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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Past news of events in and around Charlestown
News for May and June, 1999

Thursday, June 3, 1999  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Special Presentation sponsored by the Planning Commission
Thursday, May 27, 1999
On Thursday, May 27, 1999 the Planning Commission held a special meeting at the Great Valley Nature Center barn. In attendance were Chairman Charlie Philips, Michael Churchill, Michael Allen and Township Land Planner Tom Committa.
As the Planning Commission begins the process of reviewing the Township´s zoning ordinances, Tom Committa, in an effort to research other ways to plan development and protect open space, introduced Jeff Butler, the Land Planner for Manheim Township. Manheim uses Transfer Development Rights (TDR) to allow them to deny development in the Agricultural District. A person owning land in the Agricultural District own tracts of at least 100 acres restricted to 5 building lots of 20 acres each. People in these areas´ "sending units" would not only receive a fair market value but would also have development rights shares. These shares are figured on the amount of property owned. They could then sell their development rights to a developer owning property in the area determined to be where development is permissible, which had a much higher density than the Agricultural District, the "receivers". How many development rights the developer purchased would determine just how much they could increase their density.
Mr. Butler stated that TDR has been an effective tool in the planning of development in Manheim Township.
John Hockestra from the Green Valley´s Assn. and Michelle Adams from Cahill and Associates gave a presentation on Water Protection and ordinances protecting the water sources. They showed via a color coded map what condition our township water is in now and where it could go if we don´t take the necessary steps in the water protection process. They also agreed to run calculations on a development plan brought in by a developer to determine the impact of the developer´s plan on our water supply. They are currently working under grants, so they are able to provide this as a service at no cost to the townships.
Thursday, May 13, 1999  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission
Tuesday, May 11, 1999
On Tuesday, May 11, 1999 at 7:30PM the Charlestown Township Planning Commission held its first May meeting. Present were Chairman Charlie Philips, Michael Churchill, Michael Allen, Bud Ziegler, Vincent Kling and the township engineer, Surender Kohli.
A letter was sent to the County Planning Commission in response to their claim that the recently adopted Open Space Option Amendment does not fit into the character of the Township. This would mean that the Township would not qualify for monies available through Landscapes to help pay for the cost to review our ordinances.
Sub-Committee Reports-
1. After a review of the checklist of items required to present a plan before the Planning Commission, it was recommended that all dwellings within 250 ft of a subject property be shown, and the diameter of mature 5+ inch diameter trees be shown. Any native hardwood trees that size would not be permitted to be cut down. A committee was formed to review the checklist items for compliance when first submitted to the Planning Commission meeting. The Township Solicitor will advise as to any precautions if the time limit for plan submittal was increased from 21 to 30 days.
2. Sprint Landscaping Committee has a design plan but wasn't ready to submit it to the Commission.
3. Regarding the Water Ordinance, which would help prevent the Perrier disaster from happening in our Townshi, the land planner says he has not yet received comments from the Solicitor.
4. A meeting was held May 10 on the Park Master Plan review with Schuylkill township, the Christian College and our township.
It was mentioned that the School District is finally moving forward on the installation of temporary playing fields on their piece of the Pyle property.
An informational meeting on the whats and hows of Transfer Development Rights will be held May 27, at 7:30 PM at the Nature Center. Anyone interested in the upcoming ordinance review should definitely attend this meeting.
Plan Review:
1. Spring Lane Farms Sketch Plan consisting of 38 acres on Hollow Road, almost directly across from the Somerset, now Claremont Development. It has 11 lots. The road and drive placements have been modified and were discussed at length. Storm water management evaluation is now underway.
2. The Birch Final Plan was approved subject to the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions and Indemnification Agreement indemnifying the township against any liability on the driveway.
3. Independence Construction Co., formally Default Crushed Stone, presented a plan for land development. The requested improvements would enable them to operate their plant more efficiently. This same concept was proposed several years ago and certain work was spelled out to be completed. That work was never completed and conditional uses were given which were never complied to. The Commission recommended that the applicant meet with the Township Engineer and determine what the original criteria was and complete it instead of starting this process all over.
4. Fieldstone Partners made a request to change a lot line affecting two lots on Howell Road. This change would save two mature poplar trees and clearing of the property would be minimized. The board voted to approve this pending the completion of the items in Surender Kohli's letter to the applicant.
The meeting was adjourned until May 27, 1999 at 7:30 PM at the Great Valley Nature Center.
Wednesday, May 12, 1999  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Regular Meeting of the Board of Supervisors
Monday, May 3, 1999
On Monday, May 3, 1999 the Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors held their regularly scheduled meeting for the month of May. The Treasurer's report of April 30, 1999, accounts receivable of May 3, 1999, Fire Marshal, Planning Commission, Historical Commission, Roadmaster's and the Sewer Authority reports were accepted as presented. The Fire Marshall added that the ban on burning, which has been in effect for quite some time, has finally been lifted. Residents should watch for deer. An Emergency Operations training session will be held on May 22 with a work session on May 27 at the Limerick Training Center. The head of the Parks and Recreation Board added that on May 10 he will be attending a meeting with the Christian College, our Township and Schuylkill Township to review the master site plan for Charlestown Park. The Zoning Officer commented that the burned out barn on Charlestown Road across from Country Lane has finally been taken care of.
Announcements: Chester County 20/20 was held on April 22nd in West Chester. There will be Land Use Forums held and the dates are posted at the Township Office. At the April 26 meeting of the Slip Ramp Opposition Committee, it was announced that Chester County would file a petition to intervene as a party in the complaint for Declaratory Judgment. On April 26 there was a rally at the Middle School on the Hazards of Smoking. On April 26th the Township held its road tour to asses the condition of the roads. On June 2 there would be a regional forum on Land Use, Development, Recreation and Transportation.
A Lease Agreement was executed by the Township and the School District for the Practice Playing Fields in Devault. The School District now has to submit plans and secure a permit to complete the fields in accordance with plan 3A which was approved by the Supervisors in March.
Since the Township filed a lawsuit against the PA Turnpike Commission, the Commission is required to file an answer to the complaint within a specified number of days. As of the date of this meeting, the Township still had not received notice of an answer being filed.
Lyme Disease education panels are being supplied by the county. One is to go at thePark and the other to be placed at the Great Valley Nature Center.
It was decided that a letter previously sent to the PA Turnpike Commission addressing the Citizens Advisory appointments be re-written reflecting items previously agreed to be included.
A resident on Blackberry Lane asked for a temporary certificate of occupancy pending zoning hearing approval of relief due to set backs being inadequate because of improper measurement of the house. The request was approved unanimously.
The Charlestown Oaks [see 13-B] request for a subdivision plan change was approved. They may now make fewer units so they can enlarge the town houses.
Discussion was held on Devault Quarry's plan to re-build and the intrusive blasting which has been occurring. Different strategies for testing were discussed and for putting pressure on the owner to curtail these activities.
The owner of the lot across from the Charlestown Oaks on Yellow Springs Road near Phoenixville Pike has allowed timbering on the property. Discussions were held on preventing this process from happening or to at least imposing conditions on them.
A resident asked permission to build on a 3 acre lot behind Ott's Fur Shop which had been deed restricted.
A resident of Wells Road expressed dissatisfaction as to the condition of the road and the damage done to the road as a result of the inadequate job paving last December by the road contractor. There was much discussion about back charges to the contractor to recover our costs .
Charlestown Green will host a Township roads cleanup day in June. The Green is in dire need of volunteers. Please email Charlestown Green president Ellen Behrle at
There will be no second meeting of the Board of Superervisors for the month of May, 1999

Continued in Archives

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