The first business meeting for July was held July 6, 2009 at the Great Valley Middle School, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, Pa 19355, Room 154.
Mr. Philips announced that an executive session took place just prior to this evening’s meeting to discuss legal and real estate matters.
Jolie Chylack from the Great Valley Nature Center said the GVNC is looking for more community involvement with their programs and is seeking volunteers. She provided some literature on the Nature Center’s new outreach program to provide education on environmental issues along with a flyer on the July 26th Marsh Creek Raptor Race that will benefit their Bird of Prey Center.
Ms. Chylack said the GVNC would like to survey the township residents for their needs, and Mr. Philips suggested she provide an article and the survey for the next Township newsletter. The survey will provide feedback to the Board of Directors while developing their Comprehensive Strategic Plan. Mrs. Csete said the deadline is July 25th to submit the article and that two pages can be allotted. Mr. Philips said the new Township website will go on line soon and can provide a link to the Nature Center site.
Meryl Senft, Peter Colella, and Mark Masley, members of the Charlestown Meadows Homeowners Association Board of Directors, were present to inquire why the roads in their community are not slated for dedication to the Township but instead are to remain the responsibility of the Homeowners’ Association. They said they have several residents who are objecting to the cost of maintaining the roads.
Mr. Kohli stated that since Charlestown Meadows is in a PRD (Planned Residential Development) District, the road plans were part of the hearing process. Toll Brothers chose not to offer the roads for dedication, and in return they received numerous waivers and concessions from the Township on other design elements such as curbing, setbacks and detention basins. Mr. Philips said this allowed them to yield a higher number of units in the development. Mr. Willig explained that this took place during a lengthy series of hearings which resulted in the issuance of the final decision. To accept dedication of the roads now would unravel that decision.
Mr. Kuhn said the Township typically doesn’t accept ownership of any road that was intended to be private and was reviewed and approved as such. Mr. Colella asked if the road itself meets township standards, and Mr. Kohli said yes. Mr. Colella said some of the sidewalks in the community are falling apart, and asked if Mr. Kohli could meet with the HOA to take a look. Mr. Kohli said he would be willing to do so. Mrs. Csete reminded the HOA that they will be responsible for any consultant review fees if they wish to engage the Township’s engineer. Mr. Colella added that the HOA would also like to change the plans that call for fencing around the detention basins and extension of one of the trails. Mr. Kohli said those issues are likewise in the final approval and are requirements that can’t be changed.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the business meeting held June 1 2009, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the June 2009 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the July 6, 2009 Operating 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. Kuhn moved to approve the July 6, 2009 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.
Mr. Philips moved to accept the June monthly reports and Mr. Kuhn seconded.
Mr. Hogan said the Trail Committee asked for permission to borrow the Township’s weed whacker for trail work. Mr. Philips and Mr. Kuhn said they were not in favor as this equipment is intended for use by Township personnel at the parks only.
Mr. Hogan asked for approval to repair the playground equipment as outlined in Mark Cabot’s memo dated 7/5/09, and the Board was in agreement that he should proceed.
Mr. Willig reported on the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee (PRPC) consistency review report. He said it’s being finalized and will go to the member municipalities, school districts and the County for review, which must take place within 45 days. Afterward, it goes to each member municipality’s Planning Commission for another 45 day review period. They in turn make a recommendation and send it to the Board of Supervisors for consideration of adoption. The PRPC wants to complete this process by the end of the year. It must be done by February 2010 in order to qualify for matching funds from the County. Mr. Willig said there’s nothing controversial in the report. Mr. Kuhn asked if Tom Comitta should review it for the Township, and Mr. Willig said he would do so in conjunction with the Planning Commission’s review. Mr. Willig said that the only item anticipated for PRPC review in the near future is the proposed new middle school for the Phoenixville Area School District.
The Administrator provided details on the set of budget reports she circulated to the Board on June 18th. The general overview is that while expenditures have been managed quite well so far in 2009, revenues are significantly lower due to fewer building permit applications and real estate transfers. She provided some recommendations on measures that can be taken now and in preparation for 2010.
In order to keep expenditures in check for the remainder of 2009 she suggested careful review of proposed road work by the Supervisors, and also suggested that the various board and commission chairs follow consultant costs very closely.
In order to improve revenues, accounts receivable will be pursued more aggressively, and she urged that an updated building permit fee schedule be adopted as soon as possible, preferably at the August meeting. Charlestown’s fee schedule hasn’t been amended since 1984, and inspection costs have increased considerably since the institution of the Uniform Construction Code in 2003. She said that Mr. Kohli provided the ICC Building Valuation Data Chart, which many other townships now use to determine their permit fees. The Board agreed to consider a Resolution to adopt the new fee schedule, and asked Mr. Kohli to prepare a draft for August 3rd.
