Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of December 3, 2012

The first business meeting for December was held December 3, 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, Hugh D. Willig
Consultants: Surender Kohli, P.E., Dan Wright, P.E., Mark P. Thompson, Esq., Tom Comitta
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.


There were no announcements.

Citizens’ Forum

Lieutenant Erin Magee of the Pennsylvania State Police introduced himself as the new Station Commander at the Embreeville barracks. He provided Supervisors with a brief history about himself and answered a few questions regarding local issues.

He expects the pending Turnpike Slip Ramp opening to cause only a temporary traffic problem. As motorists become familiar with changing patterns and volume, the problems will subside. He also explained that there are designated officers for Turnpike patrol. He further clarified that PennDOT is in communication with the barracks regarding upcoming projects, etc. Audience member Mel Sorenson advised Lt. Magee that since a bridge on Yellow Springs would be closing soon, the intersection of Valley Hill Road and Route 401 would be more difficult. Residents in attendance agreed and suggested a left turn arrow at this poor visibility intersection. He was appreciative of the warning, and will be in the area to monitor the morning rush hour.

Barbara DeWilde requested the newsletter be published quarterly and thanked Mrs. Csete for the work that goes into publishing it. She would like the Charlestown Park Plan to be in the next newsletter. Mr. Willig replied that the newly finalized plan will be on the website for the community to view. She also mentioned that the Charlestown Historical Society was having a meeting Thursday, December 6, 2012 to hear the grandson of Henry Solen speak. She further announced that the Society is helping plan a Charlestown Day for June 1st of next year. She asked if the Parks & Recreation Board will review the Brightside Farm and its trails at their December 20th meeting in preparation for a tentative February 2013 Board of Supervisors possible approval.


November 5, 2012 Business Meeting

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the November 5, 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 November 1 – 30, 2012

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the November 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 December 3, 2012 Operating Fund

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the December 3, 2012 General Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report December 31, 2012 Operating Fund Payroll

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the December 31, 2012 General Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report December 3, 2012 Open Space Fund

Mr. Philips moved to approve the December 3, 2012 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.


On the Manager’s Report for November 2012 a question arose regarding the status of the Blue Howell Planning Module. Although the plan was approved, it is null because the applicant did not accept the conditions of approval within the allowable time frame. Mr. Thompson stated there seemed to be a delay due to the technical reading of the requirements.

Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the November 2012 reports #1-13 as submitted, and Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for further discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business - None

New Business

Rapps Run Drive Dedication Offer

Edmund K. John and Dr. David Hitz presented an Offer of Dedication of Rapps Run Drive so that Charlestown Township would be able to have the now mature development’s road be part of the township road system, and would never have to take over the road due to the possible future mismanagement of the HOA. All residents of the Rapps Run HOA were in attendance.

Mr. John previously submitted 8 sets of the Offer of Dedication by Certain Owners-Residents of Rapps Run Drive that included exhibits, and a binder labeled Unanimous Offer of Dedication by Certain Owners-Residents of Rapps Run Drive (A Private Roadway) Together with Associated Road Storm Drainage Piping System. Additional background would also include an October 23, 2012 letter from Neal J. Camens PE, an associate of Chester Valley Engineers. It began by detailing the Subdivision Plan’s history that created the private roadway approved by the Board on October 3, 1988.

Within the Plan was Note 16 that read as follows.

“Upon further subdivision of this tract which increases the traffic onto the private roadway, the private roadway shall be brought up to full Township Standards.”

Dr. Hitz began by telling the Board that the snow removal contractor they have always used is no longer available. This was another reason why now is the time to dedicate for future Rapps Run residents. He focused on three possible barriers to dedication.

  1. Addition of a center planting area in a turnaround.
  2. Curbing of a remaining 450 feet of roadway.
  3. Completion of subdivision.

Item 3 was no longer a barrier since such a further subdivision was approved on October 7, 2002, with no improvements to the roadway required by the Board. The unknown condition of the road lead to a prior request being turned down by the Board ten years ago. This year, at the request of the HOA, the Township Engineer reviewed the roadway, and Mr. Wright said he the curbs or swales are in good condition, but at 22 years old, will deteriorate quickly. Since his review agreed with Chester Valley Engineer’s assessment of the present road surface and surrounding swales, this led the HOA to believe the roadway was in suitable condition for acceptance of dedication by the Township. However Mr. Wright did state that within ten years the road would need repairs simply due to age at an estimated cost of $23,000 to $25,000. He noted that the HOA wasn’t looking to dedicate the piping system that sends water to an infiltration bed on HOA property.

