Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of June 2, 2008

A business meeting was held June 2, 2008 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Kevin Kuhn, Chairman, Charlie Philips, Vice Chairman, Michael Rodgers, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mark Thompson, Esq., Surender Kohli, Linda Csete, Township Administrator were present. Also present were Michael Allen, Fred Alston and Aliena Gerhard.

Mr. Kuhn called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M.


Mr. Rodgers said he attended the Spring PSATS convention and took interest in one workshop on private wells. Technically, the state owns the water, not the property owner. Property owners are advised to obtain an independent lab test to set a baseline on their water quality in case of problems later on.

Mr. Philips announced that resident Katy Andersen graduated from Princeton University this spring and has received a Fulbright Scholarship. While at Princeton, she was credited for starting the Princeton Farmers’ Market.

Mr. Kuhn announced that Lisa Scottoline’s daughter graduated from Harvard University this Spring with Honors.

Mr. Kuhn announced that Fire Marshal Fred Alston was honored at the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association’s annual dinner on May 31st as Fire Police Person of the Year and received a plaque in recognition of this honor by the Pennsylvania Senate. On this same occasion, Mr. Alston was recognized with a 25 year service award by the East Whiteland Volunteer Fire Association. The Board and those in attendance offered their congratulations.

Citizens’ Forum for Non-Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward.


Minutes of May 5, 2008 Meeting

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2008 meeting, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report May 1 - 31, 2008

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the May 2008 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Reports

Approval of the reports was tabled until after New Business.


Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the May monthly reports. Mr. Willig suggested that a report on the Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission be added to the monthly reports. He said the organizational meeting was held and Schuylkill Township Supervisor Lee Ledbetter was named Secretary and will write the minutes. Each municipality will keep its own file of documents, and Mr. Ledbetter will keep a list of all members’ documents. Kise, Straw & Kolodner will remain the planner of record, and Jim McMasters will continue as Counsel. The first item to be addressed by the PRPC will be the Reed development in Schuylkill Township.

Mr. Philips added that a report on the Design Review Committee for the TND District should be included with the monthly reports. He said they have had three meetings so far, two with Dewey Homes, which is starting to bring in documents that will lead to a preliminary plan submission for Spring Oaks. He said Dewey Homes is focusing on the design of a spectacular entrance that will feature a series of ponds providing for water retention. They also discussed the layout of green spaces and traffic flows within the development. Mr. Comitta suggested townhomes in packs of three, which can be curved around corners more easily than larger groupings. Mr. Philips said Dewey Homes has been good to work with, and intends to build the development to LEEDS standards. There is a question on whether the development will be eligible, because the LEEDS ND (Neighborhood Development) certification presently requires a density of 7 units per acre, which is higher than what Charlestown allows in the TND district. They also plan to include LEED certifications as possible upgrades for individual homes. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Proposal for Historical Signage

The Administrator said the contract from Peter Dajevskis of Interpretive Solutions was received and is in accordance with previous discussions and recommendations of the signage subcommittee. Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the proposal for historical signage from Interpretive Solutions, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Proposed Rules for Township Parks and Open Space

Mr. Thompson said he drafted an ordinance based on a list of park rules developed by the Administrator after feedback was obtained from the Board, Fire Marshal, and Alix Coleman. He said the ordinance is separated into two sets of rules, one for passive open space and one for active. Following additional comments and input from the Board, the ordinance was scheduled for a hearing on July 7, 2008, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, room 154.

New Business

Authorization to Advertise Ordinance Amendments to Zoning Articles 2, 4, 15 and 16, and Subdivision & Land Development Article 5

The Administrator stated that the Planning Commission reviewed various amendments to the Zoning and SLDO ordinance at their March 11, 2008 and recommended them for adoption. The ordinance was scheduled for a hearing on July 7, 2008, 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, room 154.

