Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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Established June 2, 1997
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March 16, 1998

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August 13, 1997
  
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Archived Home Pages - April 2002

04/29/02
Charlestown Green's report on the April 15, 2002 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted to our Neighborhood News page. This meeting had several hearings which are covered in this report and will not covered in the official minutes.
"Officials say state unlikely to impose building ban" by John Gentzel in today's The Mercury reports on the unlikelihood that the recent Supreme Court decision to allow municipalities to impose building moratoriums under certain circumstances will lead to building bans in Pennsylvania. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
04/28/02
Due to today's rain, Earth Week Volunteer Day at Brightside Farm has been rescheduled for next Sunday, May 5 at the same time with the same activities planned.
04/27/02
The Charlestown Historical Society's second Spring Meeting is this coming Wednesday at 8 PM at the Charlestown Play House. Vincent Kling will be the featured speaker and will talk about architecturally and historically significant buildings in Charlestown Township.
"Great Valley buys land next to school" by Pamela Batzel in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on several land purchases by the Great Valley School District, all aimed at improving space for athletic fields. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Reminder: Tomorrow is Volunteer Day at Brightside Farm. See the 04/25 entry below.
04/26/02
Charlestown artist Linda Thiel Hewlings was honored with a "Best in Show" award at the Chester County Art Association's recent Landscapes show. Learn more about Linda and see two of her paintings on our Neighbors of Note page.
CSA Coming to Charlestown - Aimee Kocis and John Good are starting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm with the Anderson family on Charlestown Road, north of the Fisher Farm. They will be providing members of the community with fresh, healthy, locally grown, and very tasty vegetables this year. They plan to offer farm share pickup at the farm, once the driveway and barn are finished, and will be setting up shop at the new Phoenixville Farmer's Market on Saturdays this season. Aimee and John have started a web site on their CSA at http://www.charlestowncooperativefarm.org. We wish them luck and hope to hear more of their progress in the near future. A CSA has been discussed as a possible use of a small portion of Brightside Farm. For more information about the CSA concept, go to our Brightside Farm section for a link or simply click here.
04/25/02
Originan Bank Barn and Wagon BarnVolunteer Day at Brightside Farm - We have some more information regarding this Sunday's Volunteer Day (10 AM to 2 PM) at Brightside Farm. This is a great opportunity to contribute to the future Brightside Farm Park and to see many parts of the farm that were previously "off limits" to the public. While there are plenty of chores to be done, this is also an opportunity to -
  • Tour the inside of the farmhouse. The Binghams will have the house open to sightseers. You'll be amazed at how wonderful the interior of the circa 1840 house is, especially after looking at the album of "before" photos.
  • Tour some of the outbuildings. Of great interest are the circa 1840 bank barn (Left in photo. You can walk around the ground floor and look into the upper level), the Wagon Barn (right in photo) with its preserved work shop, and the huge upper level of the modern dairy barn with tongue in groove floor.
  • Walk the 1+ mile marked trail that circles the pastures east of the drive.
The Brightside Farm Committee and the Binghams will provide some beverages and snacks, but we encourage those coming to bring a bag lunch, especially if your are coming for the full four hours. We also suggest you wear old clothes and bring some work gloves and if you like, a garden hoe. The Committee will have extra gloves and hoes for those who are going to be gathering the black plastic from the garden area. Experienced gardeners may be asked to do some pruning, and others may be asked to clear some branches and trash from the perimeter of some of the fields. Come on over and have some fun and visit with others who are working to restore and preserve this fabulous farm.
Report on Brightside Farm Posted - Restoration Architect and Township Consultant Dale Frens presented "Highlights of the Conditions Assessment for Brightside Farm" to the Board of Supervisors Brightside Farm Visioning meeting on April 22, 2002. Mr. Frens provided a document summarizing his presentation about the historic, condition and possible use attributes of the key structures at Brightside Farm. This interesting document is posted on our Brightside Farm section as both a web page and as a PDF file.