Mr. Kuhn asked Dr. Hitz what the benefit was for Charlestown Township, because it leaves all residents, instead of only the HOA, with the maintenance costs. Mr. Willig followed by reminding Dr. Hitz that there are different standards for paving a road not to be dedicated vs. paving a road planned to be dedicated.

Mr. Kuhn stated that even with an island and curbs, he wouldn’t vote to accept dedication because it wasn’t fair that the rest of the residents would have to share the financial burden. Dr. Hitz estimated the burden to be only about $500 yearly, for snow removal, an amount easily taken care of by the additional Liquid Fuels Income from PennDOT that would be received for the road.

Mr. Thompson stated the Township was under no obligation to accept ownership, that accepting this road would not preclude the Township from accepting others like this, but others may feel their roads now could and should be dedicated to the Township. Mr. Kuhn emphasized the Plan was approved with the road not dedicated and the Township isn’t under obligation to accept it now. Mr. Philips was in agreement with Mr. Kuhn saying the Township was not accepting roads for dedication because there is an expense.

Dr. Hitz directed those present to read Note 16 again because it contains the assumption that the road would be dedicated, otherwise the clause would not appear. Further proof would be the establishment of a $2,000 escrow for costs associated with integration into Charlestown’s road system. The HOA was prepared to set aside monies for future paving, with no other costs foreseen since it was paved under the guidelines of the Township Engineer. Mr. Philips reminded those in attendance that many times, for example to maintain stormwater basins, escrows are also established. Mr. Thompson said an 18 month maintenance agreement would be required if the road were accepted for dedication.

Mr. Piliero read aloud from Note 18 on the Subdivision Plans. It stated Rapps Run Drive is a private road to be maintained by the HOA. Mr. Willig continued saying that applicants must state at the time of application approval if they want the road to be dedicated, which was not done. Bob Griffith of 9 Rapps Run Drive asked how one would choose or determine what roads are accepted for dedication. Mr. Rodgers’ position was that if the road met dedication requirements he would be fine. Mr. Piliero said he was maintaining an open mind, but it seemed inexpensive for the HOA and everyone in the HOA seemed to be cooperating. Therefore, he didn’t understand the push for dedication.

Mr. Philips and Mr. Kuhn succinctly stated that it was not the three issues that prevented them from accepting dedication. In the Plan of 20 years ago, the road was stated as being private and to be maintained by the HOA. Plus they do not want the Township to be burdened with maintaining this road.

An audience member Barbara DeWilde said there is a presumption that if there is an escrow there is a future dedication. Mr. Philips told the audience that Charlestown Meadows had also been refused because of the legal agreement noted in the Plan. It was also recognized that there was no record of a private road in Charlestown ever becoming a township road.

Dr. Hitz asked several times throughout the discussion for a vote. But Mr. Kuhn, Mr. Philips, and Mr. Piliero said their position had already been expressed. Mr. Piliero further tried to explain that there is no advantage for the Township to take the road, and no disadvantage for the HOA to keep the road.

Motion to Deny

After the discussion ended, Mr. Kuhn made a motion to deny Acceptance of the Request of Rapps Run Drive HOA for Dedication. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called the vote. Mr. Kuhn, Mr. Philips, and Mr. Piliero were in favor of denial of Dedication Acceptance. Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Willig were opposed to the denial of Acceptance.

Paul Gluchanicz Minor Subdivision Plan

Paul Gluchanicz was present to seek approval of his 2-lot subdivision plan last revised September 25, 2012 which represents a lot line change from his November 9, 2010 approved plan.

The Supervisors were in agreement with the Chester County Planning Commission suggesting that both lots be deed restricted from further subdivision, and Mr. Gluchanicz verified his agreement to this. He has corrected some minor plan errors and setback lines will be trimmed to the former parcel line between the two parcels.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Gluchanicz Minor Subdivision Plan last revised September 25, 2012. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.

