Charlestown Township, Chester County, PA

 
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Past news of events in and around Charlestown
News posted during October 2000

Saturday, October 23, 2000  (From Loretta Watson, Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Meeting
October 16, 2000
Present for the Township: Chairman Irene Ewald, Supervisors Hugh Willig, Mike Rodgers and Paul Hogan,. Also present was Surender Kohli, Tom Oeste, Esq., and Linda Csete. Supervisor Kevin Kuhn was not present.
Mrs. Ewald called the meeting to order at 7:30. The only announcement was by Mrs. Ewald that an executive session would be held on October 17 to discuss litigation matters.
Mr. Raski was the first Citizens' Forum speaker, who addressed the ongoing traffic problem on Coldstream Road. He requested that a three-way stop be installed at Coldstream and Township Line Road, reporting that there had been two accidents in the last two weeks and that the 35 mph limit is abused. Roadmaster Durando Faggioli advised that Coldstream is a state road controlled by PennDOT and that the township cannot place stop signs to control speed. However, Mrs. Ewald commented that stop signs could be suggested to control the traffic.
John Martin, President of the Charlestown Historical Society, requested the Board to allocate $2,000 to $4,000 to be used for maintenance on the Jacob Wisner House, a/k/a Benjamin Rapp house. No decision was rendered.
The Board greeted a contingent of students in attendance from PMYC (Phoenixville Marian Youth Club) representing half of the 40-plus member cheerleading squad. They performed three entertaining cheers and encouraged residents to attend the games at the Valley Forge Christian College field.
The official Township Minutes from the October 2, 2000 meeting were approved with one correction concerning the names of the tenants on the Pyle Farm. They are Ernie and Marian Pyle.
The agenda was shuffled to accommodate Richard and Grace Mohler. The Board noted their application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for a new structure (containing a garage and other features) on their property, and will take the matter under consideration.
Under Old Business, the attorney for the Myers (Mr. Fiscaldo) reappeared before the Board in the matter of the right of way dispute in the vicinity of Sycamore Lane and Moses Way. He informed the Board that Chicago Title Co. has insured the Myers' right of way and that a decision adverse to his clients would result in a zoning hearing board appeal. He presented maps showing that the lands in question were one property in 1952, owned by a Mr. Grubb, who divided it into two pieces, selling the smaller piece in 1958 to Mr. Ernst while reserving a 20-foot right of way to the other parcel. Access was from Charlestown Road, up Sycamore to track 23A (both parcels). Later Ernst bought the larger parcel and in 1959 conveyed a piece to J. Edwards. It was subdivided in 1974 to Klager, retaining the right of way, and then sold to Guyer and Myers. He stated that if Myers are not permitted use of the right of way, then the Behrles are not either, since the access serves Behrles as well. He added that the rights of way are substantiated in Deeds.
Mr. Moses offered that three Deeds in his possession did not mention this right of way, to which Mr. Fiscaldo replied that the right of way was granted at a prior time to the larger parcels, which extends the right of way to the smaller parcels. Mr. Oeste explained that the Deeds have an "habendum" clause placing the property "under and subject to rights and easements...of record." When Mr. Moses stated he purchased his property in 1946, Mr. Fiscaldo advised that he may or may not have a claim and should consult his attorney. Mr. Oeste referred to a Sycamore Farms plan, which should be examined by Mr. Clem, attorney for Behrles and Moses.
Since the title company will be rendering its opinion, the parties agreed to a 63 day extension to December 18.
The first hearing on the agenda was for Stoudt Builders regarding their conditional use application for their parcel on Merlin Road. Mr. Stoudt testified he met with the Pickering Hunt, who accepted an irrevocable license to a five-foot wide trail along the pipeline side of the property that continues along the south side. The Board closed the record on this hearing and will decide the matter on or before December 4.
