Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of July 7, 2014

The first business meeting for July was held July 7, 2014 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, and Hugh D. Willig.
Consultants: Daniel Wright, P.E., Thomas J. Comitta, and Mark P. Thompson, Esq.
Staff: Linda Csete, Manager, Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, Tim Hubbard, Fire Marshal and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary.
Public: See attached sign-in sheet

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.


There were no announcements.

Citizens’ Forum

There were no items mentioned.


June 2, 2014 Business Meeting Minutes

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes of the June 2, 2014 Business Meeting with minor corrections on p. 2 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for further discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report June 1 – 30, 2014

Mr. Philips moved to approve the June 2014 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Reports for Operating Fund for July 7, 2014

Mr. Rodgers moved to approve the General Fund Accounts Payable Report for July 7, 2014 and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report for Open Space Fund for July 7, 2014

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Open Space Fund Accounts Payable Report and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the May 2014 reports #1-14 as submitted and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Transportation Impact Fee (Act 209) Ordinance

Mr. Thompson opened the Hearing to consider adoption of the Transportation Impact Fee Ordinance. The proceedings were recorded by Mark Hagerty, Court Reporter.

Mr. Thompson stated the exhibits as follows.

T-1 June 23, 2014 letter to the Daily Local News with Public Notice
T-2 June 23, 2014 letter from Lamb McErlane to Chester County Law Library
T-3 Proof of Publication
T-4 Act 209 Ordinance with Exhibit A: Impact Area Map
T-5 Resolution #2013-828 with supporting documents including the Roadway Sufficiency
T-6 Land Use Assumptions Report adopted by Resolution #2013-817A

Mr. Thompson asked if there were any questions from those present. Jack Simpson, Remax, came forward to inquire about how to arrive at the fee amount. He was told he could either hire a traffic engineer to obtain his one-time fee estimate, or to arrive at an approximate figure, multiply $1,288 by the estimated number of employees a building.

Following the Hearing, the record was closed. Mr. Philips moved to adopt Ordinance #184-2014 enacting the ordinance imposing a transportation impact fee upon new development, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Devault Village at Spring Oak Conditional Use Application

Mr. Thompson opened the Hearing that had been continued from June 2, 2014 for the Conditional Use Application for Devault Village at Spring Oak. The proceedings were recorded by Mark Hagerty, Court Reporter. The Applicant, John Mostoller, requested via email to Mrs. Csete, on June 23, 2014, that the hearing be continued to August 4, 2014.

Mr. Rodgers moved to accept the Continuance to August 4, 2014. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. Mr. Thompson continued the Hearing to August 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Old Business

Charlestown Day Update

Karen Schlichter, Chairperson for the 2014 Charlestown Community Run & Community Day provided an update on Community Day, scheduled for October 4, 2014. She provided a map for the Board and discussed the results of a visit to Charlestown Township Park to assign locations for parking and the activities of the day.

Mrs. Schlichter suggested locations for:

  1. The Philadelphia Union Mobile Unit
  2. 50-80 Vendors
  3. Tent & Table Eating Area
  4. Food Vendors
  5. Stage
  6. Kid zone (2 inflatables)

Mrs. Schlichter also discussed availability of parking and overflow parking. They will be using a color coded parking system with attendants from the school starting at 7:30 a.m. The 5k and Mile Walk are progressing and they are securing a partial Charlestown Road closure with PennDOT (between Buckwalter Road and Hilltop Road). Sycamore Lane residents will receive a courtesy letter regarding the runners.

Mrs. Schlichter had three issues to address with the Board.

The Board told Mrs. Schlichter that the parking surfaces were in such bad condition that they could not be lined. The parking locations looked fine as portrayed on the map except that location “C” was not Charlestown’s property and perhaps she should check with the college. The pavilion will be made safe. But, Supervisors were concerned about the wires and directed Mrs. Csete to check the PMYC contract to find the responsible party, to make sure the wires are safe. The Board thanked Mrs. Schlichter for her hard work.

Resolution to Authorize Manager to submit Traffic Signal Application to PennDOT for Flashing Lights at the Charlestown Playhouse

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #830-14 authorizing the Township Manager to submit the Traffic Signal Application to PennDOT for flashing lights at the Charlestown Playhouse and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Brightside Farm Improvements – Next Steps

The Supervisors discussed the next phase of improvements for the Brightside Farmhouse, which is to replace the beams on one side of the house and pour a floor in the basement. Past recommendations have been obtained by the Supervisors, but no long term decisions have yet been made.

Supervisors also discussed the future for the out buildings. They have been visited and labeled as savable vs. unsavable. The next step would be to mothball those to be preserved.