Act 209 Transportation Plan

Mr. Comitta handed out a three-part packet that included: a Proposal for Transportation Planning/Engineering from Heinrich & Klein Associates, Inc.; a Proposal for Planning Services from TCA; and an example of a Model Impact Fee Ordinance to make it less time consuming to draft. This would keep the cost of Ordinance drafting to around $5,000 to $10,000 for customization.

The next steps were outlined. First an estimate is needed of vehicular trips in a specified Transportation Improvement Area. Then applicants would be assessed an Impact Fee for traffic needs to this locale. Also required is a Land Use Assumption Report, wherein future development yields would be calculated. The Act 209 Plan will necessitate the appointment of a Transportation Advisory Committee.

The Land Use Assumption Report can be done in two ways. It can identify growth and it can also allow for future growth from changed land uses. The ITE Trip Generation Manual will be used. It has tables for various uses and associated vehicular trip data. The report can include ranges to allow for changes in the ultimate land use, based on potential zoning amendments or redevelopment.

Mr. Comitta recommended that the Board consider the proposal from Heinrich & Klein Associates, Inc. at a cost of $25,000 over 6 months, as well as the TCA proposal for a cost of $15,000, for a total of $40000, plus the solicitor’s time for ordinance drafting.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the forward progress of the Act 209 Study by accepting the Proposals from Heinrich & Klein Associates, Inc. and TCA, and appointing the Charlestown Township Planning Commission as the Transportation Advisory Committee. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.

Charlestown Park

Mr. Robert Gallant of the JD Bravo Company, of Malvern, PA introduced his colleagues James Davie, and Robert Dettore, to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Kuhn invited Mr. Gallant to discuss the benefits of obtaining a firm to act as an Owner’s Representative, Project Manager, and Site Manager or simply provide a plethora of skills to a project like Charlestown Park.

Mr. Gallant advised the Board to proceed from the current plans via a highly collaborative process. They will review the plans and act as a guide to steer Charlestown Board members toward creating a list of prioritized objectives and locating deficiencies. All phases of development will be funneled to decrease risks and unnecessary outlays then arrive at a defined cost and a validated outcome.

After an initial review of the Park plans, he believes narrowing the scope of targeted objectives will bring about a more exact list of desired amenities/objectives. Mr. Gallant believes the Township is not there yet with the current set of plans. For example, the Plans for Phase 2 are not as detailed as those for Phase 1, perhaps due to the amount of years (20) given to complete Phase 2. He said shortening this time frame can decrease costs and tighten the bidding process.

To help JDBravo come to a fee schedule and begin reducing risks/costs even at this stage of the project, they advise:

1 - Getting the fields surveyed now.

2 - Promptly performing a SoftDig type underground utility exploration and mapping.

These two actions will convey a tighter bid package so bids don’t need or contain contingent pricing.

3 - Prioritizing the vision objectives with committee meetings etc.

Mr. Willig felt finding out what is wanted first should be discussed at the February 2013 Board meeting. Mr. Willig wondered if there was any overlap between JDBravo and Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. Mr. Comitta commented that the Park water and sewer is a significant unknown, some items were forecasted 20 years out, and that although some things need improving now, they have fallen lower on the priority list. Mr. Comitta said the Board of Supervisors could adopt his Plan by a resolution in February 2013 after receiving feedback from the surrounding entities.

Mr. Gallant said they will also assist with finding potential funding sources. Therefore it is a total management process, scope, design, scheduling, budgeting, bidding, construction and closeout. They even collaborate with teams to coordinate field usage during construction.

Mr. Piliero advised Mr. Gallant to come back to a future meeting with a fee schedule. But first JDBravo needs a Charlestown list that determines scope and objectives. Mr. Gallant reminded the Board that getting the SoftDig and fields surveyed would be a timely first step.

Finally Mr. Willig mentioned that JDBravo could be very helpful for upcoming projects including the Grange and Brightside Farm and these would be great opportunities to test a new working relationship.

Request for Waiver from Stormwater Management Ordinance-Heather Clough

Mrs. Clough of 2066 Conestoga Road addressed the Board requesting a waiver from the Stormwater Management Ordinance due to the acreage and slope of their property. They intend to construct a swimming pool and patio in the spring. Due to the heavily wooded lot, there is no logical, cost efficient place to put the drainage system. The pool contractor, Joe Pierson was also there to discuss the requirements when dealing with a 1,000 square feet impervious cover vs. the 1,300 square footage for the pool and patio.

