Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens


March 16, 1998

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August 13, 1997
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Archived Home Pages - September 2001

09/28/01 (11:15am)
Next week's meeting of the Charlestown Historical Society has been moved from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening October 4th at 8:00pm at Charlestown Playschool. The full program will be announced shortly.
The Preliminary Agenda for the October 1 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
Rt. 29 Road Closing Delayed
According to Township resident Bob Jones:
Route 29 will not close on October 8 because PA 401 will not be ready to open by then. Unfortunately, the PA 29 contractor jumped the gun a bit and posted the signs yesterday. The advanced closing date signs will soon be covered and not uncovered until a firm closing date is set. Due to utility conflicts, Route 401 will not be ready to open until mid-October. PA 29 cannot close until PA 401 opens.
"Area officials to develop agreement" by Tony Roberts in today's The Phoenix reports on efforts to establish regional planning with the goal to keep higher densities focused in the areas currently having high density, such as the borough of Phoenixville, while keeping low density and open space in the areas already open (i.e. Charlestown). Participating governments are Phoenixville, Schuylkill, East Pikeland, Charlestown, Spring City and East and West Vincent. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
More on Rt. 29 Bridge Closing -
I have had a number of queries about this, including "where is the bridge?". The bridge in question is about a quarter mile south of the entrance to Charlestown Hunt. The old ice dam was on the west side of the bridge and portions of it are still visible near the road, especially in the winter. I have not seen the "official" detours, but we all know that White Horse Road, Creek Road, Pot House Road, Union Hill Road and Charlestown Road are going to take the brunt of the load. Since all of these are already overloaded during rush hour with Rt. 29 open, it will get even more messy with the road closed.

