Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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News posted during May 2001


Wednesday, May 16, 2001  (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
May 7, 2001
This meeting was called to order at the Great Valley Middle School in Choral Room 156 by the Chairman, Hugh Willig, at 7:40 p.m.
In attendance were Chairman, Hugh Willig, Kevin Kuhn, Paul Hogan, Mike Rodgers, Irene Ewald. Also present were Surender Kohli, Tom Oeste, Esq., and Linda Csete.
An announcement was made by Mr. Willig that the township expects to receive $400,000 from the county toward the purchase of additional property and noted that Mrs. Ewald&s efforts in communicating the township&s needs to the county made this possible.
Mrs. Behrle was first speaker at the Citizens& Forum for Non-Agenda Items. She questioned whether the township could help the residents in the area of the Sycamore Lane cul-de-sac that borders the Charlestown Hunt Property. Per Mrs. Behrle, three years ago, an agreement was reached with Realen that the buffer along the Hunt property line would remain in a "natural state." She said that some of the vegetation has been cleared. The township reports that it had done some clearing but offered to erect a wire fence along the dividing line.
Wendy McClain, Esq., representing the Friedmans, spoke regarding a drainage ditch and resulting water flow problem which has become the responsibility of the township to correct. She also asked for a double yellow line down Yellow Springs Road to control speed, and occasional police monitoring. She noted that grading along the shoulders had been completed but no paving yet. Mr. Ewald reported that Yellow Springs is too narrow in some areas for the double line and that PennDOT has promised some improvements in width on Yellow Springs from 113 to Hollow this spring.
There were no further Forum speakers, so the Board addressed its agenda by making a minor correction to and approving its previous meeting minutes of 4/16. Accounts Payable was approved, including a bill for tree removal, which will be clarified as to amount per hour being charged. Treasurer&s Report for April was approved.
Reports to the Board: Zoning: Mr. Kohli reported that work is progressing on the installation of the light at 401 & Valley Hill Road. Paving by the Melchiorre company will be done May 8.
Planning Commission: Comprehensive Plan review is on the agenda along with time for public discussion. Plan will be available to voters at polls during the May election date. Postcard notification to residents is anticipated.
Historical Commission: No verbal report.
Roadmaster: Mr. Faggioli is still assembling pricing for paving requests. Peake&s Pike is one of the streets on the list for paving. He noted the ditch on Blackberry where some deterioration is occurring and the road is settling, and Mr. Kohli advised that no paving was to be done when the builder placed the pipe at that location.
Fire Marshall: Written report for the current and previous months were submitted.
Parks & Recreation: (Mr. Hogan) Associated Paving has been contacted about the 8-ft wide trails, but they reported that the price today as compared to the bid received months ago for 6.5-ft wide trail would be much higher. The Board decided to remain at 6.5 feet for trail width, and after discussion, approved the use of stone rather than crushed concrete for the trail foundation.
Mr. Hogan reported that the proposed bill for cleaning the pipe along Township Line Road is $1500 and $1600 per contractors& advice.
A possible tenant has been discovered by Mr. Hogan for the Pyle Farm. This tenant promises to help clean up the buildings to a suitable condition for their horses.
Valley Forge Sewer Authority: Report was submitted. Mr. Rodgers reported that a dewatering machine is sought by the Authority, but no costs are available yet. He said he made an objection to a planned bid award of $300,000 to a company before any other bids were obtained.
Turnpike Citizens& Action Committee: Sue Staas reported that a meeting was held several weeks ago and the Turnpike has asked for alternate scenarios: 1) dump proposed slip ramp into Atwater corporate park; 2) multiple slip ramps on state roads in Chester County; 3) Turnpike will give information on a "no build" scenario.
The next agenda item was the offer of Rapps Run Drive for a dedicated road in the township. Mr. Kohli commented that the original plan provided for Home Owner&s Association maintenance of the road and drainage system, and noted that this road was not built to proper specifications (curbing) except for the first few hundred feet. The representatives of Rapps Run report that all eight homes along the road have been completed and the road is complete. Mrs. Ewald suggested the township look into the original plan and original approval of the Board before rendering any decision. Documents not held by the Township/Rapps Run H/O Assn. will be exchanged for each parties& clarification.
Auditors Report for 2000: Emory Todd, CPA, stated three items are routinely handled by his office: an audited report, a Management Letter for procedural improvements; DCED report as required by the Commonwealth. Among his review of the township&s financial standing, he offered the findings on the Balance Sheet: Total Assets $3.4 million minus Total Liabilities $2.2 million equals Net Worth $1.2 million. He mention that the Commonwealth is considering the requirement of reporting value of other land holdings owned by municipalities, which may entail costly appraisals, but this is still being worked out and is not currently a requirement.
New Business: Commons at Great Valley: Lot 18, a 7-acre parcel on Route 29, was presented as the site of a 2 or 3 story office building. The ordinance height in the Township is 35 feet. The parapet wall on the roof (hiding utilities) would raise a 3 story building to 46 feet. The perception from Route 29 would be a 60 foot high building due to the elevation of the land from road level. A buffer of landscaping 15 to 20 feet wide would disguise the building. The applicant is willing to consider a two-story building. Sherwin-Williams is a possible tenant, wanting an entire floor, which would necessarily be the second or third story.
