Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, September 15, 2015

TO: Board of Supervisors; HARB/ Historic Commission
FROM: Fran Rodgers, Co-chairman HARB
DATE: September 24, 2015

HARB met on Tuesday, September 15th at the GVMS. Those members present were: Linda Appler, Dale Frens, Sheila Klement, Ann Kline, Wendy Leland, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Fran Rodgers and Dan Wright. Tom Fillippo and Nancy Long were not present. Larry and Ann Dee Feiner, new owners of the former Gill property at 2100 Foster Road were present along with their contractor, Bob Lull of Diament Construction Company and their architect, John Kahlhaus.

Mr. Kahlhaus presented architectural plans to explain proposed changes to the property so that HARB could review and discuss whether those changes were acceptable and allow HARB to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness to the BOS. Mr. Lull and Mr. Kahlhaus had met informally on September 10th at the Township Office with Rosemary Philips and Fran Rodgers for a preliminary discussion. Since our ordinances are concerned only with exterior changes or demolition on a historic structure, we did not have to consider interior change or the proposed addition. The changes that were discussed were the removal of a bay window that had been added in the mid 1900’s and its replacement with a French door and the removal of a non-historic porch, also put on in the late 20th Century. We were shown detailed drawings and members were satisfied that repairs, additions and changes would be done in a manner to enhance and be in keeping with the historic character of the house.

Therefore, a motion was made by Wendy Leland, seconded by Sheila Klement and passed unanimously to send a Certificate of Appropriateness to the BOS to review and with the Board’s approval proper building permits could be issued Dan Wright will be working with the architect and the contractor as the work is being done.

Dale Frens reported on progress at Brightside Farm. All internal work in the Farmhouse is complete with the exception of the bathroom. The tenants are satisfied with it at present but it will be replaced later and this will probably involve plumbing repairs. The BOS has also approved work and stabilizing of the other structures.

Rosemary reported that the Township Mill will be open on Charlestown Day, October 3rd. Although there is no water through the Mill, the machinery is in working order. HARB was able to observe the grinder and cider press in operation during our previous meeting in July. HARB will have a table at the Township Park that day with several photographs of the Mill taken by George Csete. The BOS will be making decisions about access to the public after installation of explanatory signage. It is hoped that this could be completed by next Spring or early Summer. One problem that should be addressed is the pile-up of debris at the south end of the Mill when water rushes through the property after severe storms. It was suggested that a type of metal gate that held back the solids but allowed the water through could be constructed.

John Pittock brought up that the historic Ziegler property on Howell Road is now unoccupied and he was concerned that it was in danger of demolition. Rosemary and Dan inspected the property last week and noted that the lock on the small house was damaged but the historic property was intact The Township does have a regulation that a vacant property must be made secure and the owners will be notified of this.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:45 and our next meeting will be on November 17th.