Turnpike Bridge Construction and Slip Ramp
I have also had more questions about the construction at the turnpike bridges in Devault. It has nothing to do with the slip ramp. The "ramps" you see are for construction vehicles to access the turnpike widening project. I asked PA Turnpike Commission member Walter Green to clarify what's going on regarding the current construction and the slip ramp proposal. I appreciate his prompt reply which is shown below (my notes follow).
The bridge project(1) which is scheduled for completion in late fall of 2002 goes for about one-half mile on either side of the bridges. This allows for the shifting of lanes as construction is progressed.
A new design project of the Turnpike is for widening from Downingtown to Valley Forge. This project has just started.(2)
The slip ramp project is waiting for the traffic projections which are being developed with data supplied by the townships in the area. This data was supplied to the Chester County Planning Commission and was reviewed and approved by the CAC(3) prior to giving it to DVRPC for use in the traffic model. The same data is being used in the Route 23 Study in which Charlestown is also a participant. As soon as we receive the traffic data, a meeting of the CAC will be scheduled.
(1) Mr. Green is referring to the construction we see where the turnpike crosses Route 29 and Phoenixville Pike. This is to allow for the eventual widening of the turnpike to 6 lanes. According to the turnpike's web site, this construction will continue through late October, 2002.
(2) I assume this means that over the next few years, we will see the turnpike widened where it traverses Charlestown Township. I assume they will have to replace or do major surgery on the turnpike bridges over Yellow Springs Road, Valley Hill Road, and Bodine Road. I do not know what the schedule is for those projects.
(3)"CAC" refers to the Rt. 29 Slip Ramp Citizens Advisory Committee.
"School district allowed to proceed with plans" by Keisha Young in today's The Phoenix reports on the Planning Commission's approval last night of the Great Valley School District's development application for the renovation of Charlestown Elementary School. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Barnes retreat to be museum" by Stephan Salisbury in today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the Barnes Foundation's decision to transform the Barnes residence on Bodine Road in West Pikeland Township into a living-history museum. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Great Valley, teachers OK longer deal" by Pamela Batzel in today's Daily Local News reports on the two-year contract extension agreed to by the GVSD board and the teachers' association. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Rt. 29 Bridge Closing
The latest word (from Township Administrator Linda Csete) is that PennDOT is planning to close Rt 29 to reconstruct the Ice Dam Bridge starting Monday October 8th. The bridge is expected to be closed until August 2002!.
Brightside Farm Cleanup Photos - What started out as a minor posting of a few snapshots from last Saturday's cleanup day at Brightside Farm turned into a bit more than planned. If you're curious as to what we did, click here and take a look at some or all of the 35 photos posted today.
09/21/01 (9:00 PM)
I had planned to post a reminder of Brightside Farm "Cleanup Day" Saturday, 9/22 (tomorrow as I write this), but we had the pleasure of welcoming our 10th grandchild into the world this morning instead. Under the circumstances since September 11th, there is something especially satisfying about seeing a child enter the world at the time so many relatively young people have been lost. On the other hand, we cannot help but wonder in what kind of world our grandchildren will grow up. Anyway, if you get this in time and can, please put on some old clothes Saturday and come help us clean up Brightside Farm.
"DVRPC addresses traffic concerns" by Micheal Quay in today's The Phoenix reports on last night's meeting of local government representatives to hear a traffic study report from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Approximately 60 residents attended last night's public meeting to discuss the draft of the new Charlestown Township Comprehensive Plan. The plan was introduced, explained and defended by Township Land Planner Tom Comitta. Most of the discussion last night concerned three topics: the concept of a "Devault Village" retail space; the proposed use of Transfer Development Rights (TDRs); and the trails that are shown on the plan but are unknown to land owners on whose property the trails are shown. A second public meeting to discuss other aspects of the plan is scheduled for Tuesday, October 2nd. I hope to receive and post a full report on last night's meeting from Charlestown Green. (Note, the full text of the Comprehensive Plan as well as many of its maps are available on this site by clicking here.)
"Township plans complete" by Keisha Young in today's The Phoenix reports on last night's meeting. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Public Meeting Tonight -
The proposed Charlestown Township Comprehensive Plan is an important document for our township. It is to be reviewed in a public meeting tonight at 7:30 PM at the Great Valley Middle School. All residents are urged to attend.
Public Meeting Thursday Night -
This Thursday, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission will present a conceptual plan to address growing congestion in the Phoenixville area. The plan will be presented at an open house from 6 to 9 p.m. at Columbia Station, 400 Bridge St. For more on the plan, see "Transportation plan to be aired" in today's The Phoenix. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
09/17/01 (1:00 pm)
Because a number of items dropped off tonight's agenda, the Board has decided to cancel the Sept. 17th Supervisors' meeting. Please note: The meeting on the Comprehensive Plan is still scheduled for tomorrow night, September 18th at 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School Cafeteria.
09/14/01 (2:30 pm)
America: The Good Neighbor - Several friends and relatives have sent me a copy of an article in a Canadian newspaper that I feel is worth repeating. By way of introduction, widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. The article is available by clicking here.
The CHS Rapp House work party scheduled for this Saturday has been cancelled and will be rescheduled to a later date.
The Preliminary Agenda for the September 17 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
