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
A beautiful part of southeastern Pennsylvania
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Past news of events in and around Charlestown
News posted during January 2001

Monday, January 29, 2001  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
January 22, 2001
Present for the Township: Chairman Hugh Willig, Vice Chairman Kevin Kuhn, Irene Ewald, and Paul Hogan. Mike Rodgers was attending a Valley Forge Sewer Authority Meeting (he arrived at 9:30.) Also present: Linda Csete, Tom Oeste, and Surender Kohli.
Hugh Willig called this meeting to order at 7:40. Announcements: Paul Hogan advised that the EPA is cleaning up an oil spill at Pickering and Charlestown Roads. Mr. Kuhn stated he attended a meeting in Phoenixville for the purpose of solving traffic problems in the area. Irene Ewald advised she had attended a Chester County Planning Commission meeting where she and Eleanor Morris of French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust announced their support of the County's Landscapes Program. Mr. Willig advised that two executive meetings were held to discuss land issues and the road contract. There were no speakers for the Citizens' Forum on Non-agenda Items.
The Board approved its Reorganization Minutes and its regular Board of Supervisors' Meeting Minutes from January 2, 2001. A correction was made to reflect Kevin Kuhn as liaison to Great Valley School District. The December 1 to 31, 2000 Treasurers' Report was approved.
The matter of Altemose Conditional Use Application (about the proposed assisted living facility on White Horse Road) was continued to February 26, 2001, at the request of Joseph Ryan, Esquire, attorney for the applicant.
Old Business:
Advertise Ordinance Revision: The Planning Commission advocates a change in the ordinance relating to the Open Space Option pertaining to Historic Properties 25 acres or larger. However, Mrs. Ewald stated that she is not in favor of this change. The Board will decide this matter on February 26.
Discussion of a 4-way stop at Newcomen and Route 401: West Pikeland Township will not support the 4-way stop since they want a full traffic signal. The plan is currently a 4-way stop with a red beacon warning of the red light ahead. PennDOT has stated it would require improvements or realignments of the road before installing a full traffic light.
West Pikeland Engineering Invoice for Newcomen Rd.: An invoice was submitted to Charlestown for work related to inspection of the road and bid. An amount was also invoiced relating to the Charlestown Meadows hearings, which will not be paid by Charlestown Township, since West Pikeland should be responsible for its own expenses incurred during the series of hearings.
New Business:
Scipione Request for Waiver for Accessory Structure in Side Yard abutting a street: Dr. Scipione (of Mine and White Horse Roads) proposed a new garage to be attached to an existing garage. He stated that the advice from township personnel would place this new structure out in an open field, which he feels is not conducive to concepts of preservation of open space. He would like this new structure placed in an area nearer to White Horse Road. He advises that there is a good buffer of evergreens and plantings to shield the view from the road. Mr. Kohli stated that the Board would have to approve this project due to its being situated in a "side" yard. After brief consideration, the Board approved the request and asked Mr. Scipione to advise the French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust of his plan.
Panizza Request for public water at Saddlebrook: John Panizza, of Genterra Corp., presented his concept of Saddlebrook, a 33-acre, 9- home project along White Horse Road. The lots would average 3.76 acres with individual wells and septic systems. Some of the property would be devoted to stabling and raising horses by interested homeowners at Saddlebrook. Neighboring properties include Mr. and Mrs. Saul Kun and the Altemoses and White Horse Meadows across the street. Mr. Panizza requested the Board's approval to hook up to the existing water mains in White Horse Road, stating that a benefit would be more convenience for the future homeowners. If public water was approved, the proposed locations for some of the homes would change on the plan. The Board agreed to consider his request.
Commons at Great Valley, Lots 13, 14, 15: The representative presented a plan for a two-story office building, similar to others in the area, which would be situated on the combination of lots 13, 14 and 15. This matter will continue on February 5, 2001.
Summerhill Construction, Lot line change: This matter was introduced at the previous hearing. After brief discussion, the Board approved the change in lot line.
Stoudt Preliminary Subdivision Plan: Conditional Use Hearing was held previously, and now applicant is requesting approval of the three-lot subdivision. The tract is heavily wooded. Trees to be removed would be counted and replaced to the extent "feasible." Applicant suggested a contribution to the township in lieu of trees that could not be replaced. The Board noted that the Ordinance calls for identifying and protecting trees 6" or greater. This applicant is planning to protect 155 trees 12" and larger due to the large number of trees on the lot. However, the exact number of trees to be removed has not been determined pending layout of the roads, driveways and houses. No determination was rendered at this meeting.
Discussion of Planning Commission Seats: The Planning Commission has requested a reduction in size from 8 to 7 members, its original size. Mr. Oeste mentioned that an ordinance might be required to effect this change. The matter was tabled by the Board due to terms still being in effect on the two presently vacant positions.
