Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of April 6, 2009

The first business meeting for April was held April 6, 2009 at the Charlestown Township office, 4030 Whitehorse Road, Devault, PA 19432.


Charlie Philips, Chairman, Kevin Kuhn, Vice Chairman, Paul Hogan, Hugh Willig, Mike Rodgers
Surender Kohli, P.E., Mark Thompson, Esq.
Township Administrator:
Linda Csete
Public Works Superintendent:
Fred Alston
Planning Commissioners:
Andy Motel, Michael Allen
Open Space Commission Chairman:
David Greer
Jeffrey and Theresa Wright

Call to Order:

7:30 P.M.


There were no announcements.

Citizens’ Forum for Non-Agenda Items

No matters were brought forward.


Minutes of Business Meeting March 16, 2009

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the minutes of the business meeting held March 16, 2009, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion. Mr. Kuhn indicated that page one, first item under announcements, should read “Mr. Philips announced” instead of “Mr. Kuhn announced”. Mr. Philips called the vote and all were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report March 1 – 31, 2009

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the March 2009 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Operating Fund April 6, 2009

Mr. Hogan moved to approve the April 6, 2009 Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report – Open Space Fund April 6, 2009

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the April 6, 2009 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.


Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the March monthly reports and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion. Mr. Willig indicated that a report for the Brightside Farm was received late this afternoon. Mr. Philips asked if a report had been submitted from Parks & Recreation, and Mrs. Csete said no.

Mr. Philips called the vote and all were in favor.

Old Business –


New Business

Zoning Hearing Board Overview – Jeffrey & Theresa Wright

Jeffrey and Theresa Wright were present to provide an overview of their zoning hearing board application to allow construction of an addition to their house at 113 Pine Drive. Mrs. Wright said the addition will be 16’ x 30’ and will encroach upon side and rear yard setbacks and increase the existing non-conforming use due to the 40,000 sq. ft. lot size that is under the 80,000 sq. ft. minimum in the FR District.

Mr. Philips asked if there was another place to situate the addition. Mrs. Wright said the location shown is the most logical one, and it doesn’t interfere with any of the neighbor’s views. Mr. Philips asked Mr. Kohli if he had any issues with the application, and he responded no.

Mr. Philips asked if the Wrights have spoken with their neighbors. Mrs. Wright said yes, the two neighbors on each side indicated they had no problems with it. Mr. Thompson asked if there were any steep slopes involved or any other environmental constraints, and Mrs. Wright said no. Mr. Motel asked how old the home is and she responded it was built in 1961.

Mr. Rodgers moved to take a neutral position toward the application, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Award Tree Work Contract

Mr. Rodgers moved to award the tree contract to C.M. Jones based upon Mr. Kohli’s review and recommendation. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Philips indicated Mr. Alston is scheduled to meet on April 17th with arborist Rich Dexter of Bartlett Tree Service to begin the survey of trees on township property that need attention. Mr. Kuhn asked if the survey will prioritize which trees need more immediate attention and Mr. Philips said yes.

Open Bids – Mowing Contract

The following bid was opened and read aloud for the 2009 season mowing contract for Charlestown Park and other designated Township properties:

J & K Landscaping - cost of one mowing for Charlestown Park, Jenkins Property, Longwood School and Woolen Mill: $775.00

Mr. Kuhn said J & K has done good work in the past but expressed his disappointment that there was only one bid. Mr. Alston said it’s a little late in the year for the bids, and many contractors have already scheduled out their time. Mr. Kuhn doubted that, particularly this year in light of the economy. Mrs. Csete said the bid specs were sent out to several contractors.

Mr. Kuhn moved to award the mowing contract to J & K Landscaping subject to J & K obtaining the requisite workers compensation insurance coverage and with the understanding that no checks will be issued from the township before that coverage is obtained. Otherwise, payment will be made at the end of the contract period minus the cost the township incurs for covering the workers’ comp. Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Philips called for further discussion, and there being none, called the vote. Four were in favor. Mr. Rodgers was opposed.

Trail Clean-up Policy

Mr. Alston said that as the Township acquires new open space with trails, a policy for the initial clean up of the future trails is needed. Mr. Kuhn said the property owner should be notified they are responsible for initial clean up, and suggested some language be included in the easement agreement. Mr. Thompson said the new recycling ordinance as well as the existing ordinance on dumping can be used to address any problems. Mr. Alston said he’s walked the McDevitt property recently and noticed litter has been picked up, but there is still trash in areas off the trail. Mr. Philips said this can be enforced by the existing ordinances. David Greer asked who cleans up litter left by hikers, and Mr. Kuhn said the Trail Committee.

Light Standards in the TND District

Planning Commission Vice Chairman and Design Review Committee Chairman Michael Allen presented specs for upgraded light standards that the DRC recommends for the TND district along Morehall Road and Whitehorse Road. He also distributed a cost comparison spreadsheet, estimating the total upgrade cost at $78,074.00. This project would take place in 2010 so the funds would need to be budgeted for that year.