The next meeting of the Planning Commission is September 25, and an updated Preliminary Agenda has been posted.
Charlestown Green's report on the September 10 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted to our Neighborhood News page.
Linda and I are thankful that none of our family or acquaintances were directly affected by yesterday's terrorist actions, and our prayers go out to any of you who have personal loss from the horrible events
Rapp House Work Party - The annual Work Party for winterizing the Charlestown Historical Society's Rapp House is scheduled for this Saturday, September 15 starting at about 9:00 am. Principal projects will be installing plastic film over the windows and general clean-up of the outside grounds. A few hours help will be greatly appreciated.
The Official Minutes of the August 6 and August 20 meetings of the Board of Supervisors have been posted.
09/11/01  (3:15 pm)
Tonight's meeting of the Planning Commission has been cancelled.
"A perfect chicken is her mission; breeder says birds 'feed my soul'" by Sandy Bauers in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer reports on Township resident and chicken breeder Cathy DiFilippo. The print story includes two color photos that are not included with the web version. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
"Fate of Brightside Farm discussed" by Keisha Young in today's The Phoenix reports on last night's meeting of the Board of Supervisors, including the discussion on the short term care of Brightside Farm. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Brightside Farm Cleanup Party - Saturday September 22 is Cleanup Day at Brightside Farm. Anyone who would like to participate is welcome to join the Property Committee at the farm. We will be cleaning up the grounds around the buildings, cleaning the inside of some of the buildings, making paths to the spring house and other areas, and generally making the place more presentable. Wear old clothes and bring a shovel, clippers, rakes or whatever you think might be of use.
Comprehensive Plan Maps Posted - Two more maps for the Charlestown Township Comprehensive Plan have been posted. Map 07 identifies areas for Open Space Disposition, and Map 08 shows Recommendations for Open Space and Recreation. I will post maps 04 (Development Constraints) and 05 (Plan for Future Land Use) early next week. They are huge files and I am trying to get decent gif or jpeg images to post on this site.
Proposed Comprehensive Plan Posted
The proposed Charlestown Township Comprehensive Plan is an important document for our township. It is to be reviewed in a public meeting September 18. Residents who would like to review the plan prior to the meeting now have the option to view the plan and download its text and many of its maps from this web site.
I have posted the entire text of the proposed Plan as well as 7 of the Plan's maps. Additional maps will be posted as I receive them. The text is in the form of 17 web pages corresponding to the 17 separate sections (Microsoft Word files) of the Plan. The conversion of these word processor files to web pages was "quick and dirty" using Word's "Save as Web Page..." function and suffers from poor formatting, but the pages are essentially intact in terms of representing the Plan's content. The maps are offered in Adobe Acrobat "pdf" format which is great if you want to zoom in on the maps or obtain excellent printed copies. The maps are also offered in "gif" format, which is the format commonly used on the web for drawn graphics. The Plan is available from our "Comprehensive Plan" section using the link above on our Home page or clicking here. I want to thank Township Administrator Linda Csete and Nanci Sarcinello of Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. for providing the Plan in "digital" format so that the Plan could be posted here.
More Traffic Woes.   (Yellow Springs Rd. and Phoenixville Pike)
Anyone who commutes on Yellow Springs Road is aware of the huge rush hour backups at the bottom of Sidley Hill, at the intersection of Yellow Springs Road and Phoenixville Pike. I have seen it backed up well above the upper entrance to Charlestown Oaks. The line is also endless coming the other way on Sidley Road during rush hour. While a light at this intersection has been discussed at Charlestown meetings, the intersection is actually in East Whiteland Township. If and when East Whiteland applies for a light (which requires PennDOT approval), it will still take a long time before a light is actually installed. A resident from West Pikeland Township has suggested that East Whiteland should provide police/fire personnel at the intersection during rush hours to coordinate movement of traffic and have fewer drivers "taking chances". This method has been effective at other intersections that are impacted by road closures. If you would like to request assistance at the intersection from East Whiteland Township, you may contact the East Whiteland Township Administrator at the township's office at 610-648-0600 or write to
   Township Administrator
   East Whiteland Township
   209 Conestoga Road
   Frazer, PA 19355
The Preliminary Agenda for the September 10 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has been posted.
The Preliminary Agenda for the September 11 meeting of the Planning Commission has been posted.
"Pairing law, open space into goals" by Kelly Wolfe in today's Philadelphia Inquirer "Q&A" column reports an interview with P. Andrew Schaum, the new development director of the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, Inc. The article is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
Two articles concerning open space issues were published in yesterday's local papers -
  • "The great open space debate continues" by Pateen Corcoran in yesterday's Daily Local News is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.

  • "Looking at sprawl by the numbers" by Kristin E. Holmes in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer is available on-line from the paper's web site by clicking here.
The next drop off day for the Regional Southeastern PA Hazardous Household Waste Program is this coming Saturday, September 8. This drop off site is in New Garden. There will be another drop off day on October 6 in nearby West Goshen. Click here for details.
August's monthly statistics for this web site have been posted. Click here or the "Site Statistics" link at the bottom of the left menu column.

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