Discussion of Completeness Review Procedure: Mention was made that not enough time is allowed for completeness review when proposed plans are brought to the Township Offices. A completeness review would involve checking the proposed plan against ordinances to be sure required items are submitted. A form is presently being developed which would advise an applicant that their plan would be subject to an initial administrative review for completeness against the ordinances before the Township initially accepts it. Incomplete plans would be returned to the applicant. After acceptance, a more substantial review would take place by the Township consultants. Mr. Panizza offered a suggestion for consideration in that when the administrative staff at the Township initially reviews a plan, the applicant immediately be advised in writing of any deficiencies so that they may be repaired before the next scheduled hearing. This practice would smooth the process for the Township and the applicant.
Conditional Use hearing - Great Valley School District: The nature of this matter was not revealed in the brief discussion; however, hearing was scheduled for February 26 with a request for snow date of March 5. Emphasis was made that in the event the snow date was used, it would be considered an extension for the Township, since deadline for commencement of action is March 3.
Emma Escrow Release #2 - the release was approved for payment but it will be held until after an issue brought up by Mr. Theurkauf was settled with the builder. Mr. Kuhn advised that, for undetermined reasons, the shoulders of Blackberry Lane are deteriorating.
Other business:
Stoltzfus has produced an estimate of $4800 for re-facing four stone walls on Bridge 178. Mr. Oeste advised that two other quotes for the work would be required before a decision is made.
Mr. Hogan stated that PMYC and the Football Club would be invited to a Park meeting to gain their input on possible uses of the new parkland.
The Board stated it had received a letter (from Trammell Crow Corp.?) regarding an existing $100,000 escrow for the traffic light proposed for Yellow Springs Rd and Route 29, requesting that all construction expense be applied against that escrowed amount. The Board stated flatly that this could not be done. Mr. Kohli said that PennDOT would have to perform a warrant analysis and approve the plan for the signals; then, afterward, Charlestown could have a private contractor perform the signal construction work.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Reported for Charlestown Green by Loretta Watson.

Monday, January 8, 2001  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Reorganaization Meeting
January 2, 2001
This meeting came to order at 7:30 p.m.
Reorganization consisted of nominating and approving candidates for positions as follows:

  • Chairman of the Board of Supervisors: Hugh D. Willig
  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors: Kevin R. Kuhn
  • Supervisors: Irene Ewald, Paul Hogan, and Mike Rodgers
Appointments for 2001:
  • Township Administrator: Linda Csete
  • Township Secretary/Treasurer: Linda Csete
  • Assistant Township Secretary: Leah Campion
  • Roadmaster: Durando Faggioli
  • Animal Control Officer: (Mark Cabot recommended)
  • Township Engineer, Zoning Officer, and Building Inspector: Surender Kohli
  • Fire Marshal and Emergency Services Coordinator: Fred Alston
  • Township Solicitor/Lead Counsel: Lamb, Windle & McErlane
  • Alternate Counsel: Gary Bender, Esq.
  • Land Planner: Comitta and Associates
  • Historical Architectural Consultant: Dale Frens
Supervisor Liaisons:
  • Roads: Paul Hogan
  • Parks & Recreation: Paul Hogan
  • Planning Commission: Mike Rodgers, Hugh Willig
  • Historical Commission: Kevin Kuhn
  • Zoning Hearing Board: Kevin Kuhn
  • Administration: Hugh Willig
  • Great Valley School District: Kevin Kuhn
  • Valley Forge Sewer District: Mike Rodgers
  • Neighboring Townships:
        East Whiteland - Irene Ewald
        Schuylkill - Mike Rodgers
        Tredyffrin - Kevin Kuhn
        East and West Pikeland - Mike Rodgers
        Uwchlan - Irene Ewald
  • Parks & Recreation Board - Marge Crawford - (1) 5-yr appt. to 12/31/2005
  • Planning Commission - Charles Philips and Michael Churchill (3) 4-yr appts. to 12/31/2004 (one position is vacant at this time)
  • Historical Commission/HARB - Grace Mohler, Dale Frens, Ray Ott, Mary Ellen Joos - one 4-year appt. to 12/31/2004 (Historic District Resident); three 5-yr. appts. to 12/31/2005 (a registered architect and two residents at large)
  • Zoning Hearing Board - John Martin 3-yr. appt. to 12/31/2003
  • Valley Forge Sewer Authority - (Mike Rodgers?) 6 member board - one 5-year appointment to 12/31/2005
  • Vacancy Board - Russell Hanscom 1-yr term to 12/31/2001
Establishing Rates of Pay for 2001:
  • Township Secretary/Treasurer: $40,000
  • Assistant Township Secretary: $15.50/hr
  • Roadmaster: $10,000 plus $3,000 expenses
  • Animal Control Officer: $15/hr plus expenses (this position serves as Animal Control Officer and as a General Maintenance Person)
Establish Mileage Rate for 2001:
IRS standard rate of $0.345 per mile approved.