Mr. Willig asked if developers in the TND can be asked to contribute. Mr. Allen said in some cases this would be possible, but for other areas there may be no one to go to. Mr. Kuhn asked if impact fees could be included in a TND ordinance amendment, but noted he thinks the Township should do the upgrades regardless. Mr. Kuhn asked if impact fees could be collected retroactively, as the lights will be installed before development takes place in the TND. Mr. Motel said he’ll see what kind of language Tom Comitta can find on this, adding that impact fees for construction of the ballfields should be included.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the upgraded light standards for the TND District as discussed, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Damaged Mast Arm for Westbound Phoenixville Pike at Morehall Road

Mr. Kuhn asked if the Township should file a claim with its insurance carrier for the damage to the mast arm estimated to cost $10,500.00 to repair. Mr. Alston said a problem is that its current location is too close to the road and it’s frequently hit by trucks, yet it can’t be moved until next year when PennDOT performs its improvements. The Board directed Mr. Thompson to send a letter to the insurance carrier indicating that the mast arm is in a dangerous condition and requesting an insurance adjuster examine it, and that Mr. Alston proceed immediately with repair.

Execute PennDOT permit to allow for bioswale planting on April 18th & 19th

Mr. Thompson said he exchanged email with Planning Commission Chairman Andy Motel with regard to a license agreement between the Township and the Turnpike Commission to allow the Township to plant trees in the PennDOT right of way adjacent to the Turnpike bridge off Morehall Road opposite Whitehorse Road. Planting is scheduled by volunteers on April 18th & 19th. Mr. Thompson said the insurance carrier must be notified to cover any liability issues, which he limited in the license agreement to the planting activity only. The Township would have no other liability unless it was found negligent in some way.

Mr. Motel said the Turnpike Commission agreed to pay to take the fence down for the work to be done and replace it afterward. They will also provide a gate to which the Township will have access in order to water and maintain the plantings. Mr. Thompson said he also amended the agreement to allow the Township the right to terminate it at any time.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the execution of the agreement, and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Schedule Conditional Use Hearing for Holy Ascension Antiochian Church

The conditional use hearing for the Holy Ascension Antiochian Orthodox Church was scheduled for May 4, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Devault Foods – Request for Extension of Permits #3419-06, C-244-06 and ES07015

Mr. Kohli indicated he approved a request for a one-year extension of Devault Foods permits including an E & S Permit, conditional use approval, and building permit for their wastewater pretreatment equalization tank and utility building project. The work has been partially completed, but the utility building has been delayed until capital improvement funding is secured.

Chuck’s Wagon

In response to a question raised by the Board, Mr. Thompson indicated that the business operated as Chuck’s Wagon is not a legal use. The Board asked Mr. Thompson to draft a letter to be sent by Mr. Kohli as the Zoning Officer to the owner informing him that the use is not permitted.

Three-way stop at Ashenfelter and Whitehorse Roads

Mr. Alston said he requested crash data for this intersection from the state police and there is no data for the past five years, which is the time period taken into consideration by PennDOT when performing its traffic studies. The Board directed the Township Administrator to request a stop sign study from PennDOT for a three-way stop at Ashenfelter and Whitehorse Roads.

Other Business

Road Maintenance Issues

Mr. Rodgers asked when street sweeping will be started, and Mr. Alston said it will be scheduled for next week or the week after. He said last year there was a late snow after sweeping was done, and he wanted to avoid that situation this year as it adds to the cost to remove the additional deicing materials. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Alston to obtain a cost estimate from Melchiorre Construction.

Mr. Alston said the potholes on Union Hill Road will be fixed this week.

Mrs. Csete brought an email from Barbara DeWilde to the Board’s attention where she mentioned her concerns over stormwater at Valley Hill Road and Green Lane Road, and the need for line striping on township roads.

FEMA Trailer

Mr. Alston said the Township has been offered a free FEMA trailer for the EOC from County Emergency Services. Its value is approximately $25,000 and could be parked at the Township yard. He said it would be a good temporary solution to the need for an EOC location, which needs about 700 square feet to operate. Mr. Hogan made a motion to accept the trailer. There was no second. After more discussion the Board asked Mr. Alston to obtain information on costs including security, phone lines, electric and sanitary system.

Charlestown Playschool

The Board asked the Administrator to see what the original agreement was with the Charlestown Playschool to allow them to keep their storage units at the Township yard.

Armour & Sons Annual Inspection Report

Mr. Alston indicated the damaged mast arm discussed earlier this evening is the only item that needs to be addressed immediately. He said he can take care of many of the smaller items himself, and others will be addressed next year when PennDOT makes its Route 29 improvements.

Hartman Run LLC

Mr. Kuhn asked for the status of the inquiry from Hartman Run LLC as to whether the multiple housing units on the property could be converted to condos. The Administrator said the matter was placed on the March 10th Planning Commission agenda but no one from Hartman Run attended. She said possibly the applicant accepted Mr. Theurkauf’s review letter of 1/29/09 as the township’s response and let the matter drop.

Ordinance Amendments

Mr. Motel said he and Mr. Allen have discussed a list of ordinance amendments to be considered and asked Mrs. Csete to circulate it to the Board for comments and their indications of which are priorities. One item to be considered a priority is the regulation for the number of horses permitted on a property. Mr. Thompson said he’ll draft an amendment addressing this issue.


Mr. Rodgers moved to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Philips seconded. All were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 9:17 P.M. The next business meeting is scheduled for May 4, 2009, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete,
Township Administrator