Mrs. Csete also recommended that the Board consider increasing the Local Services Tax in 2010 to the allowable maximum of $52.00 per year per person employed in the Township. Under the new law, employees earning under $12,000 per year are exempt from the tax if that tax is over $10.00 per year. This would bring in an estimated additional $60,000 per year.
Mr. Kuhn asked if plan reviews can be delayed when a developer is in arrears for review fees. Mr. Thompson said this can be done as long as there is no deadline. Mr. Kuhn asked if a plan could be denied for outstanding fees, and Mr. Thompson said yes.
Mrs. Csete said the sketch plan escrow deposit of $250.00 doesn’t cover the cost of reviewing the plans and it’s been difficult to collect the additional cost. Mr. Willig said the escrow amount was kept low because the Township has been encouraging applicants to come in first with a sketch plan to begin a dialog with the Planning Commission before spending a great deal on an engineered plan. He suggested the consultants be asked to provide only a basic overview of sketch plans instead of preparing a detailed review. Mr. Kuhn suggested giving the applicants the option of whether they want a consultant’s review or whether they just want comments from the Planning Commission.
Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Philips thanked Mrs. Csete for her attention to the budget and the detail of the reports, which they feel has helped keep the Township on track.
Mr. Philips called for discussion on the motion to approve the reports, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Willig moved to authorize an appraisal on the Fisher Farm on Charlestown Road, with the property owners to share 50/50 in the cost of the appraisal. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn moved to authorize an offer of $320,000 for the purchase of an easement on a Green Lane Road property and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to authorize an offer for the purchase of an easement on a Wells Road property for $656,200 and Mr. Hogan seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Rodgers moved to support the Pigeon Run Greenway project grant application and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Thompson opened the hearing to consider an ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance, Section 1404, General Sign regulations. The amendment will prohibit signs containing text, video, graphic or animated light displays. The proceeds were recorded by Kim Kercher, Court Reporter. Mr. Thompson entered the following items into the record:
|T-1||Letter dated 5/7/09 to the Chester County Planning Commission requesting review of the ordinance.|
|T-2||Act 247 Referral Form|
|T-3||Letter to the Daily Local News dated 6/22/09 from Mark Thompson, Esq. requesting publication of the public notice.|
|T-4||Letter to the Chester County Law Library dated 6/22/09 from Mark Thompson, Esq. attaching a copy of the Ordinance.|
|T-6||Proof of Publication|
|T-7||Review Letter from the Chester County Planning Commission dated 6/4/09.|
|T-8||Letter dated 6/29/09 from Mary Beth Eshbach, Lamar of Reading.|
|T-9||Email dated 6/10/09 from L. Csete to Board of Supervisors providing Charlestown Township Planning Commission’s comments and recommendations.|
The hearing was closed.
Mr. Kuhn moved to pass Ordinance #154-2009 amending Zoning Ordinance Section 1404, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Wendy McLean, Esq., David Porter, Dave Beideman and Alan Pcsoylar were present. Mr. Thompson opened the hearing for the Holy Ascension Antiochian Orthodox Church and the proceeds were recorded by Kim Kercher, Court Reporter. Mr. Thompson entered the following items into the record:
|A-7||Letters dated 5/29/09 from Wendy McLean, Esq. to abutting neighbors notifying them of the hearing. The property owners were John R. & Edna Cellucci, Four Paws Pet Resort, Robert F. & Evelyn Devlin, and BRI Associates LP.|
|A-8||Letter dated 6/10/09 from Industrial Investments (BRI Associates affiliate) stating they have no objection to the application.|
|A-9||Letter dated 6/18/09 from the DEP issuing the NPDES permit.|
Mr. Pcsolyar was called by Ms. McLean to give testimony, after which Mr. Thompson closed the record. Mr. Thompson said the Township has 45 days to issue a written decision on the conditional use application, which has already been drafted.
Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Preliminary Land Development Plan for the Holy Ascension Antiochian Orthodox Church last revised 3/17/09, along with the following waivers:
|Allow the placement of two storm sewer outlets and associated piping, the grading for the outer portion of the berm associated with the proposed detention/infiltration basin, and a sanitary sewer lateral within the high groundwater area.|
|Allow the placement of two storm sewer outlet and associated piping, the grading for the outer portion of the berm associated with the proposed detention/infiltration basin, and a sanitary sewer lateral within the steep slope conservation district.|
|Relief from the requirement that parking and loading areas of nonresidential districts shall be paved. Allow the use of grass pavers in the overflow parking lot.|
|Relief from the requirement that parking spaces shall measure 10′ in width and 20′ in length, except for handicapped spaces which shall be 12′ wide. Allow parking spaces of 9′ width and 19′ length and handicapped spaces of 8′ width with a 8′ aisle between spaces.|
|Relief from the requirement that all off-street parking shall be paved. Allow grass pavers in the overflow parking lot.|
Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance:
|Waive the requirement to provide raised vertical curbs. The applicant proposes flush curbs in the overflow parking lot.|
|Waive the requirement to provide 18″ minimum diameter storm sewer pipes which shall be made of reinforced concrete, bituminous coated aluminum or bituminous coated corrugated galvanized metal pipe. Allow 12″ and 15″ pipes and also HDPE pipes.|
|Waive the requirement to provide 9 street trees within the right-of-way. Allow 4 street trees within the right-of-way. Additionally 9 existing trees are to remain within the right-of-way and another 5 existing trees are anticipated to remain along the right-of-way.|
|Waive the requirement to provide a total of 266 3″ caliper replacement trees. Allow 56 trees and 61 shrubs on site plus an additional 23 trees and 53 shrubs for BMP plantings. Waive the requirement of the additional 187 trees.|
Stormwater Management Ordinance:
|Waive the requirement to provide a minimum separation of 30′ between a building and a detention/retention basin. Allow a separation distance of 21.00 feet between the proposed underground seepage bed and nearest building.|
|Waive the requirement to provide a minimum separation of 50′ between a stormwater management basin and the property line or street right-of-way. Allow a detention basin, rain garden 1 and rain garden 2 located 34.25 feet, 35.55 feet and 24.53 feet, respectively, from the right-of-way.|
Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Thompson said the Township has 14 days to issue a written decision.
Mr. Philips said the Historical Commission has made a favorable recommendation in a memo dated 6/29/09 on Jake Townes’ proposal to clear underbrush and small scrub trees in the wooded area at the south end of the Woolen Mill property. They will also limb up some of the larger trees. He said the HARB recommended that an arborist mark specimen trees that should remain, on which the scouts can place identifying markers. The entire viewshed can’t be cleared since some of it is private property but the cleared area will be a big improvement and help re-establish a visual link between the Mill and Charlestown Village. Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the project, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Kuhn asked about the right of way that existed for the old bridge before it was demolished and a new one relocated. Mr. Kohli said extinguished rights of way normally revert to the original property owner. Mr. Kuhn asked if this could be verified, and Mr. Thompson said they can research the deed. Mr. Kohli said he’ll first review the survey plan of the property.
Mr. Kohli and Mr. Thompson said the road dedication documents are in order. Mr. Rodgers moved to accept dedication of Highlands Lane, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The Administrator said each municipality must appoint an individual by September 15th to serve on the County’s Committee that will study the changes proposed by Act 132. Mr. Rodgers moved to appoint John Martin to the Chester County Tax Collection Committee and Linda Csete as alternate member. If Mr. Martin is unable to serve, Frank Piliero will be appointed in his stead. Mr. Kuhn seconded the motion. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Thompson said that the Valley Forge Sewer Authority has requested that each member municipality incorporate the revisions, additions and amendments to the Authority’s Code of Rules and Regulations regarding sewer use in its municipal sewer use ordinance. These changes were required due to updated United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) industrial pretreatment rules and regulations. Mr. Thompson said he will draft an ordinance for consideration. Mr. Philips moved to authorize advertising of the ordinance and schedule a hearing on August 3, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Philips called for comments, and their being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Philips asked for an update on the sale of the Jenkins property. Mr. Thompson said the appraiser he consulted advises that the Board wait for market conditions to improve. Mr. Philips asked if, in the meantime, the Township rent the house per Mr. Rodgers’ suggestion. Mr. Rodgers said he knows of an interested party. The Board decided to move forward with preparing to rent the house, beginning with a home inspection and cleaning, and starting the application and credit check process.
Mr. Philips said he’s been asking the Planning Commission for a year to look into a wind generating ordinance, which is likely to become an issue now that tax credits are being offered for windmills. The Planning Commission should include in its research the requirements on size and setbacks. Mrs. Csete said free standing solar panels should be considered as well, and Mr. Thompson agreed they create similar issues. The Board said they don’t want any formal consultant work initiated at the present time, but are directing the Planning Commission to research the matter beginning with on-line resources such as PSATS and ordinance.com, and to look at the ordinance recently drafted by East Whiteland Township. Mr. Philips said the Board of Supervisors would like a report in 2-3 months and a draft ordinance by October 1st.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:33 p.m. The next business meeting is scheduled for August 3, 2009, 7:30 P.M. in Room 154 of the Great Valley Middle School.