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Past news of events in and around Charlestown
|News posted during October 2001
Monday, October 29, 2001 (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
October 15, 2001
The meeting came to order at the request of the Chairman, Hugh Willig. Present were Hugh Willig, Kevin Kuhn, Mike Rodgers, Paul Hogan, Irene Ewald, Tom Oeste, Linda Csete,and Surender Kohli.
Announcements included report of an Executive Session held on October 12. During the Citizens' Forum a discussion arose regarding protecting the trees in the township from unnecessary removal or trimming. As an example, Mr. Kling described a Lower Merion ordinance for tree protection and urged the Board to consider the same for Charlestown. Mrs. Ewald suggested having the PECO liaison attend a meeting of the Board, while Mr. Kuhn suggested talking to the Lower Merion arborist.
Approvals were given to the Minutes of October 1 (Board's Business Meeting) and October 2 (Public Comprehensive Plan Review).
The Final Plan for the Charlestown Elementary School was presented to the Board. The Planning Commission had recommended unanimously approval of the updated plans for traffic flow and student pickup and drop-off areas; retention basins and safety fences on the embankment and retaining wall; and improvements to Charlestown Road.
The pickup and drop-off area will have angled parking to insure a one-way traffic flow. Sidewalks and landscaping have been added to divide areas for safety. Vehicle restrictions would be enforced during drop-off and pickup times and a gate is planned to protect that area. Separate parking areas are provided for teachers and busses.
Mrs. Ewald asked about adding a second method of ingress and egress going behind the school and down toward Route 29. This was not considered in the plan due to steep slopes, wetlands, retention basins and the physical aspects of Route 29. Since bids have not been requested yet, Mrs. Ewald asked that consideration be given to providing a second exit.
The Horseshoe Trail Association reportedly approved the plan regarding the location of the trail. Mr. Theurkauf said he has made recommendations for further improvement in this area. A draft of easement between the Township and School District will be formed.
Landscaping and road improvements were reviewed. A left turn lane would be installed, using some of the school property and private property along the road extending slightly beyond the Pikeland Road intersection. Use of the school's property will avoid the need to relocate the existing utility poles now situated on the opposite side of the street. Road costs may be split between the School District and the Township.
Commita & Associates reviewed the proposed lighting with a view to controlling the lights at night.
Recommendation was made to expand the beds for the trees in the parking lot islands. This would allow for better root growth and longer lifespan. In addition, a special effort will be made to save the larger, mature trees existing on the property.
Altemose Conditional Use Application.
Mr. Joseph P. Ryan, attorney for the Altemoses, presented copies of a revised traffic count as prepared by Walter Bright, Pennoni Associates.
Mr. Vincent Kling was called as a witness for the Altemoses. Mr. Kling gave a review of his professional degree, associations, and awards received during his 55 years as a professional architect. He has been a resident of the Township for 34 years, has served on the Board of Supervisors 8 to 10 years (chairman 6 years); has served on the Planning Commission 8 years (chairman 4 years); has been associated with the Chester County Airport Authority for 12 years (chairman 8 years). He presently gives lectures on architecture at Columbia University and University of Virginia. He formed the original company Vincent G. Kling Architects, which became Vincent G. Kling & Associates, and is now known as Kling/Lindquist.
After some questioning by Gary Bender, Esq., representing the Planning Commission, and Mr. DelBello, representing Michael Main and White Horse Meadows, the Board decided to accept Mr. Kling as an expert in architecture and in the field of land planning only as far as it involves his field of architecture.
Following is a summary of Mr. Kling's testimony. An objection was raised by Mr. Bender when Mr. Kling was asked if a need for an assisted living facility exists in the Township. The question was rephrased to address the role and function pertaining to land use. Mr. Kling answered that along with the physical uses and attributes of the property, a concept that he advised is to keep the elderly close to their children and grandchildren, which would help resuscitate family life. Concerning the surrounding uses, Mr. Kling described them and advised that only one home in Mr. Main's development would have a view of the proposed property. Trees could be planted to shield the view if the homeowners desired. Surrounding development uses two-acre lots, or is open or wooded.
Due to the length of time that Mr. Kling was questioned, this hearing was continued to November 19, 2001.
Mr. John Panizza came forward to discuss his projects, Brooklands and Deerfield.
The Brooklands plan to be submitted will start the 45-day period and Genterra will enclose a letter acknowledging that time period. Deerfield agreements reached at the last Supervisors' meeting were reviewed and these included some points from a subsequent executive session of the Board. The plan for Deerfield provides acceptable space for one septic system for each lot. A proposal is to be able to cross property lines to establish sufficient area for the required space for alternate septic systems if needed in the future. Care must be taken to observe proper distances between homes, existing septic systems, and wells. Specific areas of open space could be delineated for septic use as a last resort.
Another issue discussed concerned water run off and storm water management along Valley Hill Road. Mr. Panizza advised that underground retention basins are a possibility to handle recharge and improve the lot's appearance; however the cost of this vs. the life span of underground basins are factors to consider. The current storm water pipes in that area are inadequate at present to handle the heavier flows. In redoing the road years ago, PennDOT planned for 10-year storm water levels.
In conclusion to Mr. Panizza's discussions, Mr. Oeste agreed to rewrite the letter to include all comments.
The Board addressed briefly some problems arising with management at Charlestown Oaks.
Mr. Rodgers addressed the VFSA proposed provision where a Township can retain excess capacity instead of sending it to the "capacity pool" used by the three townships forming the VFSA. The amount that can be retained would coincide with figures in the "537 Plan" projections.
The Board reviewed the salt bids received.
A Budget session and Executive Session was arranged for October 29 at 7:30.
This meeting adjourned at 12:15 a.m.
