Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of June 3, 2013

The first business meeting for June was held June 3, 2013 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.


Supervisors: Michael J. Rodgers, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, Charles A. Philips, and Hugh D. Willig. Frank A. Piliero was absent.
Consultants: Dan Wright, P.E., Mark P. Thompson, Esq.
Staff: Linda Csete, Manager, Tim Hubbard, Fire Marshal, Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary.
Public: See attached sign-in sheet

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.

Announcements - There were no announcements.

Citizens’ Forum

Mr. Tim Townes requested a special meeting this month about the gas meters at the newly named Pickering Crossing, formerly Pickering Grant. He would like to start site work in July now that the Planning Commission has approved the concept of screening the gas meters in the front of the middle townhouse units. The additional Board of Supervisors meeting would discuss how to change the provisions in the TND Ordinance. Mr. Thompson said the Plan will also need amending. The meeting was scheduled for July 17, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Township Office. Mrs. Csete will advertise.

Mrs. Barbara DeWilde of the Charlestown Historical Society thanked the Supervisors for supporting the successful Charlestown Community Day on June 1st. Many names were mentioned for their hard work such as Sue Staas, Bob Jones, Mr. Rodgers teaching visitors about the TND’s, Mr. Kuhn about the Mill, Mr. Willig stationed at the Township Table, and Mr. Philips promoting The Great Valley Nature Center.


May 5, 2013 Business Meeting Minutes

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2013 Business Meeting and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for further discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report May 1 - 31, 2013

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the May 2013 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report June 3, 2013 Operating Fund

Mr. Philips moved to approve the June 3, 2013 General Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion. Mrs. Csete said there were some last minute additions for insurance and credit card charges. The vote was called and all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report June 3, 2013 Open Space Fund

Mr. Philips moved to approve the June 3, 2013 Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.


Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the May 2013 reports #1-14 as submitted, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for further discussion, and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

There was none.

New Business

Application to Amend Zoning Ordinance – TND Area 3

Mr. Comitta began by handing out a packet labeled Zoning Ordinance Amendments dated May 30, 2013. It contained definitions for “Campus-type Setting”, “Parking Lot Green”, and “Suite Style Hotel”. This strengthened the wording of the Ordinance, as to prohibit any switching of hotel styles. He then continued down the list to comply with the bulk of the changes, inserting what variations would be necessary into the Ordinance, if amended.

  1. Correcting Section 27-2202.1 with the Strategy Plan date to be June 21, 2010.
  2. Addition to Section 27-2203.A. (4) Exhibit D-1 Development Strategy Plan
  3. The expansion of Section 27-2211.I for Suite Style Hotel in the TND-3 with the Supervisors to consider parking and reserve parking. The Suite Style wording reflects the type of facility and type of business traveler it would attract. The Parking Lot Green was a new idea that came about during a Planning Commission Meeting in an effort to invoke more “green” into the site.
  4. The expansion of Section 27-2212.A. for lot size
  5. The revision of Section 27-2212.F. for building area metrics
  6. Revising the date for the cover of the Manual to be May 30th
  7. Exhibit “B” Adds 2 new images to the Design Guidelines for Hotels on page 27
  8. Addition of Exhibit D-1 to express intent of Pickering Crossing, Spring Oak, and the Village of General Warren to be dated May 30th, 2013.
  9. Today’s revisions to Exhibit G for TND-3, pertaining to Suite Style Hotel (with Retail) being the Rooms max addition to the Housing Mix column.

Mr. Comitta asked the Board to consider setting a date to discuss or approve these changes necessary to codify a hotel into the Zoning Ordinance. The Amendments could be considered at a Public Hearing on August 5, 2013. These Amendments may be formally recommended at the Planning Commission’s July 9th meeting.

Mrs. Csete will work with Mr. Thompson to send the Amendments to the Phoenixville Area Regional Planning Commission, Charlestown Township Planning Commission and Chester County Planning Commission for Act 247 Review.

Mr. Philips reminded Mr. Townes to consider the Design Manual when drafting the centerpiece, making islands more meaningful and fuller looking with landscaping, etc. Mr. Willig asked how the green would better define the centerpiece and a path or walkway. Mr. Townes showed him a first draft of the idea for refinement of the parking area.

Mr. Philips moved to direct the Solicitor to prepare the amendment to the Zoning Ordinance under Part 2, Definitions, and Part 22, under Traditional Neighborhood (TND) District as presented by Mr. Comitta this evening, and to direct Mrs. Csete to advertise the hearing to consider the amendment for July 1, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154. Mr. Rodgers seconded and called for discussion. There being none, he called the vote, and all were in favor.

