Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

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Established June 2, 1997
by citizens for citizens


March 16, 1998

Website of the Week
Daily Local News
August 13, 1997
A beautiful part of southeastern Pennsylvania
Fans of the World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies

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Past news of events in and around Charlestown
News for September & October, 1997

Friday, October 24, 1997  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Monday, October 20, 1997
The second monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. All members were in attendance.
A Conditional Use Hearing was held for Sprint Spectrum who is requesting to erect a 150 foot communications tower on a portion of the property where Devault Foods is located on Whitehorse Rd. It was explained that the three existing towers in the township would not be an alternative due to their location and the fact that the coverage area they are concerned with improving would not be affected by any improvements to those towers. The coverage area they are enhancing is along the PA Turnpike, Routes 29 and 202. Numerous residents voiced their concerns about the presence of the tower in their back yard. One consideration was to erect a "Tree Pole" with the goal of camouflaging the tower, however, this was ruled out since the pole will have four antennas on it. It was the desire of the Supervisors to allow four antennas on the tower so as to minimize other towers in the township. The design preferred by the Supervisors is a "Mono Pole" which is a much sleeker tower. After numerous questions and comments by neighbors the presentation was closed and the matter continued until the November 13th Township Meeting after the Township Engineer has had a chance the review additional material presented by the applicant.
The Historical Commission Ordinance was approved by all three Supervisors subject to two modifications.
The Road Labor and Materials Bids were awarded. Devault Crushed Stone and Glasgow were awarded the material bid and the present township road contractor Corkey Rittenbaugh was again awarded the Road Maintenance Bid for 1997-1998.
Charlestown Hunt submitted a revised building plan for Phase IV. The plan has essentially the same "footprint" as the original plan and the density of the development will not be affected. The Supervisors approved the change.
The Ferguson Final Subdivision Plan was submitted for approval and again discussion ensued regarding deed restricting the lots to 10 acre minimums so as to blend with neighboring subdivisions. While Mr. Ferguson was not inclined to agree to this he agreed to meet with the Township Solicitor to develop a strategy which will enable him to market his property to his advantage and be sensitive to the surrounding large lot subdivisions, namely Eastwick and Merriwether.
A Resolution to approve the sewage facilities planning module for the Zeigler Sub-division on Howells road was approved. Charlestown Oaks Escrow Release #1 was approved. DHR Limited Escrow Release #2 was approved. The Lyon Conditional Use Decision was approved.
A Zoning Ordinance Amendment Hearing for "Flex Space as a Conditional Use in the NC District" was scheduled for January 19, 1998. The applicant is J. Loew & Associates.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:30pm.
Thursday, October 23, 1997
There are three state constitution amendment questions on our November 4 ballot, one of which is pretty confusing on first reading. Click here to see the details and explanations.
Friday, October 17, 1997  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Planning Commission Meeting
Tuesday, October 14, 1997
On Tuesday October 14, l997 at 8:00 PM, the Charlestown Township Planning Commission held their first regularly scheduled meeting for the month of October, 1997. All members of the Commission were present.
Two (2) committee reports were asked for by Chairman Churchill. First, a brief water resource study report was given by Mr. Phillips which would be elaborated on when Tom Comitta, the Township Land Planner, arrived. Second, there was no conversation concerning the Corielle track so no report was given.
The Ferguson sub-division, consisting of three (3) ten (10+) acre lots, was referred back before this Commission to address recommendations made by the County Planning Commission - first being that the owner consider imposing deed restrictions on each of the three (3) parcels proposed against any further subdivision or development for 15 years. This would be consistent with the Eastwick sub-division and other neighboring tracts. Deficiencies in the access drive were another concern. There was discussion on both issues and the plan was approved on to the Board of Supervisors without any imposition of deed restrictions and with a waiver on the required improvements on the driveway, so long as it served no more that one (l) additional house and that the waiver does not apply to any other owner.
The Derkas sub-division sketch plan consisting of three (3) lots on a 9.071 acre tract at the end of Sycamore Lane was denied a variance to not have to improve the drive as to not disturb the aesthetic integrity of a tree lined "wagon way" used by the applicant and one other house. However, several other property owners have the right by recorded easement to use that same drive. The township ordinance prohibits more than three (3) houses on a drive unless the road is improved and is 50 feet wide. The applicant was encouraged to come back before the Commission with a plan showing how the driveway could be improved and have the least impact on the integrity of the "wagon way" and also to try to get some of the property owners who had easement rights to use the drive to relinquish those rights to use the access in question.
Robert Campbell proposed a 30 acre tract consisting of three (3) ten (10) acre lots on Howell Road. A sketch plan was presented. The applicant asked for a waiver to not move the existing driveway as it was built right on the property line and did not have the required 20 foot buffer zone which our ordinance specifies. This was not approved. The Commission wants to see a more definite plan showing that the installation of the utilities will not be invasive to the mature wooded area comprising a large portion of the tract.
Sprint/Spectrum's conditional use plan to build a tele-communications tower in Devault, housing four (4) different carriers, was presented, again, to address two (2) items which were previously requested by the Commission. First being exactly how far from the turnpike would the tower be built, and a topographical plan review was requested. After much discussion the conditional use was approved and sent on to the Board of Supervisors for approval. The Commission will recommend a monopole type tower be approved over a lattice type. There is a monopole tower similar to what is being proposed in Berwyn at the Berwyn fire house, right off of Lancaster Pike, for anyone interested in seeing what the finished product will look like.
Lowe & Associates, Inc. requested a zoning amendment to allow them to build 70 % flex space in the Neighborhood Commercial district (NC-l). The NC-l district allows use by right of at least 51% office space with 49% ancillary uses, which flex space would be considered. The Commission approved the request with the condition that the loading area be constructed appropriate to the adjacent area.
Tom Comitta presented an information packet on the water resource study being conducted to see if we can do anything to prevent the commercial withdrawls which are happening in the Perrier case in Coventry township from happening here. The last county survey was conducted in l977, and the study map showed each different aquifer in the township. It seems that the most plentiful is in the Light Industrial district (LI). Mr. Comitta commented that if we could not completely prevent commercial withdrawls, then it would make sense to try and limit the damage to the townships water supply by imposing an ordinance now allowing commercial withdrawls in the most plentiful aquifer only, the LI district.
Chairman Churchill suggested the township solicitor, Tom Oeste, be consulted for advice as to our ability to legally prevent commercial withdrawls permanently. There will be ongoing discussion on this subject.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 PM.
There will be no second meeting in October. The next meeting will be held on the second Tuesday of November at 8:00 PM in the Charlestown Elementary School on Charlestown Road. Our township office can be contacted for an advance for a copy of the agenda, if one is completed before hand.
Tuesday, October 14, 1997
We received the above Fire Marshal notice to all Charlestown Township Residents from Township Secretary Linda Csete about noon on the 14th.
In addition, the Fire Marshal reminds us all about the 9-1-1 requirements -