If you are not familiar with the background and history of Brightside Farm, check out our Brightside Farm section by clicking the "Brightside Farm" button above or clicking here The section includes photos, maps and some information from historians who have traced deeds and tax records.
Special Meeting (from Linda Csete) -
The Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting on Monday, May 13, 2002 at 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, 255 N. Phoenixville Pike, Malvern PA to hear a presentation from Trammel Crow on road improvement plans for Route 29 and surrounding areas.
"Building-ban ruling could benefit antisprawl efforts" by Diane Mastrull in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week upholding building moratoriums as a reasonable way for communities to temporarily halt development. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Recycle Locations - "Where to Recycle Motor Oil, Antifreeze and Batteries" in today's Philadelphia Inquirer lists sites in our area where we can dispose of hazardous materials that cannot be picked up by local trash haulers. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
04/24/02
Excerpts from the "Chester County Landscapes 21st Century Fund Grant Program" pertaining to the restrictions associated with the County's offer of a $450,000 grant to the Township to offset costs of purchasing Brightside Farm have been posted in our Brightside Farm section. (This document is also available as a PDF file.)
"Township implements new plan" by Kristin Smith in today's The Phoenix reports on the formal adoption of the Township's new Comprehensive Plan at last night's joint meeting of the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Primary Election to be May 21 - Two articles in local papers cover yesterday's decision by a federal three-judge panel to allow the primary election to go as originally scheduled, even though the new districting has been deemed unconstitutional.
  • "Election gets OK despite redistricting" in today's Daily Local News is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
  • "Judges let elections go as planned" by Thomas Fitzgerald and Amy Worden in today's Philadelphia Inquirer is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Board member wants cuts from Great Valley budget" by Pamela Batzel in today's Daily Local News reports on Monday's meeting of the Great Valley School Board during which the 2002-2003 budget received tentative approval. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
04/23/02
(Late Addition) The Preliminary Agenda for tomorrow night's meeting of the Open Space Commission has been posted.
Earthweek Volunteer Day set for Brightside Farm - The Brightside Farm Committee invites all interested residents to come to Brightside Farm Sunday April 28 between 10 AM and 2 PM and help with several cleanup activities. The primary activity will be the removal of many plastic bags from the old garden area just to the right of the driveway into the farm. These bags prevent proper mowing of this area. Other activities include clearing fence rails and branches around the perimeter of some of the pastures to allow for mowing, as well as removal of straw from one of the barns. Please wear old clothes and if you choose, gloves. This will also be a great opportunity to walk the 1+ mile mowed trail that traverses many of the pastures on the farm, complete with quarter-mile markers.
The special "Visioning" meeting hosted by the Board of Supervisors last night was well attended. I expect we will have reports on the meeting soon. Three speakers addressed (a) the condition and historical significance of the farms various buildings, (b) the terms and restrictions of the county's $450,000 grant to the township towards the purchase of the farm, and (c) the federal and county restrictions imposed by the bond issue used to purchase the farm. The speakers were followed by a discussion of several of the proposed uses of the farm in the context of these restrictions. I hope to have the documents associated with (a) and (b) above posted here soon.
The Preliminary Agenda for tonight's joint meeting of the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
"Pa. blamed for area's open space shortage" by Diane Mastrull in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the Greenspace Alliance's annual report on land preservation in the Philadelphia region. The report notes that almost one half of the 8,590 acres preserved in the five county region last year were in Chester County. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
04/18/02
"Bridge work reaches final stage" by Dennis J. Wright in today's The Phoenix reports on the final stages of the construction of the new Rt. 29 bridge over Pickering Creek. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Students evacuate Great Valley High after bomb scare" by Dennis J. Wright in today's The Phoenix reports on yesterday's evacuation of GVHS due to a bomb scare. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
I have posted the obituary for Gene Baldwin who passed away April 10.
04/17/02
We learned last night that Janet Baldwin's husband Gene passed away April 10. Linda and I want to join with many others to express our sympathy to Janet and the Baldwin family on their loss.
