these roads is still an issue after the Board reduced the speed limit and placed stop signs on each side of the Union Hill Road tunnel and at Tinkerhill Lane. After some discussion, the Board requested that Mr. Kohli send a letter to PennDOT requesting a traffic study to determine the feasibility of a “no left turn” sign from Route 29 going onto Union Hill Road. Mr. Kuhn suggested keeping in contact with Schuylkill Township, because if approved, this action would divert more traffic onto Creek Road. Mrs. Ewald said that Schuylkill Township reduced the weight limit on their Whitehorse Road bridge and suggested the Board consider a similar limit for the Route 29 bridge. Mr. Kuhn said this would bring truck traffic up to Route 29 and Charlestown Road and wouldn’t be desirable.

Commons @ Great Valley, Lot 15 - Escrow Release #1

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the escrow release request #1 for the Commons at Great Valley Lot 15 in the amount of $38,350.31. Mr. Willig seconded and called for discussion. There being none, he called the vote and all were in favor.

Commons @ Great Valley, Lot 17 – Escrow Release #11

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the escrow release request #11 for the Commons at Great Valley Lot 17 in the amount of $66,899.58. Mr. Rodgers seconded and Mr. Willig called for discussion. There being none, he called the vote and all were in favor.


There was consensus to adjourn. Mr. Willig adjourned the meeting at 11:11 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete, Secretary