Pennsylvania State Police Update

Corporal Brian Atkinson was present to give his report to Supervisors regarding activity within the Township. There were 71 calls for May including 11 crashes, 2 with injuries. Mr. Kuhn asked if there were any ongoing issues that they needed to be made aware. Cpl. Atkinson reminded everyone that with the arrival of summer comes the need to lock your home and your car. Also, it is the season to keep an eye out for suspicious vendors or non-permitted selling. He said to call and they will come and check the situation if needed.

Mr. Chris Lawrence asked about a series of local break-ins within the last 2 years. Officer Atkinson said they were not in this area. He also said there is a specific officer for public service information. This would be the contact for the general public or for questions about finding data for a newsletter or information for a website.

A monthly report with more detailed information will be forwarded to the Township Office. He also discussed with Mrs. Csete what to do about abandoned automobiles in the Township. Mr. Philips thanked the PSP for sending an officer to Charlestown Community Day.

Charlestown Hunt Residents/HOA Request for Traffic Study of Charlestown Hunt Drive and Route 29 Intersection to Determine if Signal is Warranted

Residents and the HOA from Charlestown Hunt have contacted the Township Office asking the Township to investigate whether they can have a traffic signal installed at the intersection of Charlestown Hunt Drive and Route 29. Mrs. Csete researched the request and found that a prior study had been done in 2003 suggesting a signal was not warranted.

Mrs. Csete said in speaking with PennDOT, she learned the Township would have to pay for the traffic study to be conducted. PennDOT would need a commitment from the Township that the Township would cover the costs of signal installation and maintenance. The PennDOT representative suggested that the Township conduct its own informal traffic count first to see if the numbers are high enough to pursue this further.

The Township owns a traffic counting device that the Fire Marshal can set up for this purpose. Mr. Willig suggested that Fire Marshal Tim Hubbard proceed with this study at his earliest convenience. If Mr. Hubbard’s study suggests the need for the official engineering study, the Township will request it. However, if the informal study results don’t support it, the HOA would have to fund the formal study if they still wanted to pursue this option. Mr. Willig suggested Mr. Hubbard research and try to use PennDOT parameters for the study if possible. Mr. Hubbard felt a week long study would suffice.

Spring Oak Update

Mr. Mostoller had been at the DRC meeting this morning with Mr. Philips, and came to tell Supervisors the PECO issue was moving toward resolution.

Mr. Mostoller also said the Planning Module was moving along well, as far as East Whiteland Township’s involvement was concerned. In order to file an amended Module to the DEP, he is working with Advanced Geo Services to resolve the DEP’s remaining issues, but he needed data from the Valley Forge Sewer Authority. Mr. Mostoller wants to begin site work in September. So, Mr. Rodgers asked for an email of a list of items (4) that need to be addressed, reminding him that his problem was not capacity but conveyance. Mr. Willig told Mr. Mostoller that including dates and any information to prove his attempt at completing the Planning Module would help Mr. Rodgers tie up loose ends. Mr. Steve Yuhas of the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, then entered the meeting, agreed to meet with Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Mostoller at a later time.

Charlestown Meadows Additional Right of Way Dedication

Mr. Wright discussed the first item, a portion of sidewalk that was not yet installed along Parking Lot D, and said it was being taken care of soon. Mr. Willig mentioned another area of sidewalk that was in need of repair, and Mr. Wright said the HOA would be scheduling the repair work for this part too, (Item 2). Since the escrow had been released, any further issues related to the sidewalk construction would be between the HOA and developer.

The Township will be released as the HOA and Toll Brothers finalize settlement. Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Thompson to be sure and obtain a copy of the settlement agreement. Also, Mr. Thompson told the Board that the Deed of Dedication language for the additional right-of-way should be a perpetual offer of dedication from Toll Brothers. That way the right-of-way would always be there for the Township if they needed it.

Brightside Farm – Repair of Community Garden Fencing

Mr. Kuhn will be meeting with Brightside Farm Manager Alix Coleman to settle the fence issue. Alix obtained an estimate from J-Mar Fencing on the cost to repair the community garden fencing at Brightside. They gave two options to the base price of $2,074 for repair that would add to the cost.

Woolen Mill

Mr. Kuhn said he met with a representative from Hudecheck Roofing to inspect the roof. When it was installed during the restorations several years ago, a rolled roofing material was used, and the contractor advised the township to have it recoated every 5-7 years. The inspection revealed only a few spots needing repair. Mr. Kuhn asked for a quote for an annual inspection and touchup from Hudecheck Roofing.

Secondly, Mr. Kuhn said much of the damage found on the roof was due to the closeness of some walnut trees and removing these trees would also reduce gutter fill. Jim Thompson will call Davey Tree Expert Company to get pricing for trimming the trees or removing them entirely.