The second hearing was for Emma Builders' conditional use approval. Fronefield Crawford, Esq. appeared for the applicant and presented a stack of documents, including a geotechnical report which was said to have no adverse information that would prevent the building of a single-family home on this lot. Mr. Kohli reviewed the plan and recommended different methods for handling ground water. This hearing will continue on October 30, pending receipt of review letters from Mr. Crawford and Mr. Kohli. Mr. Emma was concerned about the winter weather approaching, so the Board will endeavor to decide this matter promptly. A resident of Blackberry Lane expressed concern about the removal of some trees and other work along Blackberry and asked what this was about and she was informed this matter concerns permission to build on a steep slope. The work she has noticed is unrelated to this matter. Mr. Emma stated that, on his lot, he will remove only trees absolutely necessary for establishing the road, and he will replace the trees that are removed.
The final hearing was for Spring Lane Farms, which was continued to November 20 at the request of the applicant.
The Board announced that the decisions on the matters of Toll Bros. and Altemose would be rendered on October 30.
CCATO Convention will be held November 16, 2000. This addresses methods by which townships and the county can work together. Supervisors must decide by 11/3/00 whether they will be attending.
Mr. Theurkauf of Comitta Associates and Mark Connelly of the Parks and Recreation Board presented information relating to the Bid Package for Charlestown Park. The first phase includes a walking trail of macadam and natural materials looping around the park. Time is of the essence, in order to be sure work is completed on time to avoid penalties under the contract. Lighting and playground improvements are also planned. A special "dog area" is proposed where pets can roam unleashed. Grant money will be used to partially finance Phase I work The bid meeting will be at the park on Friday, October 20, when the entire trail will be walked to obtain a good comprehension of the project. Suggestion was made by Mrs. Csete to waive the $20 bid fee due to the late notice to potential bidders, but to institute the fee in the future.
Road Maintenance Bids were opened. Of the bids received, one was for tree work from Bartlett Tree Service and two were for road salt from Ocean Port of Claymont, DE and Cargil Salt of North Olmstead, OH. Bartlett Tree was thought to be fast and efficient, and Ocean Port has a good performance record with the township along with the good bid price. Deadline for roadwork bids was extended to October 30. No advertising will be necessary. A memo will be sent to companies who expressed interest.
Escrow Release #9 for Commons at Great Valley, Lot 17, was approved.
Mr. Rodgers thought the intent to change the speed on Buckwalter Road to 25 mph needs to be re-advertised since it was not handled by the Board previously.
The supervisors will conduct a budget meeting on Monday, October 30.
PennDOT will be performing maintenance on Hollow Road. They have expressed an interest in widening this road. The township is in favor of discussing this work with the Hollow Road residents. The township is also considering the possibility of assuming this road as a township road; however, Mrs. Ewald is not in favor due to the expenses that might be involved.
Mr. Beaver of Chester Springs came to the meeting again to propose a deer management program using a bow and arrow-hunting club. Mrs. Ewald informed him that it is against township rules to hunt on township property.
Mention was made of the speeders on Hollow Road and the dangers posed to children standing near the road for the bus.
In a rare moment, I made a complaint that residents want to close or have more regulation on their roads, making it difficult for everyone to get through the township and forcing all to use Route 29 or Charlestown Road. As taxpayers, we have a right to use the roads, and the Township should consider the welfare of all, rather than a few. The Board responded by saying that the stop signs recently placed on Union Hill will eliminate the need to close Union Hill to rush hour traffic. Good News!
THE NEXT BUSINESS MEETING OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS IS SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 6 AT 7:30 P.M. IN THE GREAT VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL.

On Friday, October 19, Route 29 was suddenly closed at the Ice Dam Bridge over the Pickering Creek without warning or indication of duration. Access is from Pothouse Road as far as Buckwalter Road /Charlestown Hunt going south, and from Charlestown Road to Peake's Pike going north.