Establish Employer/Employee Match for Employee Benefits:
Matter was tabled at this meeting.
Establish Holiday Schedule for 2001:
  • New Years' DayJan. 1
  • Martin Luther King Day Jan.15
  • Memorial Day: May 28
  • Independence Day: July 4
  • Labor Day: Sept. 3
  • Veterans' Day: Nov. 11
  • Thanksgiving (2 days) : Nov. 22 and 23
  • Christmas Eve & Christmas: Dec. 24 and 25
  • New Years' Eve: Dec. 31
Annual Resolutions:
Resolution #572-2001
Setting depositories for the township accounts (to name accounts where money is kept for the Township). The following two locations were approved: Malvern Federal Savings & Loan and the Trust Account provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Resolution #573-2001
Naming Providers of Fire Protection, Ambulance Service, and Police Protection
  • Fire Protection : Kimberton Fire Co. (Northeaast portion of Township)
  • Ambulance Service: West End Fire Co. (Northeast portion of Township)
  • Fire Protection and Ambulance for balance of Township: East Whiteland Fire Co.
  • Police Protection: Pennsylvania State Police at Embreeville Barracks
Date, Location and Time for 2001 business meetings:
Meetings will be held on the First and Third Mondays of the month, except for the following dates when the Great Valley Middle School facility is not available:
  • Meeting of January 15 will be held on January 22
  • Meeting of February 19 will be held on February 26
  • Meeting of September 3 will be held on September 10
Motion to Adjourn approved.
Monday, January 8, 2001  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
January 2, 2001
This meeting was called to order at 8:05 P.M. immediately following the Reorganization Meeting by Chairman Hugh Willig. Announcement was made by Mrs. Ewald that the Board commends the Roadmaster for his work during the recent snowstorm and also Jacob Merriwether for his Christmas Presentation. She also wished all present a Happy New Year.
Citizens' Forum for Non-Agenda Items: Mrs. Behrle asked about the Planning Commission and who was nominated but not reappointed, since there is a vacant position. Response was that Vincent Kling was nominated but not reappointed.
A question arose regarding the limits of liability for Supervisors, and Mr. McErlane will check into this to be sure the township is properly covered.
Mr. Staas announced that the Annual Meeting of Auditors would be held at 7:30 P.M. on January 3.
The Board approved its Minutes of December 18, with one change in the reference to Route 422, which was mistakenly typed as 322. Accounts Payable for January 2 was also approved.
Mr. Hogan made a request that Internet addresses be included in the contact information for township personnel.
Irene Ewald reported that the Charlestown Historical Society will receive a contribution toward its winter utility bills incurred at Rapp House.
Mr. Kohli advised that renovations to the Phoenixville Pike/ Charlestown Road intersection would occur in Fall 2001. PennDOT has issued its Request for Bids concerning the Ice Dam Bridge on Route 29 near Charlestown Hunt Development.
Mrs. Csete distributed account signature cards for signing by each Supervisor, which will be forwarded to the bank per its request.
Charles Philips of the Planning Commission reported that the Chester County Landscapes program has approved a contribution of $30,000 for Charlestown Township, in accordance with the County's agreement, which will be applied towards development of the Comprehensive Plan. He also announced that the Planning Commission is now accepting resumes from candidates for its open position. Additionally, he advised that the Township Maps would be finished in March 2001.
Historical Commission - additional to a written report which was submitted, Mrs. Baldwin said that the next Historical Commission meeting will take place on the Third Tuesday of January, 2001. At that time she will be resigning as Chairperson and a new one will be elected in due course.
The Board made mention of receiving an inquiry from a resident regarding the removal of a Windmill on Wells Road and the existence of a Windmill on the Pyle Farm, and asked if the Township would be interested in preserving this feature. Inquiry was also made whether the well in front of Rapp House is currently working and the whereabouts of the old pump and handle. In response, Mrs. Baldwin informed the Board that the well was investigated many years ago. Chester County will not allow the well to be used due to its close proximity to the road, fearing that salt or other contaminants would go into the water. In response to the Board's question of whether the Society would like to have a well and sanitary facilities installed, Mrs. Baldwin stated that there is interest, and they may also be good for the park area.
Roadmaster: Mr. Faggioli reported that the work of the plowing contractor has been excellent, although he believed that too much material was applied to the roads. He will look into adjusting the rate of the spreaders.
