Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors Business Meeting
Minutes of August 3, 2020

The first business meeting for August was held on August 3, 2020, via remote dial-in/log-in via Webex due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.


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, Beth Martin, Assistant Secretary, Tim Hubbard, Public Safety & Property Coordinator, Mike Allen, Staff Planner, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary. Jim Thompson, Roadmaster, was absent.
Lou Rubenfield, Mike Keffer, Doug Gable, Siva Nathan, Lorraine Fillippo, Maresh Butah, and several others.

Call to Order:

7:03 p.m.


Mrs. Csete reminded everyone that the September meeting will be on a Tuesday (9-1) due to Labor Day.

Citizens Forum

Mr. Rubenfield wanted to know what the next step was after the July Planning Commission Meeting reviewed the Devault Food’s expansion plans. Mr. Wright stated that the engineer was asked to incorporate the discussion items into revised plans, such as moving the loading dock and building farther away from residents and getting a square footage figure of the building.

Gary Sheridan, President of the East Whiteland Fire Department, thanked the Board for their continued support.

Scout Presentation

Life Scout Cameron Skodny presented his proposed Eagle Scout project to the Supervisors. He wishes to perform the following on the Pickering Trail: repair the broken footbridge, add a small kiosk/info sign near the entrance, and repair the unlevel benches. The Board encouraged him to proceed after Mr. Lawrence added how necessary these Park repairs were. Mr. Lawrence will be reviewing the proposal.


Mr. Kuhn moved to approve:

  1. Minutes for the July 6, 2020, Business Meeting
  2. The July 2020 Treasurer’s Report
  3. The Operating Fund Accounts Payable Report for August 3, 2020.
  4. The Capital Fund - Open Space Projects Payable Report for August 3, 2020.

Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Mr. Philips moved to accept the July 2020 reports #1-16 as submitted and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Turning Pointe Dance Studio Conditional Use Application

Mr. Thompson opened the Hearing and the proceeds were taken by Ms. Nancy Sciaretta, court reporter. The property is at 12 General Warren Boulevard (35-4-108.2) in the TND3. Mr. Thompson entered the following exhibits into the record:

T-1 Conditional Use Application
T-2 Public Notice
T-3 The Charlestown Township Planning Commission Meeting Minutes dated 7/14/2020

Ms. Allyson Zarro, Esq. was present with her client, Ms. Jeneane Blence, who testified to the Board for approval to use 4,000 square feet of a unit at General Warren Village, zoned TND-3 for educational use. The students are from 3-18 years of age. Ms. Zarro had 2 witnesses and entered the following exhibits into the record:

A-1 Conditional Use Application Letter dated 5/26/2020
A-2 Charlestown Township Zoning Ordinance
A-3 Affidavit Notice to Property Owners
A-4 Deed
A-5 Site Plan

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the Conditional Use Application of Jeneane Blence for Turning Pointe Dance Studio, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. A written decision will be issued within 45 days.

Ordinance to Amend Zoning District TND Area 3

The proceedings were taken by Ms. Nancy Sciaretta, court reporter. Mr. Thompson entered the following into the record:

T-1 Zoning Ordinance draft with modification in TND3
T-2 Review letter from Chester County Planning Commission dated 7/17/20
T-3 Letter from Mr. Thompson Esq. to Daily Local News requesting public notice

Mr. Thompson asked if there were any questions from those present. No one came forward. Mr. Thompson closed the hearing.

Mr. Philips moved to adopt Ordinance #212-20 Amending Chapter 27 of the Charlestown Township Code by amending Zoning District TND-3, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Spring Oak Resident Complaints

Mr. Wright provided an update since last month’s meeting.

  1. The last meeting reflected a second sound study still exceeding acceptable noise levels.
  2. Mr. Wright sent Devault Foods a violation letter.
  3. Mr. Wright received a call from Devault Foods requesting a meeting with himself and the acoustical engineer.
  4. The result of the meeting was the engineer gave Devault Foods a proposal for the solution of the noise generating locations at the plant. With this in hand, the operations at the plant may continue as long as they progress toward compliance.
  5. Mr. Jaros Esq. submitted an appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board.
  6. The plant is also working on the new odors that have been the reason for new complaints.

Mr. Rubenfield reminded Mr. Wright and the Board again, that the dumpster noise and the backing up of trucks are still happening near 5 a.m. and that a simple change in scheduling could alleviate this nuisance. Mr. Wright stated again, that the policies are in place but the plant is working on getting everyone to obey.

