Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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News for June 2000

Tuesday, June 13, 2000  (From Loretta Watson, Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Meeting
June 5, 2000
The Board of Supervisors' meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairman Irene Ewald at the Valley Forge Christian College Memorial Chapel on June 5,
 
Present for the Township were: Irene Ewald, Mike Rodgers, Kevin Kuhn, Hugh Willig, Paul Hogan, Supervisors, and L. Csete, L. Campion, T. Oeste, Esq. and S. Kohli.
 
Before beginning the Agenda, Mrs. Ewald announced an award being presented to Jane Davidson, Heritage Preservation Coordinator for Chester County, who has been recognized in Washington, D.C., as Woman of the Year for Historic Preservation. The Township, tonight, was recognizing Jane for her continuing efforts in historic preservation in the Township and the County. Mrs. Davidson has been instrumental in organizing the 52 existing Historic Commissions in communities throughout the County and also in creating and developing the historic preservation guidelines in use today. Janet Baldwin, Chairman, and Grace Mohler of the Township's Historic Commission along with Priscilla Crowell of the Charlestown Historical Society assisted in the presentation.
 
Starting on the night's agenda, Mrs. Ewald announced that an executive session had been held on May 25 to discuss a subdivision matter. Another announcement by Paul Hogan concerned a footbridge that is being worked on by a local group of Eagle Scouts.
 
Citizens' Forum -- A resident in Four Oaks subdivision petitioned the board for special permission to be able to accept water directly from PSW since they have been unsuccessful in drilling a 400 foot well on their property. The property is subject to on-site water source and does not have public water. Upon request of the Board, Mr. Oeste agreed to look into the matter and advise the township. The applicant noted that the development across the street was developed with access to public water.
 
Another resident, Mr. Myers, addressed the Board through his attorney regarding an 8-acre lot. The lot predates the present zoning ordinances and the owners want to build a house on it. The building permit has not been issued at this time due to problems establishing the existence of easements for ingress and egress. One neighbor asserts that there is no easement at this time from Sycamore Lane that can be used by the applicant. After a short recess, the Board advised the applicant to consult with his neighbors to see if a solution could be found; and, in the meantime, Mr. Oeste will advise Mr. Kohli whether legal access to the property exists and if a ruling and building permit can be issued.
 
Mr. John Panizza of General Residential Properties, brought up a matter relating to his Brooklands Subdivision (Bodine Road). According to GRP, the situation is that after previous hearings, the Brooklands development plans were resubmitted with changes a few weeks ago to the Township, and the understanding was that the Township requested 90 days' time from receipt to review them. However, upon receipt of the revised plans, the township wrote and asked that the plan be resubmitted as a "new application," which would obviously require multiple copies to be submitted, new hearings, additional fees, and delay. Mr. Panizza appealed stating that he submitted his revised plans according to an agreement made at a previous Board meeting and that there were no major changes made to the original plan. Mrs. Ewald suggested a meeting with Tom Oeste and Surender Kohli to develop a written decision.. Mr. Willig requested a list of all "current' plan documents for review so the "old" versions would not be mixed in with the new.
 
In the matter of GRP's Spring Lane Farm development, a hearing was opened by Mr. Oeste and Mr. Panizza was sworn as a witness. The only testimony involved Mr. Panizza's request to continue the hearing to July 10, 2000.
 
The Board then approved their May 15, 2000, Minutes and also the Treasurer's Report covering the period of May 1 to 31. The Accounts Payable were also approved.
 
Report of the Zoning Officer was received. A short discussion followed regarding a Green Lane resident's request for a building permit. Also a turnpike tower issue will be addressed by the township's legal counsel via a letter to the Board. Mrs. Ewald asked about two historic buildings on the Souder Subdivision, and whether the earliest, most historical home is being preserved. Mr. Kohli advised that repair and preservation efforts are underway but will double check that the earliest house is being preserved as per conditions of approval. Additionally, in regard to the walking trail at Charlestown Hunt, the trail was examined by Mr. Kohli and repairs will be made.
 
Planning Commission report was submitted and Mr. Phillips advised that the Commission is continuing its work on the ordinance (Open Space).
 
Roadmaster's report was received. Mr. Faggioli told the Board of some difficulties he is experiencing with the contractor who is handling the mowing along township roads in the nature of no communication, improper billing, and nonperformance. Mr. Oeste agreed to look at the contract and advise a course of action. Mr. Phillips asked that the State be contacted regarding the condition of Hollow Road, which is a state road.
 
Fire Marshall report submitted. Mr. Alston quickly reviewed the reports received. What was believed to be a house on fire, turned out to be excessive steam rising from the roof after a rain. He added that he is continuing his work on the new fire ordinance and a hazardous materials ordinance. He commented that the 911 Emergency System in the County worked fine, except that the problems stem from the radio system being used and response personnel often had delays receiving messages. High band radios are being used in addition to the normal ones in some areas in order to facilitate communication.
 
No verbal reports were made for the Parks & Recreation, Historic Commission, or Valley Forge Sewer Authority.
 
The Turnpike Advisory Counsel Citizens Action Committee. Mr. Phillips reported that efforts continue to get the Turnpike Commission to hold additional meetings in order to answer outstanding questions. Schuylkill Township is sending a letter of complaint to the Governor regarding the process being used by the Turnpike Commission.
 
The Board addressed the next issue which was the Stoudt Conditional Use request. Mr. Oeste opened the hearing for the applicant, Daniel Stoudt Builders. He advised that the matter would continue on July 10, 2000. This plan concerns building a driveway in a steep slope area. Mr. Oeste will contact applicant's engineer to get the status of the plan submissions.
 
Zoning Ordinance Amendment. A hearing was opened on the issue of the 25+ acre historic property development. Neither Mr. Oeste nor Mr. Committa have been able to look at the proposed ordinance so the matter is being continued to July 10, 2000.
 
Next was a matter entitled "Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance Amendment to Section 508." This hearing is to consider a proposed amendment to the ordinance regarding on-site sewage disposal systems. The matter was advertised and the text published in the Daily Local News. A review letter from the County was placed on the record. The main issue in the proposed ordinance concerns providing for a 100% replacement area requirement whenever above ground sand mound systems are to be used. This may also be extended to require replacement area for all new systems. This would be applicable to all new single-family home permits. Motion was made and approved to amend section 508 by adding sections "e" to "i" regarding new on-site sewage disposal systems (except for conventional in-ground) to require a 100% replacement area.
 
Miles Conditional Use decision regarding a planned driveway was presented in a "draft" letter granting the application subject to nine conditions explained therein.
 
Toll Bros. Tentative Plan and Conditional Use Application submitted 5/19/00 -- The plan for Charlestown Meadows (Route 401 at Newcomen Rd.) has been resubmitted based upon the use of a public sewer system instead of the drip irrigation system originally proposed. The matter will be heard on July 10, 2000.
 
Escrow Releases #4 were approved for Commons at Great Valley Lots #16 and #17.
 
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:45 pm.
 
Continued in Archives


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