Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of July 1, 2019

The first business meeting for July was held July 1, 2019, at the Great Valley High School in Room 227, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, in Malvern, PA.


Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Charles A. Philips, Vice Chairman, Susan T. Bednar, Kevin R. Kuhn, and Hugh D. Willig.
Mark P. Thompson, Esq. and Daniel T. Wright, P.E.
Linda Csete, Manager, Tim Hubbard, Public Safety & Property Coordinator, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary. Jim Thompson, Roadmaster was absent.

Call to Order:

7:00 p.m.


Mr. Kuhn announced that a conservation easement has been placed on the 23.8-acre Thompson property on Union Hill Road.

Citizens Forum

Mr. Findlay said thank you to Mr. Hubbard for his help with a state police incident on Charlestown Road. A fence was down, and the culprits were apprehended. Speed monitoring equipment, used for data collection only, might be helpful to make this state road safer. The Township traffic consultant is working on this road and the Board is waiting for suggestions. Following up on recommendations in the Act 209 Report is the consultant’s first priority. Also, Mrs. Csete forwarded pictures to PennDOT proving certain improvements had not been made, but PennDOT said had been completed. The Township is waiting to hear back from PennDOT.

Mr. Martin from the Charlestown Historical Society said the latest concert had over 200 people attend and thanked the Roadmaster for mowing the parking zone. The next concert is on July 11th.

Mr. Martin reported that the Janet Rubino application had a second hearing with a modified plan and it was approved. He suggested the Planning Commission review and wordsmith the part of the Ordinance regarding “expansion of a building”. The Zoning Hearing Board acknowledged the Rubino plan now showed the expansion of non-conforming use to be under 50%.

The new Vice Chairperson of the Zoning Hearing Board is Ms. Jean Bomm.


June 3, 2019 Business Meeting Minutes

Mr. Philips moved to approve the minutes for the June 3, 2019 Business Meeting, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report June 1-30, 2019

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the June 2019 Treasurer’s Report and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote, all were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report for the Operating Fund July 1, 2019

Mr. Willig moved to approve the Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report for July 1, 2019 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Accounts Payable Report July 1, 2019 Open Space Fund

Mr. Philips moved to approve the Capital Improvements - General Fund Accounts Payable Report for July 1, 2019 and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Philips moved to accept the June 2019 reports #1-14 as submitted and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Willig stated the update to the Comprehensive Plan was complete and will be coming to the townships for review and adoption in the near future. West Pikeland has also decided to rejoin the group and if there are no objections will do so. Charlestown Supervisors had no objections.

Old Business

Renewable Energy Resolution

Mr. Philips stated that the Planning Commission reviewed the draft resolution prepared by a subcommittee consisting of two members each from the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission and Environmental Advisory Committee. The draft was posted on the Township website to invite public comment and 17 comments were received. Following a few edits, the Planning Commission recommended the adoption of the resolution.

Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #945-2019 promoting renewable energy goals and strategies, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion.