April 16, 2002
Jean Helker at CCFSThe Chester County Flower Show opens Thursday, April 18 and runs through Sunday, April 21. Debbie Kuhn has been down there and says the large displays are going to be incredible. The show opens Wednesday evening with an elegant Preview Party. Thursday it is open 10-6, Friday 10-8, Saturday 9-8 and Sunday 9-6.

Debbie Kuhn at CCFSThere are many Charlestown residents working on the show as volunteers, committee, judges, vendors and competitors. The photos are of Jean Helker (above) and Debbie Kuhn (at left) working on the Twin Valley Garden Club's entrée in the "All Decked Out" Garden Club Challenge Class. Debbie Kuhn painted the two large murals for the display. The show's web site is http://www.cc-flowershow.org. All proceeds from the show benefit the programs of Family Service of Chester County. (Thanks to Kevin Kuhn for providing this story and photos.)
"Residents protest proposed subdivision" by Kristin Smith in today's The Phoenix reports on the objections at last nights Board of Supervisors meeting to the proposed 12 home subdivision on Pikeland Road adjacent to the existing Three Ponds subdivision. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The Official Minutes of the April 1, 2002 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
04/13/02
Yesterday's The Phoenix had an article in the "Schools" section, Page A7 titled "Woman shares memories of Charlestown Elementary School" reporting on long time Charlestown resident and noted horticulturist Joanna Reed's visit to the school with her daughter Susie and her grandson Evan, who is in the second grade. The event was the annual "Grandvisitors Day" associated with the first and second grades. Unfortunately the article and photo are not posted to the paper's web site.
"Great Valley High set to hold Best Buddies Ball for Pa., N.J." by Pamela Batzel in today's Daily Local News reports on preparations at Great Valley High School for last night's "Circle of Friends Best Buddies Ball" for approximately 500 special needs students and families from ten high schools and ten collages as far away as central PA and New Jersey. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Delay in May primary appears likely" by Amy Worden and Thomas Fitzgerald in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the likelihood that a decision by a three-judge federal panel means that the June PA Primary will have to be delayed. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
04/12/02
More Traffic Woes - Resident Karen Cahill received the following notice from Liberty Property Trust -
Please advise your commuters that Church Road - connector between Swedesford and Yellow Springs Roads- will experience closures from this Monday, April 15th to July:
  1. April 15 to mid/late May, no through traffic on Church Road, 9AM - 3:30PM. (There will be daytime construction on the North end of Church between Yellow Springs Rd. and Dickson Lane.)
  2. Mid/late May - July, Church Road closed all day, every day. Detours will be posted. (Closed for construction on the South end of Church between Swedesford Rd. and Dickson Lane.)
The Preliminary Agenda for the April 15 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
Fire Control & Hazardous Materials Ordinance Reminder
The following reminder was received from Twp. Administrator Linda Csete -
Since the new Fire Control and Hazardous Materials Ordinance was passed earlier this year, residents and businesses are required to register the following information with the Township:
  1. Alarm Systems that report to a central location (systems in place prior to 2/9/02 do NOT have to pay the $50.00 fee!)
  2. Hazardous Materials stored at your home or business. The deadline for reporting hazardous materials is 4/30/02 for this year only, and then March 31st each year thereafter.
Forms to report either of these two are available at the Township office. (The ordinance itself and the form to register an automatic protection device that reports to a central location are also available from this website by clicking here. I will try to get the Hazardouus Materials form on-line soon.)
If you call and leave us a message with your mailing address, or send us an e-mail, we'll mail the forms to you. Please call the Township office at (610-240-0326) or e-mail admin1@charlestown.org. Our thanks to the many residents and businesses that have already registered. The complete text of the Ordinance is posted on the website for your reference.
04/10/02
The Annual Charlestown Elementary Spring Fair is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, 2002. We received complete details from Spring Fair Coordinator Kelley Kelly, just click here.