  1. The Township notified all residents of their new addresses in September 1996. Your house number must be posted in 3" high reflective letters on your building or on both sides of your mailbox (or post) located in your front yard. The address must be clearly visible from the street.
  2. Don't forget to notify your alarm company of your new address.
  3. If you have multiple dwellings on your property, each should have a separate number.
Monday, October 13, 1997  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Monday, October 6, 1997
The first monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. Chairman, John Sauser and Member Irene Ewald were in attendance. Vice Chairman, Robin Kohn was absent.
The Minutes of both the September 8th and the September 15th meetings were approved.
The Treasurer's Report was approved.
Accounts payable were approved subject to an objection from Mr. Sauser that he did not authorize the Township Auditor, Emory J. Todd, Jr., CPA, to draft a recommendation for financing the purchase of a 20-acre tract of the Pyle Farm. Mrs. Ewald stated that Mr. Kohn made a motion at a previous meeting and it was seconded by Mrs. Ewald and voted on.
Mrs. Ewald objected to a road maintenance bill that exceeded previous years bills by three times for mowing throughout the township. She approved payment of the bill subject to the township Secretary preparing an analysis of this years costs compared to previous years for the next meeting.
The Fire Marshal, Fred Alston reported a house fire on Charlestown Road on the evening of October 2nd and stated that rainfall is 9 inches below normal year to date.
The PECO lines on the old Rees Road prior to the relocation of the road during construction of the Whitehorse development were discussed, as PECO is not willing to run them underground solely at their expense and may want an access road to maintain them in their present location.
The Historical Commission Ordinance was tabled until Mr. Kohn returned.
The 1997-98 Road Bids were opened and given to the Township Engineer for review with the intention that the award would be made at the next meeting. Mrs. Ewald requested a meeting with all the Supervisors, the Township Engineer and the Township Solicitor prior to the next Supervisors meeting, and Mr. Sauser agreed that this would be beneficial.
The Ferguson Final Subdivision Plan was presented for final approval. This subdivision consists of three ten acre lots, one of which is deed restricted against further sub-division and the other two are in Act 319 to encourage the future owners not to sub-divide. Mrs. Ewald moved for the plan to go back to the Planning Commission as there were concerns not addressed with regard to deed restricting the other two lots and because of concerns The Chester County Planning Commission raised. Mr. Sauser moved to approve the sub-division, but because there wasn't a third vote the matter went unresolved.
A tentative date was set for the Spring Road Tour.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30pm.
Next meeting Monday, October 20th at 7:30pm at the Charlestown Elementary School.
("Old News") August 20, 1997 Commemorative Ceremony
A ceremony was held at the Revolutionary War Cemetery to commemorate three graves.
Wednesday, October 2, 1997 - CHS Mtg - The Mines of Charlestown
At the first fall meeting of the Charlestown Historical Society Mrs. Ewald gave a fascinating presentation on the Mines of Charlestown.