Third, Mr. Kuhn said a drain in the walkway down by the lower door needed to be addressed. It was meant to carry water off that runs down the driveway, but has been the source of much trouble. The drain is about 8” – 10” in diameter and runs under the driveway towards the Naylor property. Every time there is a major storm, the entire area floods and the drain actually ends up filling the mill with water about 3 or 4 foot deep. At first he suggested re-routing the drain line to the outfall culvert that is between the mill and Charlestown Road, but after meeting with Dan Aquilante, Mr. Aquilante had a simpler suggestion which would be to cut through the blacktop & concrete floor from the drain in front of the door to the mill tank, then boring a hole into the tank and running a pipe from the existing drain into the tank where any storm water will be directed towards the outfall. The Board tentatively approved to move forward with the cost of the repairs not to exceed $4,600. Mr. Rodgers wanted a price quote from Melchiorre.

Mr. Thompson was also asked to see if sealcoating the drive would reduce the weed problem.

Lastly, Mr. Kuhn discussed putting the mill machinery back in the building as a museum for educational reasons. Mr. Philips said the Historical Commission would research a proposal for this and also see about getting signage for the Mill.

Mr. Philips made a motion to have Mrs. Csete contact the Historical Commission to assist with reinstalling equipment and help with presentation characteristics. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Mrs. Csete offered a gratis service by her husband, to 3D laser scan the interior of the building. In return, Mr. Csete will be able to refer to this project on his business website. The Supervisors accepted this offer.

Insurance Renewal 6/11/2013 – 6/11/2014

Mrs. Csete referred to the letter dated June 3, 2013 from Ken Moyer of the Simkiss Agency, the Township’s insurance broker, outlining changes to the renewal policies and explanations for why the costs have increased. The main cause of the increase is due to the Township’s population increasing to over 5,000 according to the 2010 census.

Mrs. Csete said service continues to be excellent from the insurance brokerage firm, Simkiss Companies and specifically from Ken Moyer. This year he went to two other insurance companies, both A+ rated like the current provider, and they were unable to match the lower premiums offered by Scottsdale. In addition, Scottsdale Insurance has been easy to work with on special activities, like Charlestown Day, where other companies would have disallowed some of the activities planned for these events.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Scottsdale Insurance proposal obtained through Simkiss Company for the period of 6/11/2013 – 6/11/2014 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Exeter 3222 Phoenixville Pike

Mrs. Csete explained that the Financial Security Agreement had been reviewed by Mr. Thompson with the cost estimates reviewed and found acceptable by Mr. Wright. The Applicant’s attorney suggested simplifying the escrow release now being held by the Township for Stages 1 & 2 to be released, but to have that total of $530,206.15 transferred to their account for Stage 3, with the remaining balance for Stage 3 to be funded by an additional check.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Escrow Release for Stages 1 & 2 with the balance to be transferred to the account for Stage 3, and further moved to approve the Subdivision Financial Security Agreement for Stage 3 in the amount of $789,033.72 with a supplemental check of $257,827.57 provided for the difference. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

Devault Foods Inc. – Request for Extension of Preliminary Plan

Mrs. Csete said Devault Foods has requested another one year extension to the deadline for filing the Phased Final Plan associated with the five phase Preliminary Plan that was conditionally approved in June 2005.

Mr. Philips moved to approve a one year extension to the Preliminary Plan and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Devault Foods Inc. – Request for Extension of Permit #3419-06, C-06-244 and 07015 E & S

Mrs. Csete said Devault Foods has requested a one year extension to the permits associated with their wastewater pretreatment equalization tank and its utility building.

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve a one year extension to Permits #3419-06, C-06-244 and 07015 E & S, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Rodgers called for discussion. There being none, Mr. Kuhn called the vote and all were in favor.

Tax Claim Bureau Request for Approval to accept offers on Parcels #35-4-107.18 and 35-4-98.1

Mrs. Csete said the Township received two letters from the County Tax Claim Bureau requesting approval to sell two parcels to the lowest bidder. The first parcel is located off Phoenixville Park across from Charlestown Paving, and the second is a small parcel behind the Commons at Great Valley.

Discussion followed with the Supervisors and audience members Sue Staas and Chris Lawrence, regarding any benefit of the Township purchasing these properties. The Township would be exempt from paying taxes to the school district and therefore the school district might object to this option. Mrs. Staas thought that if plans for a Rails-to-Trails comes through, one of the properties may be of more value as open space than it is now. The members and the Solicitor discussed the pros and cons, determining that by taking no action, the properties would be sold to the lowest bidder by default. No motion was made.

Other Business

There was none.


Mr. Rodgers adjourned the meeting at 9:08 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 1, 2013, 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, 06/03/2013