The next business meeting of the Board of Supervisors is scheduled for November 5, 2001, at 7:30 P.M. at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.
Reported for Charlestown Green by Loretta Watson.
Monday, October 15, 2001 (Provided by Charlestown Green)
Board of Supervisors' Regular Meeting
October 1, 2001
This meeting came to order at 7:45 p.m. Present were Supervisors Hugh Willig, Kevin Kuhn, Paul Hogan, Michael Rodgers, and Irene Ewald. Also present were Tom Oeste, Esq., Surender Kohli, and Linda Csete.
An Announcement from Irene Ewald concerned the memorial service to be held for Bud Zigler who passed away recently. Mike Hogan announced the "537 Plan" meeting with the DEP. Also, he will follow up to forward some missing information regarding sewage.
There were no issues for the Citizens' Forum.
The Board approved its Minutes of Sept. 10 and 18, 2001. Accounts Payable was approved after noting a correction, and the Treasurer's Report was approved.
Zoning: Mr. Kohli announced that the Route 29 bridge work would be delayed 4 to 6 weeks to mid-November. Mr. Kuhn advised that the turnpike bridge is being widened to handle three lanes of traffic in both directions, and Mr. Oeste added that this is part of the larger plan to widen the turnpike from Downingtown to Norristown. Mr. Kohli noted that the overgrown trail through the Zigler property has been opened.
Planning Commission: The commission had meetings concerning Saddlebrook, Spring Oaks Industrial Park, and the Charlestown Elementary School.
Historical Commission: no verbal report.
Roadmaster: Mr. Faggioli inquired about the machine to monitor driving speed, and was advised this is "in the works." He noted that Mine Road is scheduled for paving next week and that a dead tree should be removed before the paving begins, to which the Board had no objection. He commented that a great deal of work was done at Brightside Farm at the clean up effort on September 22.
Fire Marshal: Coldstream Road lead in the number of auto accidents, having three out of a total of five for the month. Mr. Alston advised reducing water usage and to be vigilant for deer during the daytime hours. He advised residents to clean their chimneys and furnaces to avoid future problems.
Fred advised that on September 11 and some following days, the Emergency Operations were on standby status. The State EOC had asked the counties to be manned for possible operations. The EOC needs volunteers and a drill will be held on 10/22. If you are interested in attending and/or becoming a volunteer, contact Fred Alston at 656-9315.
Parks & Rec.: Pickering Preserve Trail is open but difficult to access due to having to climb over part of the Ice Dam. The Charlestown Park trails are now hooked up to the Christian College trails. Work done on Brightside Farm on September 22 came under further discussion. Mrs. Ewald noted that a caretaker is needed for the property. She also requested that $25,000 be transferred from the Budget to be used for reseeding the farm. Some work done at Brightside on Sept. 22 resulted in an unexpected $12,000 bill to the township from Melchiorre.
Mr. Theurkauf submitted his updated report for Brightside Farm. Two new members to the Brightside Farm Committee were nominated and approved. They are Elise Coleman and Russ Hanscom.
Valley Forge Sewer Authority: The VFSA board discussed trucking waste to the plant from areas outside the townships for which they expect to make 25% profit. Mr. Rodgers noted that an issue has arisen regarding a residential boundary line with the Sewer Authority. Also, in regard to having someone take minutes of Sewer Authority meetings, the VFSA board voted to keep their minutes for three months and the general manager would transcribe and edit the minutes. Mr. Rodgers advised he objected to this process and will attempt to effect change. Mrs. Ewald urged Mr. Rodgers to raise questions regarding trucks coming from other states to the VFSA. These trucks arrive Monday to Friday.
Turnpike CAC - no report.
The Hearing on Spring Lane (Genterra Corporation) has been continued to November 19, 2001.
Genterra representatives Chuck Dobson and Bob Smiley presented the Deerfield plan. (Yellow Springs at Valley Hill Road) John Panizza addressed the Board directly and reviewed each point in a letter written by Tom Oeste. This covered water runoff and retention basins, replanting of trees as buffer along Yellow Springs, the number of wells to be dug, and types of sewage systems to be used. His suggestion that public water be brought to the property was not favored by the Board; but the Board expressed concerns about the amount of ground water available to the site, as well as their objection to the sand mound sewage systems planned for several lots in Deerfield. The Board could not render any approval or opinion at this hearing, but wished to consult their experts. They asked if any builders had received the contract for building and Mr. Panizza was emphatic that no builder has been granted that authority. Mr. Panizza requested a decision at the October 15 meeting and also asked for a meeting with the supervisors to determine needs for his Spring Lane project. Mr. Kuhn requested that the Board have an Executive Session before October 15 to review the issues. This was set for Oct. 12 at 7 a.m.
The Commons at Great Valley escrow release was approved.
Brightside Farm: Mark Connolly recommended a plan allowing a farmer to cut and bale hay on the fields for three years with the ultimate goal of building up the soils. Questions arose regarding the township's investment and the disposition of the profits if the hay was sold, and also the need for a Certificate of Insurance from the farmer if this plan is approved. A trade off could be work by the farmer cleaning up the old stone barn in return for the townships investment for seed and the farmer's taking of the hay.
About Charlestown Park, Mrs. Ewald said the Christian College would purchase benches for the park trails and the $20,000 that will be reimbursed through the Park Grant system can be applied toward landscaping of the trail.
Back to Brightside, Mr. Connelly asked the Board's help in determining who will hold keys to the buildings. Mr. Connelly asked the Board's help to set direction for the Farm Committee and the goals to be accomplished. Mrs. Ewald noted that a proposal from Dale Frens was voted down in the Farm Committee and objected to it's being presented to the Board by Mr. Connelly.
Meeting adjourned approximately 11:30.
Reported for Charlestown Green by Loretta Watson.
Continued in Archives