Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of August 5, 2019

The first business meeting for August was held August 5, 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, Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, Tim Hubbard, Public Safety & Property Coordinator, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary.

Call to Order:

7:00 p.m.


Mrs. Csete announced that the September meeting would be held one day late, on Tuesday, Sept. 3rd, due to the Labor Day Holiday.

Citizens Forum

No one came forward.


July 1, 2019, Business Meeting Minutes

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the minutes for the July 1, 2019, Business Meeting, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Treasurer’s Report July 1-31, 2019

Mr. Philips moved to approve the July 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 August 5, 2019

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report for August 5, 2019, 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 2019 reports #1-14 as submitted and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Willig said the final revision of the PRPC Comprehensive Plan had now been circulated for review and adoption by the member municipalities. He noted that West Pikeland Township has been accepted into the group. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being nothing further, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business – none

New Business

Change Order for Brightside Farmhouse Repairs Contract

Mr. Kuhn referred to J.D Bravo’s proposed change order to their open contract for maintenance, to add the installation of a new bathroom at the Brightside farmhouse.

Mr. Philips moved to approve Change Order #1 to the J.D. Bravo contract for Brightside Farmhouse Repairs for $47,440.00, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Update on MS-4 Program

Mr. Wright gave the annual update to the Township’s MS-4 Program. He said that 23 letters have been sent to homeowners’ associations and development management companies informing them of their responsibility to have their stormwater management systems inspected annually by a certified professional engineer. They must provide a letter to the Township by September 30th, certifying the system is functioning properly. This notification was required for 2019 as part of the Township’s MS-4 Program, with annual follow-up thereafter. The requirement impacts larger developments that were required to obtain an NPDES permit for construction, and only applies to later projects as a Best Management Practice.

Mr. Wright said his office is also fine-tuning the procedure to be underway beginning 2022 for removal of particulates and silt from the Valley Creek Watershed. The plan proposes to include bi-weekly street sweeping where the material can be weighed and tracked. He noted he discussed other options with Ms. Bednar and investigating options is continuing.

Charlestown Road Speeding Issues

Mr. Jerry Baker, of Traffic Planning & Design, was present for a discussion on addressing speeding and safety issues on Charlestown Road, particularly near the Hollow Road intersection. Mr. Philips said car and truck speeds are excessive, with several recent accidents and property damage caused in two instances.

Mr. Kuhn referred to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission report that included recommendations for this intersection, which have yet to be implemented. Mr. Baker suggested dealing with the King of Prussia based traffic unit and Mr. Don Centofante. Mr. Baker traveled the road today and noted many signs are not visible due to vegetation growth, and placement for the “curve ahead” sign is too far from the curve. Resident Jean Bomm said she has spoken with PennDOT at the County level. She added that the sign was relocated due to a neighbor’s request, as he couldn’t see to get out of his driveway. Mr. Baker said a ball bank indicator or similar device could be used to replace the sign and test the curves again. Signs with an advisory speed could also be added, as could chevrons or paint markings on the road. Installation of rumble strips is a tactic, but he doubted PennDOT would approve them. Mr. Hubbard added that the noise would likely disrupt nearby homes.

Mr. Baker referenced speed and volume data collected by Mr. Hubbard with the Township’s speed sign equipment. He said the average speed is 43 mph, although the posted speed is 35 mph. PennDOT is unlikely to lower it further. He said people tend to drive at a comfortable speed regardless of the actual speed limit, and people do not slow down if the speed is lowered.

Ms. Bomm asked about state police report data. Mr. Baker said it shows 15 accidents in 5 years. Five accidents per year are considered a pattern. He noted a traffic study may warrant a four-way stop at Hollow and Charlestown Roads, but then questioned whether the sight distance would allow for it.

Mr. Philips asked about speed tables, and Mr. Baker said they don’t recommend them on steep grades. Other options would be to widen the road, then add a median strip, or curb bump-outs.

Mr. Piliero asked for the first step. Mr. Baker said TPD will contact PennDOT.

Brightside Garden Fence Replacement

Community garden coordinator, Charles Buck, provided details from his research on replacing the garden fencing at Brightside Farm. The old fence needs replacing and pests are causing crop loss. He distributed a map of the area as it is now and made the following suggestions.

  1. Include a cost-effective addition/upgrade of buried black chain link.
  2. Expand 15’ into the current parking area for 15 more small plots at a marginal cost.

Mr. Buck presented one estimate of $18,000, obtained from J Mar Fencing. It includes locust posts and removal of the old fence, but does not include the black chain link. He plans on obtaining 3 complete quotes for the Board. These quotes will include a ground-level horizontal board (to protect from weed trimmers), with a layer of 14-gauge chicken wire as extra protection, plus the chain link. Other points mentioned:

  1. Charlestown residents get first chance at spots, but not all gardeners are residents.
  2. There is a waiting list at times, but it is not long enough to use all the proposed spots.
  3. Any of the spots could be used as a hothouse.
  4. Smaller spots are in demand.
  5. The fence will be about 8’ high to discourage rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, and deer.

