Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of August 6, 2012

The first business meeting for August was held August 6, 2012 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.


Supervisors: Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Michael J. Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Charles A. Philips. [Absent-Hugh D. Willig]
Consultants: Surender Kohli, P.E., Anthony Merklinger, Randy Patri, P.E., Mark P. Thompson, Esq.
Staff: Linda Csete, Manager, Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, Tim Hubbard, Fire Marshal, Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary
Public: See attached sign-in sheet

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.


Mr. Piliero announced that the September Board of Supervisors meeting will be held one day later than usual, on Tuesday, Sept. 4th due to the Labor Day Holiday.

Citizens’ Forum

 – No matters were brought forward.


Minutes of July 2, 2012 Business Meeting

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the July 2, 2012 business meeting and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for further discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report July 1 – 31, 2012

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the July 2012 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report August 6, 2012 Operating Fund

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the August 6, 2012 General Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report August 6, 2012 Open Space Fund

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the August 6, 2012 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.


Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the July reports as submitted, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for further discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Bielawski Conditional Use Application

The proceedings were taken by William Handy, Court Reporter. Mr. Thompson entered the following into the record:

T-1 Public Notice
T-2 Conditional Use Application Form with attachments
T-3 Proof of Publication

Testimony was given only by the following, due to the inability of Mr. Joseph T. Mattson, Esq. and Mr. Josiah Schiek of CB Structures Inc. to attend with the Bielawskis.

Exhibits A1 (floor plan) and A2 (an altered A1 labeling the site envelope) were entered into the record by the Applicant. The neighbor to Mr. Bielawski, Mrs. Doris McGranahan and her son Mr. Patrick McGranahan were in attendance and requested party status. Mr. Bielawski gave the supervisors the registered mail receipts for the hearing.

Mr. Thompson asked if there were any further questions from those present. No one came forward and the record was closed. Mr. Piliero moved to approve the construction of the two-car garage that will exceed the footprint of the house by 50%, and Mr. Kuhn/Philips seconded.

Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.

Mr. Thompson said a formal written decision will be issued within 45 days.

Old Business

Open Space Inspection Reports

Mr. Philips asked Mrs. Csete to write a note complimenting Mr. Theurkauf on the first inspection reports. Mrs. Csete asked the Board what the next step was and they responded that Mr. Theurkauf is to perform his monitoring visits, expectantly with the landowner or HOA representative. This would give them the opportunity to ask Mr. Theurkauf any questions that would arise. Open Space representatives will receive a copy of the report to help them in the objective of compliance. If upon the next annual inspection, there is no change to the property, they would receive an enforcement letter. The Fadness property was discussed as an example of a property currently in corrective action. The goal in this instance is to correct deer browsing and an error by a mowing contractor. Mr. Theurkauf will be meeting with the HOA to follow up.

New Business

Forcine Waiver Request from Stormwater Management Ordinance– Lot 1, Stonorov Subdivision

John A. Diemer of Wilkinson & Associates and property owners Brian and Mary Lou Forcine were present to request a waiver from the Stormwater Management Ordinance (SMO) Sections 23-303.D(1) and (2).

The Forcine property holds a single family dwelling and garage with private water and a new on-lot septic system. The SMO requires all retention, detention and groundwater recharge systems to be constructed underground while Mr. Forcine proposes to construct an above ground pond by converting an existing sediment basin. Mr. Diemer noted that this pond is for aesthetic purposes as well as stormwater management. He added that the DEP said all requirements had been met. Mr. Philips asked Mr. Forcine if he is going to landscape and fence the pond per ordinance regulations, and he agreed to do so. The driveway water, steep slope of the pond (to be tiered), erosion control, and other runoff is already within regulations with Mr. Kohli’s assistance. Mr. Patri was comfortable with the plans for the pond as submitted.

Mr. Patri informed the Board that the steep slope disturbance is still an outstanding issue; he had seen no plan yet where the house is not on a steep slope. However unless the Forcines keep the house within the envelope, but off the steep slope, they were told they would need a Conditional Use Approval.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the waiver request and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for further discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Blue Howell Minor Subdivision Plan

Mr. Michael Gill, Esq., Pete Cokonis, P.E. and Christian Wynne presented the Final Minor Subdivision Plan for Blue Howell, last revised 7/2/2012.