Saturday, October 14, 2000  (From Loretta Watson, Charlestown Green)
Charlestown Township
Board of Supervisors' Meeting
October 2, 2000
Present for the Township were Chairman Irene Ewald, Supervisors Hugh Willig, Kevin Kuhn, Mike Rodgers and Paul Hogan. Also present were Surender Kohli, Tom Oeste, Esq., and Linda Csete.
This meeting was called to order by Irene Ewald at 7:40 p.m. in the Choral Room (#156) of the Great Valley Middle School.
Mrs. Ewald announced that an executive session of the Board had been held at the township offices with the solicitor on legal matters.
Citizens' Forum for Non-Agenda Items - Steve Beaver, of Wells Road, inquired about the game hunting situation at the Pyle Farm. He stated that hunters come on to the property without permission to shoot the deer. The township will consider posting the property against hunting. Mr. Beaver was in favor of controlled hunting, possibly by bow and arrow. Mrs. Behrle, of Moses Way, appealed for a controlled effort to thin the deer herd on Yellow Springs Road. Several questions arose as to the proper way to notify hunters and control the number of them entering onto the property.
In regard to the Myers issue concerning right of way to property on Moses Lane, Mrs. Behrle stated that the Myers have requested an extension but have not given anyone the name and address of their title company. Funds are being expended for legal help by the residents involved, but because of the Myers' position, nothing is being accomplished. Mr. Oeste stated that an extension to October 16 had been requested. After Mr. Kuhn motioned for a denial, the Board adjourned to a private session. Upon return, this motion was withdrawn and the Myers would be given a deadline of October 16 to present evidence of their right of way. No further extensions would be permitted.
Nicholas Fiore, of Phoenixville Pike, complained about the noise created by speeding truck traffic at night. He stated the trucks run over the manhole, which jolts the truck body, creating excessive noise. He said a rough patch on the road a slight distance away has the same effect. The Board will look into the problem.
The Board approved its September 18 minutes after noting a correction in the vote of Mr. Rodgers on an issue. The Treasurer's report and Accounts Payable were also approved.
The report of the Zoning Officer was received. Mr. Kohli presented documents concerning the proposed widening of the turnpike bridges over Phoenixville Pike and over Route 29. No timeframe was noted for this work. The report of Del-Val is in order per Mr. Kohli, who will submit a memo to the Board containing his findings. The planned traffic signal at 401 and Newcomen is still in process at PennDOT. Mrs. Ewald asked if it could be expedited. This signal will also require a "Red Signal Ahead" warning sign, which will boost the price to $10,000 or more.
The Planning Commission submitted its report. Chairman Charles Philips stated the Commission has progressed in its review of the Comprehensive Plan. He advises that the new GIS maps will be excellent tools, but this computer system will require some office space for public access.
Mr. Philips suggested that a Saturday session at Mr. Comitta's office would be helpful in order to examine the township's present status. He also suggested that Landscapes Ordinances might be a source of funding for the township. Additionally, a property owned by the Dixon family is under consideration for development and some issues are being examined. The Brooklands Subcommittee has met with General Residential Properties, and the Board stated its desire that areas of conservation be marked off to preserve the wetlands and valuable trees at this Bodine Road site. Mr. Philips also suggested that the Township may wish to consider starting some parkland devoted to conservation, as West Whiteland has done. Lastly, he advised that the Billboard ordinance is moving along.
There was no presentation of the Historic Commission report.
Roadmaster Report - A limb fell across Wells Road from a tree that will have to be taken down. Tree limb work is needed on Pickering Dam Rd. also. The overgrowth at the corner of Hollow and Charlestown Roads will be trimmed to end this hazardous condition. Mr. Rodgers advised that the paving contract would be signed this week.
Fire Marshall's Report - Mr. Alston warned that an abundance of deer is in the township and to be careful. Along with fire and alarm calls during the month, there were accidents on Route 401, Route 29, Clothier Springs, Coldstream, and the corner of Charlestown and Pikeland Roads. . The precipitation for September was 4.5 inches, and this puts us at 5.5 inches above normal for the year.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is in its new location and is still undergoing some interior construction work. He noted that the EOC could use a good computer, hopefully 133 megahertz. Mr. Philips, who works at a large company in the area, will look into the possibility of acquiring a used model.