Andersen Minor Subdivision

Ms. Wendy McLean, Esq. was present on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Donald and Elizabeth Andersen to seek approval for their Minor Subdivision Plan (last revised May 15, 2019) for a 2-lot subdivision of 23 Eastwick Drive. The project received Conditional Use Approval on May 6, 2019. Ms. McLean stated the checklist was complete and the planning module was approved. A neighbor plans to buy the lot but does not have plans to build in the immediate future. Tonight, she requested Board approval and after recording at the County, she will proceed with stormwater and road improvements.

Two open issues are on the Advanced GeoServices review letter. First, the Applicant will need to obtain an updated access agreement for Lot 2 from the owner of UPI 35-03-65.3 as a condition of final approval. Secondly, the Applicant indicates legal descriptions for Lots 1 and 2 will be provided under separate cover.

Mr. Thompson gave four conditions for approval.

  1. The applicants shall improve Eastwick Road from Church Road to the driveway to Lot 1 as shown on the Plan. It must conform to the standards for road construction in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance by adding depressed curbs and ensuring a minimum width of 18 feet to comply with Section 1610.2 of the Zoning Ordinance.
  2. Before recording the Plan, the Applicant shall post financial security acceptable to the Township in order to secure improvements to Eastwick Road. No certificate of occupancy for the proposed dwelling on Lot 2 shall be issued until the improvements to Eastwick Road and Church Road are completed, subject to approval by the Township Engineer and PennDOT.
  3. The Applicants shall implement any necessary stormwater management related to existing drainage facilities for Eastwick Road and at the intersection of Eastwick Road and Church Road, subject to approval by the Township Engineer and PennDOT.
  4. Before recording the Plan, the Applicants shall provide to the Township an amended Private Drive and Maintenance Agreement providing for the use of Eastwick Road by the owner of Lot 2 and executed by the owners of the lots utilizing Eastwick Road to the satisfaction of the Township Solicitor.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Andersen Minor Subdivision Plan, last revised May 15, 2019, subject to Mr. Thompson’s four conditions. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.

Renewal of Office Lease

Mr. Piliero and Mrs. Csete met with Mr. Tom A. Fillippo and Mr. Tom W. Fillippo on July 17th to discuss terms for renewal of the office lease, which expires November 1st. The proposed renewal would be for a three-year period at a monthly rate determined to be $1300. Mr. Piliero told the Board that he thought this was very reasonable. Ms. Bednar suggested the insertion of a clause protecting the Township if the property were to change ownership. Mr. Thompson will be sure there is an extension option and a clause that if the property sells, the lease is still honored. At the next meeting with the landlord, Mr. Piliero will request:

  1. Flooring improvements
  2. The address number to be prominently displayed on the building as required in the Township Ordinance.

Design Review Committee Membership Discussion

Mrs. Csete noted that the Board would like to appoint Mr. Mike Allen to the Design Review Committee. The Members discussed if there needs to be an amendment to the Traditional Neighborhood Development Ordinance, which states that the committee consists of three members, including one supervisor, one planning commissioner and one planner/planning consultant. Mr. Allen would be attending as an employee and would be protected by the Township. No amendment to the TND Ordinance is needed.

Authorize Advertising for Hearing on Zoning Ordinance Amendments Related to Conditional Use and an Ordinance Amendment for Abandoned Vehicles

Mr. Thompson will send his reviews and circulate comments to the Board before the next meeting on September 3, 2019, at which time the hearings will be scheduled.

Authorize Advertising for a Conditional Hearing and a Hearing for the Adoption of the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan

Mr. Philips moved to authorize Mrs. Csete to advertise a public conditional hearing for Mr. Michael Richter to construct guest quarters above a garage, and for a public hearing to adopt the revised Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan. These hearings are to take place on September 3, 2019, 7:00 p.m. (at the Great Valley Middle School Room 154). Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.

Interim Budget Review

Mrs. Csete gave a brief review of the budget vs. actual figures for 2019 through July 31st. All three funds are favorable at 15% above the anticipated balance for the General Fund, 10% above for the Liquid Fuels Fund and 21% for the Open Space Fund. All three funds are expected to remain in favorable positions for the end of the year.

Other Business

Ms. Maria Kreiter, of 2119 Conestoga Road, was concerned about stormwater runoff from God Grace Bible Church of 2109 Conestoga Road. Mr. Piliero told Ms. Kreiter that the topic had been discussed earlier among the board members, and Mr. Wright will meet with her to go over the details and see what can be done.

Mr. Philips said he is not happy with the appearance of the meadow at Route 29 and Whitehorse Road at the Devault Basins. There are supposed to be meadow plants and flowers, but there are dead trees and grass that appears to need mowing. Mr. Kuhn has seen GreenWeaver Landscapes in the basin lately and he believes they were probably working on eliminating invasives. Mr. Philips does not think the meadow is getting the amount of attention it needs. Members decided it was time to have Mr. Theurkauf and GreenWeaver back for a discussion at the September meeting.


Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 8:12 p.m. The next Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, 7:00 p.m. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room #154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa K. Gardner
Recording Secretary