Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Wednesday, May 17, 2016

HARB met on May 17th. Those members present were: Dale Frens, Ann Kline, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Fran Rodgers and Dan Wright. Linda Appler, Tom Filippo, Wendy Leland and Sheila Klement were absent.

At 3 p.m. those present met at the property of Blake Caplan at 670 Church Road which is in the Charlestown Historic District, a reason for a site visit, before considering Mr. Caplan’s request at our regular hearing. Both Mr. Caplan and his architect, Mr. James Murphy, were present.

At our regular hearing at GVMS at 4 p.m. Susan Marshall of the Chester County Historic Preservation Network (CCHPN) was present as a guest. Her purpose was to inform us of the volunteer recognition luncheon that will be held.

Dale Frens updated us on the part of the Spring Oak project as pertaining to the barn renovation. Issues on that aspect have all been nearly resolved with the outside work now being done in a satisfactory manner and some of the inside work still to be completed. Dale also reported that the repairs on the Brightside Farm house, including those in the basement, have all been completed and approved.

At our last meeting in March, there was discussion about establishing a parking lot on the lower end of the Township Revolutionary Cemetery. Dan Wright and the BOS considered that possibility and a decision was made that the parking lot there was neither desirable nor necessary. The expense of and difficulty in construction would not be beneficial since it would not be used that much and might very well be used in undesirable ways. The upper entrance lot will be improved and should be sufficient since Playschool has improved its parking facilities. To enhance safety, it was suggested that a speed bump might be placed on Charlestown Road.

Rosemary announced that the Township will be having an auction for the Cornog-Supplee House and an approximate five acre parcel on the former Volpi property on June 27th. The former Jenkins property on Valley Hill Road will also be auctioned then.

With the presence of Mr. Caplan at the preliminary hearing, we considered the presented plans for the demolition of two outbuildings on the visited site. He proposed that one longer structure would replace those since both were in need of major repair. The newer structure would retain the lines of the old ones and would be better for his intended use as a garage and utility building. He also purposed relocating the driveway so that it would open on Church Road, not on Charlestown Road, as it does presently. It was explained that the road situation is not in our jurisdiction but that of Penn DOT. However, our concern was that there could be excessive runoff onto Church Road because of the steepness of the site. The main concern with the replacement of the two outbuildings is that this would destroy the integrity of the total site. When this property was placed on the National Registry in the 1970's, the structures were considered as contributing resources.

We felt that the meeting was very useful and suggested that Mr. Caplan talk further with his architect and perhaps visit some other sites where the original foundations had been used and then that he contact us for further hearings.