Mr. Gill addressed item #12 on Mr. Wright’s review letter dated 7/30/12. This item was primarily a list of stormwater management matters that will, per the applicant, be addressed when the permits for development are prepared and submitted. A Declaration to this effect will be prepared.

The extra footage or additional Right-of-Way is to be shown on the plan and dedicated to the Township, but the additional Right-of-Way area is not required to be included in the Net Lot Area calculations. Mr. Gill said his client will formally dedicate it in writing before the Use and Occupancy is issued for the first house.

Mr. Wynne was aware of his property containing a trail segment in an upper corner of the lot. He had been visited by Ingrid Cantarella-Fox of the Horse-Shoe Trail Club and shown the trail location. Although Mr. Wynne agreed to work with the Trails Committee, Mr. Thompson stated that he wanted the trail itself documented on the plans. In the past, the procedure has been to dedicate it to the Township so that it can be covered by the Township’s insurance. Mr. Gill was in agreement, provided it wasn’t deducted from his net lot area.

Mr. Wynne also agreed that the vacant house would be demolished within 90 days. All other items were noted as resolved. The issues of trail dedication and portrayal on plans, Net Lot Area vs. Right-of-Way, and the 90 day demolition deadline, were conditions given to the Blue Howell representatives for approval.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Blue Howell Minor Subdivision Plan last revised 7/2/2012 with these conditions, and Mr. Philips/Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Exeter Agreements

Mrs. Csete stated she had sent Mr. Thompson three documents pertaining to Exeter 3222 Phoenixville L.P. for review. She requested Mr. Thompson’s approval that a check submitted by the developer for approximately $500,000 as escrow be acceptable pursuant to the Financial Security Agreement, and he was in agreement.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Exeter Subdivision & Land Development Agreement, the Financial Security Agreement and the Declaration Prohibiting Development, Change in Use & Occupancy and Conveyance, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy Request to Install Equestrian Warning Signs

Trail Committee Chairman Sue Staas said the Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy has purchased some equestrian signs to be placed on major roads to warn motorists of the trail crossing. PennDot has approved the request but requires a letter from the Township, to which the Board agreed. Mrs. Csete will send the letter. PennDOT also asks that they use Horse signs rather than a combination of Horse/Hiker signs because those signs are too large. The Conservancy would like to have two signs placed on RT 29 where the trail crosses Hollow Road. The Conservancy requested the Township install them. Roadmaster Thompson agreed to make arrangements for the sign installations. Mr. Philips asked Sue Staas if the road will be striped for the trail. Since paving is to be in the near future she will try to get stripes on the surface for safety.

Hutton Parcel

Mrs. Csete said that the Board previously approved acquiring this orphaned parcel adjacent to the Turnpike for a trail connection. However, at that time the taxes in arrears were estimated at $2,500.00 and Mr. Thompson recently learned the amount is $6,970.00. Therefore she thought it was prudent to ask the Board to reconsider their approval. The Board was unanimous and in agreement with Mrs. Csete’s concern. Therefore the Board instructed Mr. Thompson to contact the Chester County Tax Claim Bureau to research the chance of obtaining the Hutton property later at a lesser price.

Mrs. Staas stated there were three other parcels the Trails Committee wanted more than the Hutton property. Mr. Thompson will also look into the possibility of obtaining the other three parcels at a combined price lower than the original price of each, and research the procedure the Township would need to follow with the Tax Claim Bureau. Amounts below are listed without fees or extra costs.

1 Horseshoe Lane belonging to Michael Johnson (.573 acres)
Delinquency of $14,211.47

Phoenixville Pike belonging to Glenborough Institutional Fund I (.7911acres)
Delinquency of $7,184.10

General Warren Blvd. belonging to Glenborough Institutional Fund I (1 acre)
Delinquency of $8,967.01

Signs Proposed for Township Parks and Trails – Alix Coleman

Brightside Farm Manager Alix Coleman displayed a sample of a painted wooden sign for the Brightside Trail. She would like Township assistance to install the 14 signs, some with double posts. The Board requested that Roadmaster Thompson make arrangements for the project.