This arrangement would place the Charlestown Saloon in a smaller area behind the building and the proposed, widened Warner Lane leading to Phoenixville Pike, and the widened Route 29. Space for parking would be lessened. Representative of The Commons stated that the Saloon is interested in hooking up to the public sewer system.
The Planning Commission will review The Commons& proposal for Lot 18. As for Lot 15 at The Commons at Great Valley, the escrow agreements presented to the Board were approved.
A break was taken in the proceedings.
Glen Diehl, Esq., the Township&s attorney in the Charlestown Elementary School expansion, presented a quick overview of the matters at hand: 1) Conditional Use application to construct parking and driveway on steep slope area; and 2) Approval of conditional uses for education in farm/residential district. There is also a matter concerning location of the Horse Shoe Trail bordering the Charlestown School.
A clarification was made that the 60 foot right of way is really only 30 feet from the centerline of Charlestown Road to the actual building. The Board noted that Charlestown School was first opened in 1925. The township reported it had no new evidence or testimony to offer.
Wendy McClain, Esq., introduced herself as representing S. G. Souder builders in regard to the issues concerning property rights and the common driveway serving the Charlestown School and Souder properties. She asked to be admitted as a "party to the proceedings." Attorney for the school district objected due to the lateness of the proceeding and the opportunities to join offered previously and cited that the Rule states entry as a party may be made in a timely manner. The Board felt that party status should be denied due to the issues being a private matter between Souder and the School District which could be settled in a different manner.
The Board heard a recap of the proceedings by Mr. Diehl and was advised that they could approve or deny the Charlestown Elementary School requests for conditional approval. In discussion, the Board stated that underground storm water basins were desirable for safety and extending use of the land, and that the parking lots seemed small and concentrated for the amount of bus and drop-off activity planned and asked for improvements.
Mr. Diehl reviewed the highlights of the proposed decision: A redesign of Plot A could be done later; redesign the storm water basins to accommodate a maximum of 2 feet of standing water in a 25-year storm and install a safety fence; retaining wall and fence on western boundary line near the driveway; and provide for a future left-turn lane into the school property. Decision of the Board: APPROVED.
The land development and subdivision application regarding the school district was said to contain all the terms of the 'just approved& decision regarding conditional use; this decision requires compliance with the Township&s engineering and land planners& review letters, recommendations and comments. Decision of the Board: APPROVED.
Great Valley School District – a question arose about the drop off areas – this area was split between the kindergarten pupils (parents) and the older students (busses). The stacking of cars was in question at the last meeting. The new design of the cul-de-sac would allow about 12 cars to line up. No covering is provided for weather protection from school to car. Mrs. Ewald suggested the use of another consultant to look over the parking lot designs.
The supervisors were presented a drawing showing Charlestown Road with a 400 foot left-turn lane with widening of the road on school district property and four other properties.
The matter of Spring Lane Farms (Hollow Rd) (Genterra Corporation) is continued to June 4, 2001.
The Board moved on to the next agenda item concerning formation of an Open Space Commission, stating that the plan is modeled after East Bradford&s. East Bradford prioritizes their open space and purchases it as deemed necessary. Charlestown would like an ordinance to create a committee of 17 people with staggered, three-year terms with a purpose of preserving open space and help meet recreational needs of the township. This committee would assist supervisors in land decisions and educate the township residents on open space issues. The initial 17 members would be chosen from existing organizations and have "at large" members. Specific responsibilities and its interaction with other township organizations is still to be determined.
Mr. Kuhn hoped that a Horticultural and Environmental Committee ordinance would follow in the future.
The Board then addressed the issue of the Mowing and Tree Work bids. Bids were received but comments were received from bidders stating the bids should be separated into mowing and tree work. Supervisors considered the merits of placing a newspaper ad for mowing hay at the Pyle Farm. These bids will be studied before any award is granted.
Round 13 - Land Acquisition Grant (Pyle Farm) – the Board approved that Linda Csete will file the appropriate forms toward obtaining the Chester County "Landscapes" grant.
The Board also approved that Linda Csete may set dates for the scheduling and advertising of: 1. Bituminous and Stone Bids and bid opening dates 2. Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance for Mandatory Dedication of Land or Recreational Fee-in Lieu. 3. Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance Amendment – Major Subdivisions and Minor Subdivisions.
The Joint Meeting between the Supervisors, the Planning Commission, and the Parks & Recreation Board to discuss the Pyle Farm will be on 6/11/01. Board will conduct an executive session on this subject beforehand.
Other business: Mrs. Ewald asked if the Board would rather authorize a third monthly meeting, rather than go so late each time. The Board rejected a third meeting, but considered a five-minute limit on discussion of monthly reports.
Adjourned approximately 11:30 pm.
The next business meeting is set for May 21, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. at Great Valley Middle School.
Reported for Charlestown Green by Loretta Watson.
 
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