  1. Mr. Connelly stated 3 points. It was a great resolution for creating community feel, and a thank you to the subcommittee for a fast process. But the resolution was missing two things. It did not include verbiage about why (climate change), and it did not include how (or inspire). He suggested giving this draft back to the public, PC, and EAC, etc., to further examine and comment in a way that will dictate a value or include aspirational goals.
  2. Mr. Kuhn said this work started a year ago and the committee obeyed earlier recommendations. A resolution isn’t a law, but more of a path forward. Ordinances might inspire but not resolutions. Also, it was added that an elected body cannot dictate where energy comes from to its residents.
  3. Mr. Willig stated that the Board agrees to the values. The resolution was drafted with the EAC and PC by finding agreement, why not pass this and let the resolution continue to evolve.
  4. Ms. Dugdale wants an amendment to make the resolution compliant to the campaign of the Sierra Club. She suggests the resolution reappear on the website again before the vote.
  5. Mr. Wylie, Southeast Regional Sierra Club President agreed that it was a great resolution. He wanted the Township to add thresholds so that it can be counted in their list of municipalities that are serious. By establishing dates/deadlines, it puts the Township on a scale with others that are committed to working with them for change and helps for pooling finances.
  6. Ms. Armstrong suggested a deadline. She raised procedural questions about the subcommittee. Mr. Kuhn responded that the subcommittee had a sole purpose to get input for the resolution.
  7. Mr. Piliero said that a plan will be formed, and from this, priorities can be established.
  8. Ms. Bednar explained that the original document was a collection of thoughts plus contents from other municipalities that Mr. Thompson had included. It was very long and received a lot of changes. Members were very mixed in views, but tried to not close off input but to end up with something everyone could agree on. Then edits were included and the resolution was agreed on, comments were taken.
  9. Mr. Kuhn suggested the next step would be the PC will take the lead to work with the EAC, but a lot of the progress is beyond the control of the Board. He reminded the audience that the carbon footprint of Charlestown is lower than any other municipality in Chester County due to the efforts of the Township officials. However, this resolution was not a top priority in the daily running of the Township and many other things take precedence.
  10. Mr. Churchill said all that is operationally important is in the resolution. But, there is a sense of urgency, it would help to have a date, it can always be changed. He described how the date is for public communication of seriousness.
  11. Ms. Leland referred to the Sierra Club’s re-draft of the resolution page 1 item #5. She commended the line “Work to continuously revise, update and amend Township ordinances as technology and experience becomes available”.
  12. Ms. Daily supported the resolution as written. She thanked the authors for the definition of renewable energy that was online.
  13. Mr. Connelly disagreed with Ms. Daily. He also stated that he wanted to be ready for 100% in 2050 and the Township needed to prioritize. He suggested revisiting item #6 on the Sierra Club’s version.
  14. Ms. Fox said a resolution should contain a goal and it should have a deadline.
  15. Mr. Motel stated the EAC has a lot of talent and “doers”. They should bring ideas to PC. Mr. Thompson will need to check with the state for preemptive policies as they are considered. Also, he thought the resolution needs a date but suggested moving forward.
  16. Mr. Epstein warned that a review may be needed for ordinances out of date, such as wind and solar. He was prevented in the past from pursuing wind energy. Ms. Tull gave him suggestions for fulfilling his expectations. Mr. Philips and Mr. Kuhn told Mr. Epstein new or revised ordinances were in place.
  17. Mr. and Mrs. Moore experienced frustrations with inspections after changing over to solar and geothermal for their home. They suggested this process be improved and suggested discounting the inspection fee would help incentivize installation of renewable energy. . Mr. Moore stated he thought the resolution was “fluffy”.
  18. Ms. Armstrong discussed items for an EAC toolbox such as guidelines, startup guides, and ideas. Mr. Piliero stated this would be in the plan that would follow.
  19. Mr. Sheridan suggested putting together a forum for the EAC. It was very popular in East Whiteland.

Mr. Piliero wrapped up the comments by telling the audience that everyone seemed to be primarily in agreement, and to pass the resolution so that progress can be made and an action plan with a date, be formulated.

Since Mr. Kuhn had previously seconded Mr. Piliero, called the vote. All were in favor.

Hartman Run LLC Complaint

Mr. Thompson recommended the Township file a complaint against Hartman Run LLC in the Court of Common Pleas. The owner of the property placed four condominiums without subdivision approval at Hartman Run Lane (tax parcels 35-2-95,35-2-101, 35-2-102). The requirement states a minimum lot area of 80,000 square feet for a conventional lot containing a single-family dwelling in the FR Zoning District; therefore they are non-conforming.

Mr. Kuhn moved to direct Mr. Thompson to file the complaint against Hartman Run LLC and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Zoning Violation Update

Mr. Wright gave an update on a zoning violation for a property on Conestoga Road (Rt. 401) operating a business. Mr. Wright said that although the owner has collected large equipment and moved earth, no business is operating there, and the berms are not in the right-of-way. The owner will be paying his fine and submitting the zoning and erosion control permits that are required. He will begin smoothing out the earth, seeding, and planting vegetation.