"Planning commission sends sketch plan back to the drawing board" by Kristin Smith in today's The Phoenix reports on the Planning Commission's rejection last night of design changes to the proposed Spring Mill office building at Spring Mill Lane and Phoenixville Pike. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
04/09/02
"Judges reject redistricting" by Margaret Gibbons in today's Daily Local News (and The Phoenix and The Mercury) reports on the rejection by a panel of federal judges of the congressional redistricting plan now being put into effect. It is likely the PA primary election for congressional district seats will be delayed until closer to the general election. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Judges kill GOP plan for House districts" by Thomas Fitzgerald and Amy Worden in today's Philadelphia Inquirer also reports on the court's invalidation of the new redistricting plan. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
PASC, the Phoenixville Area Soccer Club, has completed development of their own web site. The site is at http://www.pasc1.org and it is more complete than the mini-site we have had at charlestown.org for a few years.
04/08/02
Loretta Watson's reports on the March 18 and April 1, 2002 meetings of the Board of Supervisors have been posted to our Neighborhood News page. While you may think these reports are redundant, in addition to their generally being posted before the official minutes of the same meetings, more importantly they include reports on the hearings conducted during these meetings. Since hearings generally pertain to particular land development projects in our township, they are of great interest to our residents. The Official Minutes do not include any of the discussion during hearings which are recorded by a court recorder. Again, I want to thank Loretta for attending these meetings and writing her reports for the benefit of our residents.
04/05/02
Congratulations to Charlestown resident and Devon Prep senior Tony Pomanti who was named Boys Athlete of the Week in the April 3, 2002 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. A report on the award is posted on our Neighbors of Note page.
"County trusts get $2 million" by Jim Callahan in today's Daily Local News reports on 5 state grants totalling over $2 million to variouus Chester County conservation trusts for open space preservation. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
04/04/02
Newell Burdick discing Brightside FarmLocal farmer Newell Burdick discs contoured areas of Brightside Farm yesterday, prior to planting rye and alfalfa. These areas along Yellow Springs Road at the west end of the property will once again be healthy green fields this summer.
Discing Brightside FarmThe contours were laid out last fall by a county agricultural expert and together with the strips of soil not being disturbed, should reduce or eliminate erosion previously experienced in this hilly section of the farm.
"Student speaks out against merit seals at Harrisburg forum" by Susan Weidener in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Great Valley High School's Jessica McCrory's participation as the only student representative attending the PA. Board of Education's forum on the use of seals of distinction on the diplomas of high school graduates. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.

04/03/02
Important Notice to Subscribers - I have switched my internet service provider (at my home) to Comcast's high speed cable modem service. While the speed is incredible, my outgoing email, which now has to go through comcast.net, cannot contain our full mailing list of over 200 subscribers. (This is Comcast's way of discouraging spamming through their system.) Therefore I am experimenting with breaking the list up into sub-lists which I will have to send individually. This should "get around" the problem until I find a better solution. Hopefully you won't notice any difference. However, if you are a subscriber and have a problem with this or subsequent notifications, please contact me. If you would like to become a subscriber, click here.
The Official Minutes of the March 18, 2002 meeting of the Board of Supervisors have been posted. These minutes include the agreement to purchase and ultimately restore the Baughman Mill in Charlestown Village and a lengthy discussion and acceptance of a settlement agreement between the Board of Supervisors and Toll Bros. Inc. for construction of townhouses on 76 acres along a portion of Rt. 401 between Newcommen Road and Valley Hill Road.
Charlestown Spring Sale Scheduled - Complete information on the 2002 Charlestown Spring Sale to benefit the Charlestown Play House has been posted here. Read everything carefully if you plan to sell items at this large, well attended sale.
Fred Alston's Fire Marshal report for March has been posted.
04/02/02
I apologize if anyone received two identical email notifications this morning.
The Preliminary Agenda for the April 9 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
"Improvements planned for township park" by Kristin Smith in today's The Phoenix reports on last night's meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
 

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