Mr. Wright said since the proposed work encompasses a small area of the lot, he would support a waiver allowing the Clough’s relief from building a stormwater basin designed for over 1,000 square feet.

The Board of Supervisors may also require a landowner to plant/replace trees if removing trees of 12-inch caliper or larger. They would like to be relieved of this requirement also.

Mr. Philips moved to waive the tree replacement conditions and Stormwater Management requirements for the Cloughs by allowing them to meet the less formal alternative in the Stormwater Ordinance. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Brightside Farmhouse

Mr. Kuhn began a discussion on future plans for the Brightside farmhouse, whether the Township should retain ownership of it, and if so, what improvements and renovations are needed. Recently the tenants had left, the building was cleaned out, and the locks were changed. Dale Frens provided a cost estimate for improvements to the kitchen, bathrooms, floors, roof, and windows. The cost for all of this was near $180,000.

Mr. Kuhn said the house could be sold, but the repairs needed to get it to a sellable condition would be extensive. Also, the community gardens and all the gardeners would be in the new owner’s front yard. So Mr. Willig suggested first making it weather tight, then after that, they can decide if they want to make it a residence. Mr. Kuhn said he was unsure about selling a century farm that was also the last working farm in the Township. But surely there had to be a better use for it after spending a large amount of money to fix it up: perhaps a CSA, office, or animal operation. The Board decided to set up a time to visit the house together.

Alix Coleman mentioned the inadequate mowing along the trails this year. Although the trails were to be mowed weekly in the spring, they often were not done for three weeks. Even though a mowing “pattern” was established for the first contractor mow, none of the subsequent laborers mowed like the pattern set before. Supervisors asked Mrs. Csete to contact C.M. Jones to address not only the erratic mowing, but to also to question the price discrepancy between the Farm and Charlestown Park. From now on, Alix is to sign each invoice before it can be approved for payment.

Traffic Signal Maintenance Contract for 2/1/2013 – 1/31/2014: Continue with Current Provider or Request Proposals

Mrs. Csete said the one year agreement with Armour & Sons Electric was expiring at the end of January 2013, but the Township has the option of extending it. The Board indicated their willingness to do so.

Tax Levy Resolution for 2013

Mrs. Csete noted that the proposed real estate millage, local services tax, real estate transfer tax and earned income tax for 2013 remain the same as in 2012.

Mr. Philips moved to approve Resolution #792-2012 setting the taxes for 2013, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Budget Resolution to Adopt 2013 Budget

Mrs. Csete said the Board reviewed the proposed budget materials at a meeting on October 22, 2012. Input had been received from the Chairs of the various boards, commissions and committees.

Mrs. Csete proposed the following changes to the budget to be considered by the Board.

  1. Increase the beginning carryover in the General Fund by $26,630 to $1,170,000.
  2. Increase printing and postage by $1,500 and $2,000 respectively to allow for the printing of 4 newsletters rather than 2 if needed.
  3. Increase employee benefits in the General Fund by $11,000 more than covered by the increase in carryover.
  4. Increase the beginning carryover in the Open Space fund by $85,000 to $4,485,000.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve Resolution #793-2012 adopting the Budget for 2013 as drafted 11/22/12 with tonight’s proposed changes, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Schedule and Authorize Advertisement for Reorganization Meeting – (Mandated for Monday, Jan. 7, 2013)

Mr. Rodgers moved to authorize advertising of the Reorganization meeting and first business meeting for January to be held Monday, January 7, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, room 154, 255 Phoenixville Pike, Malvern PA and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Fadness Settlement

The Fadness’s attorney agreed to a penalty of $1,000 and the filing fees for the District Justice matter. He also agreed to file a deed restriction outlining the required protections for the hedgerow in the future. Since the property is now in compliance, Mr. Thompson suggested a motion to approve the Fadness Settlement.

Mr. Philips moved to accept the Fadness Settlement and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business


Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 11:10 p.m. The reorganization meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 7, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA, and will be followed by a business meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary
sheet, 12/03/2012