The Aldham Road property is unoccupied and has collected junk. Mr. Wright is waiting for the stronger ordinance to pass, then he will contact them.

New Business

Conditional Use Ordinance Amendment Update

Mr. Philips provided an update on the ordinance amendments relating to Conditional Use, which were recommended by the Planning Commission for adoption during their June 11th meeting. Mr. Philips described how the Township wants to be proactive, anticipate some uses, and also prevent litigation. With the new definitions and new uses under assigned districts, the draft is ready to be sent to Chester County for comments. It will be on the next Board agenda.

Mr. Motel said that the designation of Fast Food will be adjusted in TND-3 since it allows drive-thrus, and there is pedestrian emphasis in the TNDs. TND’s are not meant to accommodate drive-thrus due to car stacking and increased traffic, so Fast Food will be permitted, but no drive-thrus.

The question arose, if the Township doesn’t provide for this use, could the Regional Comprehensive Plan come into defense for this? Ms. Bednar asked if they needed to prohibit drive-thrus in TND’s. In the I/O/B district (south of the Turnpike entrance) any other lawful use is to be considered per Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson will analyze the fast food drive-thru issue, then submit the amendments to Chester County.

Mr. Philips moved to send the ordinance amendments to Chester County for review with the new changes provided by Mr. Thompson regarding drive-thrus. Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Charlestown Cemetery Wall Repair Project

Mr. Dettore of J.D. Bravo Co., updated the Board on the steps needed to repair the perimeter wall at the old Charlestown Cemetery on Charlestown Road. He reviewed the original cost estimate and added estimates for additional clearing and obtaining stone to match the existing stone. He noted that historically similar stone would not be available commercially and would have to be salvaged from an existing location, which could involve cleaning and transporting to the site. His highest (potential) estimate for the project is $190,900.

There are some sides of the wall that are in worse repair than others. The walls may need to be faced with the old stone and therefore, widened. Or a different method of how the wall is built could be incorporated into the original (ex. adding stucco). Whatever the method, it will be determined after Mr. Dettore finds out how much stone there is for the project.

Mr. Frens will be involved with preparing the bid specs. Mr. Dettore will contact Mr. Frens and they will coordinate the bid package, most likely requiring prevailing wage and public bidding. As they develop a plan that will tell them how much stone they need, they will also find out exactly how much stone they have to work with, and plan from that point.

J.D. Bravo Update

Mr. Dettore will check on the bathroom upgrade project at the farmhouse for Brightside Farm.

Mr. Dettore will get a price from a different signage company for completing the Mill. He will also check on the order already in process.

Mr. Dettore deferred to Mr. Thompson, who stated that there is a motion for reconsideration with a judge on the Charlestown Park project. It is taking a long time, therefore the restroom door issue is still pending.

The landscaper for Charlestown Park will be told by Mr. Hubbard to remove and replace three dead trees. Mr. Hubbard did not feel that Davey Tree needed to be called in.

Resolution to Dispose of Records in Accordance with Records Retention Schedule

Mrs. Csete said in accordance with the state’s records disposition schedule, she proposed the destruction of selected 2011 financial records as they are only required to be retained for 7 years.

Mrs. Csete said the scanning training is going well and looks promising. After the new computers are installed, additional hardware will be installed with training to follow. There is no need to have an intern for scanning yet but may be planned for next summer.

Mr. Philips moved to adopt Resolution #946-19 authorizing the disposition of these records, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Presentation – Pervious Pavement

Township Engineer Mr. Wright presented information on pervious pavement. A copy of the PowerPoint material is included as an addendum to the minutes.

Other Business


Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m. The next Board of Supervisors Meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 5, 2019, 7:00 p.m. at Great Valley High School, Room #227, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa K. Gardner
Recording Secretary