Mr. Rodgers said the Township was spending a lot of money on this property and suggested selling some land to compensate. He also suggested obtaining a farmer to live there and have him preserve the house. Mr. Kuhn felt it was short-sighted to split the farm to sell land, and that the Township was prohibited from making money from 55 of the acres. Mr. Rodgers felt the farm would never be a revenue generator.

Mr. Kuhn felt as though this open space was valuable, especially since it wasn’t empty. The century farm is a historical asset. Mrs. Staas also felt it had potential, but would like to see more of the community at the farm and trail. Mr. Philips said the community involvement there was not enough and would be greatly enhanced by converting the grass trail to a paved or otherwise surfaced trail. Mr. Kuhn said that the house was an asset to attract users to the trail. Preserving the heritage was an obligation to the residents of Charlestown Township, and it was worth funding, just like Charlestown Park. Mr. Philips said the 55 acres there could provide quality trails.

Mr. Willig, Mr. Kuhn, and Mr. Philips, decided that the beams should be stabilized, but a visit was going to be necessary. Since Mr. Wright would be preparing the bid to stabilize the first floor and one side of the building, a site visit was established for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Mrs. Staas will email Supervisors her findings from some trail surface exploring. Alix Coleman was asked to notify the renters of the visit and is to review the budget again for next year.

Volpi Update

Mrs. Csete said the real estate sign is on order for the Volpi tract. She has been checking on it but it is taking a long time.

Mr. Thompson said he’s been speaking with three individuals about securing the roof of the house, and should have something lined up shortly.

New Business

Stables Bar – Overview of Zoning Hearing Board Application

Joseph M. Keogh, Jr. provided an overview of the Zoning Hearing Board Application related to improvements of the property where the Stables Bar is now located at the corner of Coldstream and Charlestown Roads. Intended end use is an English style pub/full service restaurant, with seating capacity of approximately 90 inside and 52 on an outside patio. There will be a kitchen addition and a handicapped accessible bathroom/entrance vestibule addition. Mr. Keogh intends on having 40 parking spaces, increasing toward the back, with landscaping replacing the pavement near the street corner. The additions to the building would change the square footage from 1,857 to 2,800.

Mr. Keogh distributed plans for the Supervisors to review. There was an audience member in attendance, Mr. James Wilkinson who also provided pictures for the Board. He was concerned about the noise from the proposed outside patio, viewable from his backyard. Suggestions from the Board and Mr. Comitta were to relocate the patio to the front to stay away from neighbors or reduce the size to contain less people, noise, music, and lighting.

There was also a concern that with a restaurant that size, there may not be enough parking. Reducing the size of the uncovered patio would help that too. Mr. Philips said traffic increasing at that corner will be another problem.

Mr. Keogh said that there was going to be a retaining wall around the patio with foliage on top. He could raise the wall from 3 to 6 feet, keeping foliage, and Mr. Wilkinson was agreeable to that suggestion. Mr. Keogh also said he may shrink the size of the patio since he is not sure the kitchen would be able to handle the estimated crowd (during patio season).

Mr. Thompson said there are no Township provisions for outside dining. There is only an ordinance with stipulations about increasing the size of a building, but none deal with exterior or patio usage. The applicant needs a Zoning Variance for a non-conforming use. He said Supervisors may give limitations. Mr. Kuhn asked what controls could be put in place, and if the Board could specify patio size? Mr. Thompson said that the Board could not deny the patio if the Zoning Hearing Board approved the application. Mr. Thompson said they need evidence of need of controls; it is difficult to determine size.

Mr. Piliero said the concerns will be going to the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board via Mr. Wright. Mr. Comitta and Mr. Wright will review the sketch plan and present concerns to the Planning Commission. Mr. Kuhn said he would recommend approval if he could have final discretion as to the size of the patio. Mr. Philips said he thought there would be too much noise, but had no problem at all if there was no patio. He would approve if the patio could seat about half the amount of guests. The Board in general was in favor of the application but all had concerns about the patio size.

Mr. Comitta said he suggested the owner consider downsizing the patio proportionate to the size of the building which would allow a reduction in parking. The date for the Zoning Board Hearing has not been scheduled.

Award Road Improvement Bids – 2014 Project

Mr. Wright referred to his letter dated July 3, 2014, reviewing the four bids received on June 2nd for the 2014 Road Improvement Project. The initial lowest bidder, Innovative Construction Services Inc. met all qualifications and was recommended for the contract. The bid of $116,987.35 when added to the Co-Stars materials quote from Independence Construction materials of $170,402.32 results in a total of $287,389.67. This would mean a savings of $7,601.08 for Charlestown Township compared to having the contractor purchase the materials directly. Mr. Wright will coordinate the buying of materials.