Update on Three Ponds Basin Maintenance

Mr. Patri updated the Board on the status of detention basin maintenance at Three Ponds. Due to a miscommunication with the HOA, this will require another meeting with the representatives and Mr. Wright. An update will be forthcoming to the Board.

Resolution to Update Permit Fee Schedule

Mrs. Csete explained that BCO Anthony Merklinger recommended the proposed changes to the Permit Fee Schedule for HVAC and plumbing projects to ensure that all inspection costs are covered by the applicant. Currently there is often a loss or a discrepancy in calculating the fee, partially due to the formula used to arrive at it. Within this formula is a non-provable or estimated construction cost stated by the applicant. The new fees would include minimum charges. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Merklinger if Charlestown Township was being careful not to overcharge for larger projects, such as geo-thermal installations. Mr. Merklinger was confident the fee amounts were not in excess since he researched the fees of neighboring municipalities.

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #785-2012 amending the permit fee schedule, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Traffic Data for Yellow Springs Road at Charlestown Oaks

Mrs. Csete said she spoke to Larry Bucci from PennDOT on June 27th and was told that since Yellow Springs Road is a township road intersecting with only private roads in Charlestown Oaks, PennDOT will not perform the study requested. It would be the Township’s responsibility. She then contacted the PA State Police to ask for speed enforcement, and to provide the Township with some feedback on the speed problem reported by residents. They were very helpful and provided a report with traffic count data. They also made recommendations for installing new and replacing existing speed limit signs. The Board was pleased with the helpfulness of the State Police and will follow the recommendations, making a traffic study unnecessary at this time.

Request for Upgraded Sign Posts along Route 29 from PennDOT

Mrs. Csete mentioned the PennDOT meeting on July 12th regarding the Signal Improvement Project along Route 29. PennDOT said that if Charlestown wants upgraded sign posts to match the upgraded signal poles, they need to initiate a formal request so an agreement can be reached. Mr. Kuhn stated that there are approximately seventy posts needed for the project, so the Township will get pricing first. The posts will be round or square and painted black, rather than bare metal bars. Mrs. Csete is to communicate to PennDot that Charlestown Township is willing to pay the upcharge for aesthetic purposes.

Application to PUC to abandon rail crossings at Buckwalter Lane and Warner Lane

As reported by Mrs. Csete, this topic is primarily a safety concern for buses in fear of being hit from behind. Mr. Kuhn suggested a letter to the Great Valley School District be sent by Mrs. Csete indicating that the Township is in support of their request and will sign off on the PUC application that they prepare.

Other Business

Steps at Residence of Greg and Kristin Joyce

Mr. Rodgers referred to a letter dated 7/5/2012 from Barneston Hill Landscape and Design LLC, requesting a waiver from the Township’s requirement to rebuild or modify three sets of steps leading to the deck of the Joyce residence.

Mr. Merklinger stated that simplified plans are often approved as submitted, as to not financially burden the builder by requiring formalized drawings. This was the case for the Joyce’s small patio project. The builder told Mr. Merklinger that he was familiar with the UCC Code. Due to the plans having approval status, the builder proceeded, yet disregarded the known UCC regulations for stairs. This error would have been caught prior to the U & O inspection, but the builder had failed to call for the framing inspection. Now the builder is stating that the UCC requirements are not in agreement with the customer’s desires. Since the steps were not standard to Code, a Letter of Compliance was sent to the homeowner. Further Township action, due to potential liability, includes a letter denying the Waiver. This will be drafted by Mr. Kohli on the Township’s letterhead and signed by Mrs. Csete.

Recording Plans

Mrs. Csete asked the Board of Supervisors if the duty of recording plans could once again be turned back to the solicitor’s office. In the past, it had been done by the solicitor, and Mr. Thompson said his office would be glad to do so as this is a service they routinely provide for other clients. Mrs. Csete said the cost of the recording of plans is typically covered by the developer, so the Township would incur no additional cost for this service.

Mr. Piliero moved to approve the request for recording plans to be transferred to Mr. Thompson’s office and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 9:08 p.m. The next business meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary
sheet, 8/6/2012