Mr. Rubenfield asked again for the maintenance schedule for the filters, especially since the odors were increasing this month. Mr. Wright said they are complying with manufacturer recommendations since the filters are so expensive. Mr. Rubenfield asked him if the odors are coming from the building without a filtration system. Also, the small building with rooftop lights is still a problem for residents of Quigley Drive.

New Business

Hearing to consider Resolution approving Purchase of Conservation Easement for the Seibert and Baldwin Properties

Mr. Thompson stated public notices were placed for consideration of acquisition of interest by a conservation easement for two remaining properties in Charlestown Township. The first is the 14.8-acre Baldwin-Long property at 1110 Bodine Road, comprised of parcels 35-7-23.1 and 35-7-24. Second is the 13.2-acre Seibert property at 2125 Pikeland Road, parcel #35-4-33.02. Mr. Thompson gave a brief review of the facts for the audience. Then he asked for public comment and there was none. Mrs. Csete will verify the correct address for the Baldwin parcels.

Mr. Kuhn moved to adopt Resolution #970-2020 authorizing Mr. Piliero to execute the Baldwin easement agreement and settlement document with the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. A resolution for the Seibert acquisition had previously been adopted.

Mr. Piliero lost audio at this point in the meeting and Mr. Philips took over as chair.

Devault Village at Spring Oak – Preliminary Plan Approval Review

Mr. John Jordan, Esq., representing Devault Foods, said he’d briefly discussed with Mr. Kuhn, equitable ownership of a parcel shown in the preliminary plan prior to this meeting. Mr. Kuhn proposed extending the approval for 30 days.

Mr. Kuhn moved to provide a 30-day extension to Devault Foods on their preliminary plan approval to prove equitable ownership as represented in that plan until September 1, 2020. Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Since Mr. Piliero was still unable to obtain audio, Mr. Philips continued as Chairman until Mr. Piliero returned.

Update on MS-4 Program

Mr. Wright gave the annual update to the Township’s MS-4 Program. The current version of the permit was preliminarily approved by the PADEP and it is in the 30-day comment period. The new permit will be for five years and contains significant modifications to the previous permit. The Township has five years to reduce the siltation entering the Valley Creek Watershed. However, most of the roads in this watershed area are state-owned plus the Township doesn’t own any land nearby. This greatly limits the validity of approved practices to reduce siltation. The most promising method on the list, per Mr. Wright, is the weekly sweeping of 6 private parking lots within the Townships MS4 area. Although these lots are not Township property, they can provide the grit needed to comply with the DEP’s demands.

Other changes include annual reporting (instead of every two years) and will impact all Township watersheds except Pine Creek. Compliance is estimated to cost up to $15,000. Discussion followed:

Appoint Interim Building Code Official

Mrs. Csete stated that the plan to use Mr. Skip Cross as interim Building Code Official, while Mr. Merklinger is out on medical leave, was not working. There seemed to be a communication breakdown between the office and the inspector and although he is ready, no inspections are being scheduled.

Mr. Kuhn moved to approve Mrs. Csete to obtain an alternate Building Code Official by contacting a third-party service. Mr. Willing seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Interim Budget Review

Mrs. Csete gave a brief review of the budget vs. actual figures for 2020 through July 31st. All three funds are expected to remain in favorable positions through the end of the year. Next year she will lower the expectation of the cable revenue.

Zoning Hearing Board Overview: Substantive Validity Challenge - appeal from Enforcement Notice for Devault Foods

Mr. John Jaros, Esq. provided an overview of his client’s Zoning Hearing Board application in which Devault Foods challenges the enforcement action taken by the zoning ordinance for violation of the noise ordinance. He stated the appeal was to halt further fines and they challenged the validity of sound levels in consideration of the plant and its history. They are waiting for suggestions from the sound experts and working to reach a resolution. Mr. Thompson stated that under the obligation of the ordinance, the violation was issued. Ms. Lorraine Fillippo stated that the problems have been there for a year and the Board has not issued penalties until now, so the penalties were not sent too quickly. The date for the Zoning Hearing is not yet determined.


Mr. Philips adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m. The next Board of Supervisors Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 7:00 pm, location to be determined and advertised.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa K. Gardner
Recording Secretary