Devault Foods Extension Request

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Devault Foods’ request for a 12 month extension on the approval of their Preliminary Land Development Plan now expiring 6/30/08, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for comments, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Codification of Township Ordinances

Mr. Kuhn stated that there has been some discussion among the Planning Commission and Board members as to whether codification of all township ordinances should be undertaken. Mr. Thompson provided a sample of a codified ordinance book from Malvern Borough, and described how the process works. The Board directed the Administrator to seek quotes from General Code and Keystone Publishers for consideration. Mr. Kuhn asked whether the Township should consider setting up its own website at this time, and Mr. Thompson said the codes can be linked from the publisher’s website, so although it might be desirable to set up a website, it wouldn’t be a necessity. Mr. Allen said the Planning Commission will suspend work on their definitions review since this can be handled as part of the codification process.

Insurance Renewal 6/11/08 – 6/11/09

The Administrator said she has been working with Ken Moyer of the Simkiss Agency to prepare for the township’s annual insurance coverage renewal. She said once again, Scottsdale Insurance has lowered costs for the overall package, and added she continues to be very pleased with the support and prompt response time from Mr. Moyer.

Mr. Rodgers moved to authorize the Administrator to bind the insurance policies for the June 11, 2008 - June 11, 2009 period, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Spring Oaks Historical Resources Survey

Mr. Kuhn asked that the Administrator send a letter to Dale Frens, requesting a proposal for a historical resources survey of Spring Oaks. The property owner, J. Loew and Associates, has already agreed to cover the cost.

Open Space Acquisition – Title Insurance Costs

Mrs. Gerhard provided an explanation for three recent invoices for title insurance for three conservation easements, including the McDevitt, Stevens and Coleman easements. She said the rates for setting title insurance are standardized, although Whitford Title Company gave a 10% discount on the total cost. She said title insurance is required in those cases where state or county grants were awarded to pay for a portion of the acquisition costs. There was some discussion on whether it would be advisable to obtain title insurance on all conserved properties, and Mr. Thompson determined that this would not be necessary. Mr. Kuhn said in the future, the property owner should cover the cost of title insurance.

Desfor Farms

The Board discussed NPDES violations at Desfor Farms, of which the Chester County Conservation District, the DEP and Mr. Kohli had been on site to observe. Mr. Kuhn pointed out that this is also a violation of the conditional use order granted by the Township. Mr. Thompson noted that the CCCD and DEP are the entities with enforcement power for the NPDES issues, and Mr. Kohli can issue a notice of violation of the conditional use order. Mr. Kohli said to the best of his knowledge, the violations have ceased. The Board asked that Mr. Thompson write the Desfors a letter informing them the Township will take action if he continues to be in violation, with copies to the CCCD, DEP and French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust. Ms. Gerhard said she also plans to request a written report from the French & Pickering Trust on the situation.

Woolen Mill Event

Mr. Kuhn said the wedding reception held at the Woolen Mill on Saturday went off very well. The family who rented the facility had strung $600 of halogen lights that the Township may want to consider keeping by reimbursing the family, which he recommends. He invited the other Board members to take a look at them. Mr. Philips said he’d like to have Mr. Fren’s opinion before agreeing. Mr. Kuhn said he would discuss it with Mr. Frens, along with other items needed for the Mill, including emergency lighting, lever handles on the doors, and a staircase from the first to second floor. He added that the Historical Society plans to hold its Fall fundraiser event at the Mill.

Flagpole Lighting at Charlestown Cemetery

Mr. Hogan offered to investigate solar lighting for the flagpole at the Old Charlestown Cemetery. He said this typically costs about $250.00. Mr. Kuhn said if not technically required, he would prefer to leave the area dark.

Lacrosse Field at Charlestown Park – Payment #6

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Lechmanik Inc.’s payment request #6 for the installation of the Lacrosse field at Charlestown Park, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable Report – Operating Fund June 2, 2008 and Open Space Fund June 2, 2008

Mr. Philips moved to approve the June 2, 2008 Operating Fund and Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Reports. Mr. Philips asked about the cost of repair to the parking lot at Charlestown Park for approximately $6,000. Mr. Hogan said he requested additional repairs after seeing the road contractor at work nearby at the Park entrance. The repairs he requested were only a portion of the $6,000 cost. Mr. Philips amended his motion to hold the check for Melchiorre Construction Co. until the cost of the additional work was determined and found acceptable. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Kuhn called for discussion and then the vote. All were in favor.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 P.M. The next business meeting is scheduled for July 7, 2008, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School. The Board held an executive session following the meeting to discuss legal and real estate matters.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Administrator