Russ Hanscom brought to the Board's attention the existence of a tree in hazardous condition situated on the left side of Pikeland before Hollow Road.
Parks and Recreation Board Report - The plan for improvement of the park calls for putting the walking trail in this season, and a bid package will be submitted on October 16 for the Board's review. In order to expedite the process and get the trail done, legal advertising of the request for bid will be done in advance. Mr. Oeste noted that a bid for a six-foot wide macadam trail has been awarded by Uwchlan Township, and this information may be of some help in finding a contractor.
The plot plan of the Pyle Farm on Yellow Springs Road was displayed, showing a possible configuration of trails. Mr. Ernie Pyle, who still lives at the property, has agreed to mow the acreage soon and suggested that a strong grass seed be planted. For another section of the property, a meadow mix or a winter rye will be sowed. There are still questions over which part of the ground will be left fallow and which will be put to a use of some kind. PennDOT has cleared the embankment along Yellow Springs Road of vegetation. A suggestion came forth that now would be a good time to set the entrance to the property and the site lines. At this point, Mr. Willig added that Yellow Springs Road is to be widened by three feet in the spring.
Mr. Kling urged an overall plan for the property in relation to the surrounding properties and the intended uses of those properties. He also urged the obtaining of a topographical map due to the steep landfall.
Mrs. Ewald stressed that the walking trail surface will be mowed grass and that a horse trail is also planned.
Mr. Theurkauf proposed that the land be leased to a farmer for the best care until the plans are firmed up.
Valley Forge Sewer Authority - no report.
Turnpike Commission Citizens' Action Committee - A meeting coming up soon will be an inter-township meeting.
The Board set the date for the Budget Meeting as October 30, 2000, in Room 156 of the Middle School.
Mrs. Csete offered a suggestion that the Township's C.D. that is maturing should be cashed and put into the money market for best return. The motion to do this was made and seconded by the Board.
In regard to the flashing signal for Route 401 and Newcomen Road, Mr. Kohli advised that PennDOT must approve the plan before it is installed. West Pikeland has jointly applied for this device, so Mrs. Csete will fax a copy of the Board's Resolution to them so they may pass an identical resolution. The Resolution adopted tonight by Charlestown is a replacement of the resolution filed in the spring for the traffic signal.
Mrs. Ewald motioned to amend the motion to reflect that maintenance of this device will be jointly shared by the townships and that West Pikeland must pass an identical resolution.
Charlestown will have to acquire easements from West Pikeland for installation of the support poles.
Next on the agenda is the matter of Late Spring Developers. Mr. Oeste noted that no further request for extension has been received, and the present extension ends tonight. If there is no written request for extension received by this Friday, then the plan will be denied.
Pyle Farm Park - The transition agreement contains a standard lease that adds a few specific requirements. The Pyles have stated that they will be taking the herd of cows and multitude of cats with them when they leave, and they plan to vacate by March 1.
Mr. Kuhn suggested that a monthly rent be charged to the Pyles as tenants. However, there was some mention that the Pyles do a lot of work on the property. It was noted that the Pyle residence at Yellow Springs and Valley Hill Road was rented by Tom Pyle at $1,200 per month to General Residential Properties. The Board will contact several real estate agents regarding a rental value and will also contact a consultant to determine the farming costs for this property.
The C.C.A.T.O. convention will be November 16. No agenda has been received yet for this Desmond Hotel function.
Commons at Great Valley Escrow Releases #7 and #8 for Lot #17 were approved.
Mr. Hogan stated that he has identified a possible candidate (Marge Crawford of Charlestown Hunt) for a vacancy on the Park Board.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 10:00 p.m.
The next business meeting of the board of supervisors will be held october 16, 2000, at 7:30 p.M. At the Great Valley Middle School, Room 156.
 

 
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