Fire Marshall: Mr. Alston supplemented his report by mentioning that in the year 2000 there were 168 incidents which included 64 auto accidents. This is a 137% increase over the number of auto accidents responded to in 1999. Mr. Alston stressed that the proposed HazMat ordinance is urgently needed due to the types and amount of materials he believes could be in the township. This ordinance has been held up in the offices of Lamb, Windle & McErlane due to a heavy load of township business in the recent past. Mr. McErlane will see that it is "put back into the loop."
Parks & Recreation: Mr. Hogan met with the Parks & Recreation Board last week. Some responsibilities allocated among Board members include: Marge Crawford will look into the trail system; Mark Connelly has expressed interest in overseeing the development of Brightside Farm (Pyle property) and is interested in writing articles for the Township Newsletter., Louise Kehoe would like to do a public awareness program. Mr. Hogan suggested a series of "open houses" at Brightside Farm on Saturdays where the public could visit and contribute ideas towards its development. Mr. Hogan added that the downed tree in the Revolutionary War Cemetery has been removed. He proposed that residents drop their cut trees at Brightside Farm. He is interested in a program where the wood will be chopped and aged for possible sale in the future. Paul will also start working on the design of the children's playground at Brightside.
As a potential use of the buildings on the Pyle property, Charles Philips advised that the Nature Center may have need for them in the administration of their children's programs. Mr. Faggioli suggested that one of the three barns could be set aside for maintenance use and storage of salt for the township. The present storage barn only holds three truckloads of material, which may present a problem if usage is heavy this winter. The idea of having salt storage in two areas of the township was appealing.
With reference to Mr. Hogan's idea of having "open houses" at the park, Sue Staas suggested that the Phoenix newspaper be used to publish an article to inform the public of the proposed dates and purpose. The Board continued with its monthly reports by calling for the Valley Forge Sewer Authority and the PA Turnpike Citizens' Action Committee, but there were presentations.
Next on the Agenda was a hearing for the proposed development of Saddlebrook. Charles Dobson, V. P. of Genterra Corp. (formerly known as General Residential Properties) presented copies of letters to the Board representing notice of this hearing to the neighboring landowners. Genterra is requesting conditional use approval for development of Saddlebrook on a 33-acre property on White Horse Road, which is proposed to be developed into 10 lots holding nine new homes and one existing residence. Attorney DeBello entered his appearance on behalf of G. Michael Main and the Whitehorse Meadows Homeowners' Association, which is the development across White Horse Road from this site. Saul and Neila Kun, property owners next to the proposed site, also asked for party status and registered their objections to the development. The French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust, chaired by Eleanor Morris, requested party status. Mr. Dobson agreed to provide the Board with an estimate of the number of witnesses and length of testimony to be presented by Genterra. This matter was continued to February 5, 2001.
Under New Business, the Board examined and approved the annual maintenance contract for signal service covering the traffic light at Phoenixville Pike/Charlestown Road. There was no increase over last year in the $525 bill for general maintenance. Any emergency calls would be billed at an hourly rate. The general maintenance provision is in response to a requirement that the light be "fully inspected" once per year and a report issued to the township.
A contract from the SPCA was approved which contained two options: (1) A full contract of service if the township has no animal control officer; or (2) a contract for boarding of strays, but no animal control service to be rendered by the SPCA. The charge to the township for strays brought to the SPCA is $50 administration fee and a $35 fee if the animal is not claimed. There apparently was no indication of what would be done with unclaimed strays. The contract was approved under the second option. Mr. Kuhn suggested that Charlestown's animal control officer be given a pager to assist him in his work.
The contribution of $200,000 from Charlestown Oaks will be set up in a fund: #120.1035 in Section 4 of the budget, entitled "Open Space Improvement Fund." This will be used for capital improvements only. Mr. McErlane noted that future Boards may have the option of using the funds in a different manner. Auditor, Phil. Staas, offered his professional expertise to help design the fund and control usage. Expected uses would include park fencing, field improvements, flower planting, power washing of the buildings, digging a well, installation of sanitary facilities, parking lot and road work.
Escrow Release #10 for Lot 17 of the Commons at Great Valley was approved
Other Business: The maintenance contractor included the cost of mowing in the contract that was approved by the Board. Mr. Rogers suggested that the contractor be informed asap that mowing is not included in this contract. This matter was tabled in order to review the supervisors' Minutes covering the discussion leading to approval. Mr. Hogan made a request that Leah Campion, Assistant Township Secretary, attend the Park and Recreation Board meetings.
A request came forth to expedite the Township's newsletter, and several articles were suggested for the upcoming edition.
This meeting adjourned at 9:30 P.M.
Reported for Charlestown Green by Loretta Watson.
Continued in Archives

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