Saturday, September 13, 1997 - Charlestown Historical Society
1997 Annual Patrons Dinner
Bendiner House Sketch
The 1997 Annual Patrons Dinner of the Charlestown Historical Society was held Saturday evening at "&", the secluded and most intriguing property on Whitehorse Road owned by Saul and Neila Kun. We say "property" because the event was held in the Kun's barn, which in almost all respects is as it was 150 years ago, except for being clean as a whistle. It would be easy to go on about this marvelous farm, but we will simply note that since the property was purchased by Eleanor Morris and her late husband in the early 40's, and through its stewardship by the Morris's and Alfred Bendiner (1899 - 1964), a noted artist and his wife, and now the Kuns, this marvelous property has received loving care and is a joy to explore.
The evening began with a wine and cheese party in the grassy paddock, which was followed by a delicious dinner in the loft of the barn. Sketches by Alfred Bendiner were on display and on each table (see above). After an introduction by the Society's president, Loretta Watson, we heard the history of the Kun property told colorfully and warmly by Eleanor Morris. Janet Baldwin offered the moving tribute to Arnold Bartschi, and Kevin Kuhn, the president of the Society's Board of Directors, presented a framed map of Charlestown inscribed with a testimonial to Mr. Bartshi to Henriette Bumeder.
In all respects it was a wonderful evening with folks who love Charlestown, and among them, some who have done the most to preserve its heritage. If you are not a member of the Charlestown Historical Society, we recommend that you attend one of the Society's upcoming events (see the CHS and Chester County Day entries in the Special Events Calendar), meeting its members and seeing the results of their efforts first hand.
Monday, September 8, 1997  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Monday, September 8, 1997
The first monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at its newly scheduled time of 7:30 pm. This month's meeting was held a week later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday. The Minutes of both the August 4th and the August 18th meetings were approved.
Mrs. Ewald announced that on August 20th a Rededication Ceremony was held at the Revolutionary War Cemetery on Charlestown Road. Also that she and our Fire Marshal, Fred Alston, participated in Operation Lifesaver with Conrail, which consisted of a train trip from Philadelphia to Harrisburg to witness first hand the rail grade crossing hazards in the state. While accidents are down due to the education campaign, they have been increasing due to the increased population on our roads. There are numerous rail grade crossings in Charlestown Township.
The Roadmaster reported that the costs for roadwork were down for the month and that work was done on the shoulders on Howell Road to help control water runoff. There was also a question raised on the speed limit signs being changed from 35 MPH to 40 MPH on Hollow Road. The Roadmaster said he would check with PennDot.
The Fire Marshal reported that there were no additions to his written report and that automatic alarms continue to be a problem in the township.
Lt. Dennis Dougherty, the Townships representative from the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks at Embreville, updated the Board on their role in policing our township.
A Conditional Use Hearing was held for the Lyons' property in the Eastwick Subdivision. The applicant is requesting permission to alter the original plan, which was previously approved. While the new plan would involve encroaching into the 50' buffer setback for grading, the revised plan would actually improve the site design. Of major concern to neighboring property owners who attended the meeting were the removal of trees and the accompanying disturbance within the 50' setback as well as water runoff and protection of the viewshed, which is near the Historic Charlestown Village. Approval was granted on the condition that 35' of the buffer would remain undisturbed and that the Township Engineer would walk the property with neighboring residents when trees are tagged for removal.
The Naylor Conditional Use was approved as was the Certificate of Appropriateness for additions and alterations to their property in the Charlestown Village Historic District on Church Road.
A Conditional Use Hearing was scheduled for Sprint/Spectrum to construct a communications tower in the NC District near Devault Foods off Whitehorse Road. The hearing was scheduled for the September 15th meeting.
Scheduling for the 1997-1998 Maintenance & Materials Bid to be advertised was approved with no changes to the bid specifications, but the Supervisors agreed to extend the deadline for bid submittal to 7:30 pm at the October 6th Supervisors meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 pm. The next meeting will be Monday, September 15th at 7:30 pm.
Township Purchases Land Around Rapp House (From various sources)
Property  Diagram The Pyle family has accepted the joint offer of the Township and the Great Valley School District to purchase the land east of Yellow Springs Road shown in green and blue in the figure. (Dimensions in the figure are approximate.)
The 20.6 acre property to be purchased by the Township is depicted in green. It surrounds the Rapp House and yard (in yellow) which is owned by the Charlestown Historical Society and is a National Historic Register site.
The School District will hold the 55 acres (entire blue rectangle in the figure, including the home and barns) until needed for expansion.

Continued in Archives

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