Mr. Rodgers moved to award the 2014 Road Improvement Bid to Innovative Construction Services Inc. excluding materials, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Comcast Franchise Agreement Renewal

Mr. Thompson stated his office had prepared a draft franchise agreement that had been discussed with Mr. Ralph McClellan of Comcast.

Mr. Philips moved to direct Mr. Thompson to advertise a hearing to consider the Cable Franchise Ordinance that authorizes the Board to enter into this franchise agreement for the August 4, 2014 meeting. Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Parks & Recreation Board Discussion

The Board discussed how to define the duties of the Parks & Recreation Board and how to move forward with filling the vacancy on that Board. After a brief discussion, it became apparent that each township operates this type of board differently and that there is no standard procedure to follow. Two candidates indicated their interest in the open position, Joseph O’Neil, Jr. and Chris Lawrence. The Board told Mr. Lawrence, present, that they appreciated all his interest and efforts for the Township.

Mr. Kuhn asked that the other board members email him with suggestions and said he would like to meet with Parks & Rec members and potential members individually. Mr. Philips suggested having a working session. This suggestion was met with favor since the Park improvement is such a large project and the Board feels they are at a starting point as far as combining issues like the Park project, trails, and Charlestown Day, etc. Mr. Piliero told all present to send comments to Mr. Kuhn and meet as a group so that they have something to start with at the September meeting.

Open Space Monitoring Reports – Enforcement

The Board discussed the open space monitoring program in place with Ed Theurkauf, who inspects the open space properties either annually or bi-annually depending on the location.

Mrs. Csete indicated that the cost of these inspections may be reimbursable by the DEP under Act 167, the PA Stormwater Management Act. Since 2011, she’s filed reports that would be eligible for approximately $20,000 in reimbursements, which is 75% of the cost of the inspections. The program has been without funding since 2011, but the reports she submits are still required by the DEP and the cost will be reimbursed if the program is funded in the future.

Mr. Thompson suggested an ordinance so that the Board could take enforcement action from Mr. Theurkauf’s findings. He will talk with Mr. Theurkauf about the issues he is dealing with and then draft an ordinance that is straightforward and easily enforceable.

Mr. Kuhn asked Mr. Wright about the detention basin with standing water in it at the Whitehorse @ Charlestown development, and Mr. Wright said the homeowners worked diligently to get the water draining. Mr. Kuhn asked him about Township use of funds for basins and Mr. Wright said the Township can only use escrow funds for a basin if it is to correct a structural problem, and not due to a maintenance problem.

Proposed Budget Amendments

Mrs. Csete provided details on the spreadsheet she prepared proposing amendments to the 2014 budget. Adjustments were made to the carryover figures for the General Fund and Open Space Fund to reflect the actual year-end balance. The main change proposed for the General Fund was to remove the revenue of $25,000 for the Visions Partnership Grant as this item belongs in the Open Space Fund budget. Other changes to budget categories were to increase expenditures for snow removal and road sweeping along with emergency services, all of which were due to the severe winter. Other changes were minor in nature. The carryover percentage remains well above the Township’s goal of 15-20%.

For the Open Space Fund, Earned Income Tax Revenue is exceeding what was budgeted by about 20%, which more than offsets the reduced beginning year carryover.

Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #831-14 amending the 2014 Budget as proposed, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Pickering Crossing Escrow Releases #8 and #9

Mr. Philips moved to approve Escrow Releases #8 and #9 for Pickering Crossing, and Mr. Rodgers seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Spring Oak Escrow Release #2

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve Escrow Release #2 for Spring Oak, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

The Board asked Mr. Thompson about the status of the 1.1 acre property at the college. Mr. Thompson said the County officially changed the ownership to Charlestown Township. The college requested a survey so they know where the boundaries are and if utilities are present. Mr. Wright will schedule the survey to get lines and utilities marked.

Mr. Philips requested a brief executive session after tonight’s meeting.

Mr. Philips asked Mr. Wright about Spring Oaks basins not draining. Mr. Wright told the Board the basins are still in a temporary state.

Mr. Lawrence had a question for the Board regarding the Crowell property and whether it was under conservation easement. The Board confirmed it was not, although Mr. Lawrence and one of his neighbors had been told otherwise by realtors.


Mr. Piliero announced that the Board would hold a brief executive session following the meeting to discuss legal and real estate matters. He adjourned the meeting at 9:50 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 4, 2014, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa K. Gardner
Recording Secretary
sheet, 7/7/2014