Charlestown Township Municipal Building
11 General Warren Blvd., Suite 1, Malvern, PA
Tuesday, October 2, 2023


Frank A. Piliero, Chairman, Charles A. Philips, Vice Chairman, Kevin R. Kuhn, and Hugh D. Willig. Susan T. Bednar was absent.
Daniel T. Wright, P.E., Mark Thompson, Esq., and Thomas Comitta
Chris Heleniak, Manager, Linda M. Csete, Treasurer, Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary, Mark A. Koenig, Fire Marshal, and Jim Thompson, Roadmaster.

Call to Order:

7:00 p.m.


Mr. Kuhn said Charlestown Day was a great success with a good turnout; thank you to the Parks & Recreation Board.

Mr. Heleniak said please proceed to the podium for all comments.

Citizens Forum

Ms. Sharon Richardson read aloud a prepared statement available at the Township Office. Originating back to 2012, Ms. Richardson voiced her frustration with a neighbor that accumulates debris. The latest instance was reported to the Township on August 16. The Township Zoning Officer followed up on August 17 with a Notice of Violation and the property owners have until October 16, 2023, to improve the condition of their property. This is vital to the sale of Ms. Richardson’s home which has been on the market since May of 2023. She (1) requested all records regarding the neighbor’s property since 2012, (2) invited the Board to visit her property, and (3) requested an official statement for prospective buyers showing intent of action by the Township.

Since no progress has been made at the neighbor’s property since August, discussion followed:

  1. Mr. Thompson said the Township can obtain an order from a judge and serve the property owner with a Nuisance Violation. It would be up to a $1,000 daily fine until the owner comes into compliance.
  2. The citation will be ready to go for October 16th if needed. However, the citation does not remove the physical debris, so this is not the Supervisors’ first choice of action.
  3. Also, Mr. Wright could obtain a referral from the Dept. of Health and discuss the property conditions with the Fire Marshal.
  4. Mr. Wright will send Ms. Richardson a letter for prospective buyers. The Board and Mr. Wright explained to Ms. Richardson what they were doing to help her within their legal limits.


Mr. Kuhn moved to approve the reports listed below and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

  1. Minutes for the September 5, 2023, Business Meeting
  2. September 2023 Treasurer’s Report
  3. Accounts Payable Report - All Funds for October 2, 2023


Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the September 2023 reports #1-16 as submitted, and Mr. Philips seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Mr. Willig stated that the Borough of Spring City may join the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee.

Old Business –


New Business

Proposed Verizon Tower at Charlestown Park

Mr. Marco Paredes attended tonight to represent Verizon along with two colleagues. Their goal is to increase cell coverage along Charlestown Road. Verizon can cover the geological gully by building a 170-foot tower in a 1200-square-foot base station in Charlestown Park. It is a permitted Use in this zoning district.

  1. Mr. Paredes explained that the (1) line of site needed for service and (2) increased capacity in the gully location are the 2 reasons for this specific placement of the tower. It would avoid vegetation and ground interference from the geography that is causing dropped calls, poor residential service, and facilities that are beyond capacity.
  2. He stated that they tried to contact the University a year or two ago to put it on their campus, but they were not successful.
  3. It will be fenced and landscaped according to local ordinances.
  4. It is the only area in that zoning district that works for that road.
  5. The base is 13 feet away from Southwest Avenue and Bulah Heights near the former Valley Forge Army Hospital former jail, which is now used by the athletic clubs as a storage building.
  6. The land required is an irregular L shape (40’ x 40’ x 20’).
  7. Mr. Paredes distributed a photo simulation that helped with visualizing what the tower would look like in that location.
  8. Mr. Matthew Graubart and Mr. Peterson continued with the technical information. An EME (electromagnetic energy) report will be posted but levels fall under 1/1000 of the allowable limits at the base of the tower. It increases to 3% in a worst-case 24/7, 365-day scenario a quarter of a mile away when measured from the same level as the top of the tower.
  9. No exceedance is possible even if someone would maintain the same 170-foot level of the tower.
  10. There is an additional 5-foot lightning rod on the top.
  11. A Geotech survey and nearby utilities will guide underground work.
  12. There is also room for local emergency services radio equipment.
  13. The construction schedule is flexible. Verizon will wait until off-season at the Park. Construction would take 8-12 weeks with one day of drilling, a day with a crane assembling the 4 sections, then electrical work, and lastly landscaping with 13’ fencing.
  14. The Township would receive a yearly lease amount.
  15. It is currently marked out with wood stakes.
  16. There would be periodic inspections.

Questions from the audience followed regarding the results of exposure accumulation, leasing, and other possible sites.

Mr. Guevin, of the University of Valley Forge, asked the Board to keep Charlestown Park as a park. His statement can be obtained at the Township Building.

  1. He was concerned about the impact the perceived health effects would have on the University’s enrollment.
  2. He talked about the University’s athletes practicing nearby.
  3. He mentioned it possibly being harmful in ways not yet known.
  4. It would ruin the views that families enjoy when visiting the University. The tower will be visible through the residence windows to prospective families.
  5. He said the tower would violate the 1947 deed to the Park and violate the public trust doctrine.

The reps for Verizon responded:

The Board reminded everyone that this evening was a presentation, not an application for approval.

Annual MS-4 Update

Mr. Wright gave the annual update to the Township’s MS-4 Program, stating that the last annual DEP report was recently submitted by the Sept. 30th deadline. When he presented the 2022 update last year, the Board agreed to change the street sweeping plan to a new plan for the former Volpe property near the Turnpike. Plans are to install an infiltration basin on this Township’s property at 3017 Phoenixville Pike. It would stop sediment from turnpike runoff from reaching the road and entering the Valley Creek watershed. This project would be done in stages.

This year Mr. Wright said the design to reduce the sediment load by 10% has been finalized. The next step will be to obtain DEP approval and go out for bids. In 2024 the Township will begin construction in the spring so the infiltration basin is in place by 2025 as required. Mr. Wright also mentioned that the Township must submit information regarding pathogens, PCBs, and clarify definitions in ordinances. After a review by Mr. Thompson, a hearing will be held to update the language of the ordinances as required by the DEP.

Appointment – Planning Commission Solicitor

Mr. Heleniak explained that the current solicitor for the Planning Commission, Ms. Wendy McLean, requested reappointment under her new firm name now that her previous firm has merged with them.

Mr. Philips moved to appoint Ms. Wendy W. McLean Esq., of Wisler Pearlstine, LLC as Planning Commission Solicitor, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

EAC Request for Letter of Support to USGS for Stream Naming

EAC Chair Carol Armstrong requested a letter of support from the Supervisors proposing the name “Kwiamwis Siput” for the currently unnamed stream at Charlestown Park. It was suggested by the Lenape and Delaware tribes and means “Hawk Creek”.

Mr. Philips moved to approve the letter of support to the USGS, and Mr. Piliero seconded. Mr. Piliero called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

2024 Budget Matters

Mrs. Csete asked the Board to schedule the Budget Work Session for advertising the review of the draft 2024 Budget. The Board will meet at 6 p.m. on October 16th. They will need to identify projects from the Long-Term Plan to be included in the 2024 Budget.


There being no other business, Mr. Piliero adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m. The next Business Meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 6, 2023, at 7 p.m., at 11 General Warren Blvd., Suite 1, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary
sheet, 10/2/2023