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 September and October, 1998

Tuesday, October 6, 1998  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Regular Meeting of the Board of Supervisors
Monday, October 5, 1998
The monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. Mr. Sauser, Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Wert were present.
Approval: Minutes from the September 21st meeting were approved. The Treasurer's Report from September 1-30 was approved and the Accounts Payable Report was approved.
Reports: Written reports were accepted from the Zoning Officer, Planning Commission, Historical Commission, Roadmaster, Fire Marshal and the Valley Forge Sewer Authority. The Fire Marshal complemented the children and staff of the Charlestown Elementary School as he observed a fire drill there and the entire building was emptied within three minutes. The Roadmaster was thanked for his quick response to the placement of a Children at Play sign on Green Lane and the upcoming repaving of Howell Road was discussed. There is concern over doing more then a scratch coat prior to the completion of a number of developments on the road. Concern was expressed over work that was recently done at the township playground as it was not done according to specification. The Supervisors asked the Township Engineer the status of the application to PennDOT to have a blinking light installed at 401 and Newcomen Roads and a signal light at 401 and Valley Hill Roads. Mr. Kohli said the drawings would be ready for submission to PennDOT within 30 days. Mrs. Ewald commented on the numerous signs that are being stolen around the Township. Not only is this costly to the taxpayers for sign replacement (in the thousands annually), but it presents a serious safety hazard.
1st Citizens Forum: Chris Zarro, who resides on Chesterfield Lane, voiced his concern over the Supervisors consideration to take by condemnation 175 feet of property at the base of his 1/4 mile shared driveway as it enters Hollow Road to incorporate the new entrance for the Somerset Subdivision. He summarized a letter written by another resident on the driveway who also objected to this process. The alternative is to construct another entrance 174 feet down from Chesterfield Lane, which the Supervisors and the Planning Commission believe would be a safety issue. Additionally, the Chester County Planning Commission also expressed safety and environmental concern.
Old Business: The Motion to Condemn a portion of Chesterfield Land was tabled until the next meeting at the request of John Panizza who couldn't attend tonight's meeting.
The township formally accepted the roads in phase I and II of the Whitehorse subdivision.
New Business: The Fall road tour was scheduled for this Sunday, October 11th. Escrow release #9 was approved for the Charlestown Oaks subdivision.
Revision of the Township Fee Schedule was discussed with respect to what should be charged for record copying and other information requested from the Township Secretary. Linda Csete, the township Secretary, was asked to survey surrounding townships and make recommendations.
Executive Session: The supervisors went into executive session for approximately 30 minutes to discuss real estate issues and the meeting resumed at 9:35pm.
2nd Citizens Forum: No Comments
Next meeting Monday, November 2nd at 7:30pm at the Charlestown Elementary School.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm
Friday, September 25, 1998  (From Ellen Behrle, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission
Tuesday, September 22, 1998
On September 22, 1998, the Charlestown Township Planning Commission conducted their second regularly scheduled meeting for the month of September. Present were Chairman Bud Zeigler and members Churchill, Atkins-Lubinski, Michael Allen, Bill Davison, Vincent Kling and Surender Kohli, township engineer.
Minutes were approved for the meeting of September 8th. Chairman Zeigler made several announcements. A joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will be held on November 2 at 7:3O PM in the Charlestown Elementary School cafeteria to discuss the County Planning Commission's review of three new ordinances under consideration. The first ordinance concerns Groundwater Resource Protection, the next concerns a Village/Cluster Zoning ordinance and the third a Shade Tree Ordinance. If adopted, the Shade Tree ordinance would entail the Township securing an arborist in addition to possible insurance liabilities.
A subcommittee consisting of Charlie Philips as Chair, Michael Churchill and Vincent Kling was formed. the subcommittee's assignment is to hold scheduled and advertised public meetings concerning the proposed Village/Cluster Zoning ordinance submitted for review by General Real Estate Properties, the owners of Deerfield, a 94.6 acre tract at bordering Yellow Springs and Valley Hill Roads. This tract, located in the FR zoning district, is comprised of the remaining property containing the Pyle Family Farm and what is known as the Corielle property.
By Right, according to our current zoning regulation, the developer could build one house per 80,000 square feet. The Planning Commission has encouraged the developer to re-do the concept leaving open space in certain areas instead of every lot having large yards. This would help to protect the view shed in this area. This concept is not permitted by our current ordinances and would require a new zoning ordinance. It was stated by the Chairman that the Township was not interested in an ordinance which was tailored to Deerfield.
After a lengthy discussion it was suggested that the developer re-do the plan with the direction that the open space be more spread out, giving consideration to the aesthetic impact on those living on Green Lane. The plan now depicts almost all the open space in the area bordering on Yellow Springs Road. The developer agreed. The Chairman then gave instructions to the sub-committee to review the ordinance quickly.
The meeting was adjourned The next meeting is scheduled for October 13 at 7:30PM at the elementary school.
Friday, September 25, 1998  (From Kevin Kuhn, Charlestown Green, Inc.)
Regular Meeting of the Board of Supervisors
Monday, September 21, 1998
The monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors started at 7:30pm. Mr. Sauser, Mrs. Ewald and Mr. Wert were present.
Mr. Sauser announced that a $65,000 Open Space Grant was awarded for improvements at the Township Park. He also informed residents that the State Police have adopted a new policy that will result in a fine to residents for excessive false fire and security alarms. Over 10% of calls are to false alarms in the township. Lastly, the county will provide influenza vaccinations to individuals 65 and over for $10.00 and all will also provide Hepatitis B immunization for all 7th graders in the county.
Approval: Minutes from the August 3rd and August 31st meeting were approved. The August Treasurer's report was approved.
Reports: Written reports were accepted from the Zoning Officer, Planning Commission, Roadmaster, Fire Marshal and the Valley Forge Sewer Authority. A request was made of the Roadmaster to place a Children at Play sign on Green Lane as traffic speed has increased since the road was repaved. The Supervisors voted unanimously to have the Township Engineer prepare the necessary application and documents for the Supervisors to review and forward to PennDOT to have a blinking light installed at 401 and Newcomen Roads and a signal light at 401 and Valley Hill Roads.
Old Business: Broadwater Lane is still not completed and there is concern over the deterioration that has occurred since preliminary work was started. All parties involved still will not agree on exactly where the road is to be located, as it will have an impact on tree removal. A resident asked why Use and Occupancy permits aren't being withheld. This emergency access road for Charlestown Hunt was to be completed during the first phase of the development. Realen Homes will be contacted.
Somerset Subdivision - John Panizza was given approval to construct a separate entrance to the sub-division, which is off Hollow Road 174 feet down from Chesterfield Lane. Since there is a safety concern with another road cut on Hollow Road so close to Chesterfield Lane the Supervisor's are considering condemnation of a portion of Chesterfield Lane which would eliminate the need for the second road cut.
PennDOT was present to discuss proposed plans to replace the bridge on Route 29 at the Ice Dam. The present bridge is 24-1/2 feet wide. Current design criteria call for a 38-foot wide structure, however, due to the historic nature of the site (the Ice Dam) they are proposing a 30-foot wide bridge consisting of 11 foot lanes and 4 foot shoulders. Presently 7,000 to 8,000 vehicles cross over the bridge daily and the twenty-year projection is 11,000 to 12,000 vehicles daily. The bridge would be a pre-stressed concrete structure and the approach would involve 450 to 500 feet of roadway in each direction. Guardrails would be pre-rusted steel instead of shiny galvanized steel so as to better blend into the site. The estimated cost is $900,000 and the start date is projected to be in the year 2000. Discussion involved the use of real stone vs. stamped and colored concrete as well as the height of the sidewall of the bridge, which must be 42 inches. Vincent Kling requested the concrete wall height be reduced and topped with a tubular steel rail to the 42-inch finish height so as not to block the view from an automobile window. Lastly, PennDOT would like to increase their right of way from the present 30 feet to a 60 foot right of way which is the present standard. Given that the bridge is in an area with protective easements on the surrounding property the Township Solicitor suggested a Scope Easement which would allow PennDOT to have the access they are requesting for construction and maintenance of the structure but would retain the original 30-foot right of way.
New Business: A joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission for the County Planning Commission's review of the Townships ordinances was tentatively scheduled for November 2, 1998, however, the Supervisors requested a review of the document prior to the meeting.
A Conditional Use Hearing for Christopher Burch was scheduled for November 2, 1998.
Omnipoint requested a building permit for modifications to an antenna tower presently being used by the Turnpike. The applicant was informed that the tower, constructed twenty years ago specifically for use by the Turnpike, is not in an area where towers are permitted, but was allowed with the stipulation that it could not be used for commercial use. The applicant was asked to contact Sprint/Spectrum who presently has an application with the township regarding the possibility of collocating on their tower, which will be built behind Devault Foods off Whitehorse Road.
Deerfield Subdivision applicant John Panizza was instructed to go back to the Planning Commission and work on the development of the necessary zoning ordinances.
Rouse Chamberlain dedication of roads in Phase I & II in the Whitehorse sub-division was approved by a vote of 2 to 1 and the Supervisors will sign the resolution at the next meeting.
Bids were awarded to Industrial Construction Materials (Devault Crushed Stone) in the amount of $37,200 FOB Plant and $42,625 FOB Site for Bituminous Material for 1998-1999. For Stone the bid was also awarded to Industrial Construction Materials in the amount of $6,575. The bid for Equipment Rental with Operators was awarded to Rittenbaugh Construction who was low bid at $ 182,800.
Escrow Releases were approved for Sproule Manufacturing Company and to Little People Day Care the latter subject to $5,000 owed to the township.
Citizen's Forum: A resident voiced concern about the quality of work being done at the Heatherwood subdivision on Howell Road. The township engineer said if the work wasn't completed properly escrow funds would be withheld. Specific concerns were with regard to a retention basin and dead plantings.
A resident inquired why at almost every meeting Mrs. Ewald finds fault with our road contractor. Mrs. Ewald invited the individual to tour the roads with her and she would explain her concerns in detail.
Next meeting Monday, October 5th at 7:30pm at the Charlestown Elementary School.
The meeting was adjourned around 11:30pm

Continued in Archives

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