Charlestown Township Municipal Building
11 General Warren Blvd., Suite 1, Malvern, PA
Tuesday, June 3, 2024


Charles A. Philips, Vice Chair, Kevin R. Kuhn, Louis P. Rubinfield, and Hugh D. Willig. Frank A. Piliero was absent.
Mark P. Thompson, Esq., and Daniel T. Wright P.E.
Chris Heleniak, Manager, Linda Csete, Treasurer, Mark Koenig, Fire Marshal, Mike Allen, Planner.

Call to Order:

7:00 p.m.


There was an executive session before the meeting to discuss four legal matters.

The Mill at Anselma held an event last week that was attended by three Charlestown HARB members and Mr. Rubinfield and his wife. Mr. Philips encouraged people to visit the mill.

Citizens Forum

No matters were brought forward.


Mr. Willig moved to approve the reports listed below and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

  1. Minutes for the May 6, 2024, Business Meeting
  2. May 2024 Treasurer’s Report
  3. Accounts Payable Report - All Funds for June 3, 2024


Mr. Kuhn moved to accept the May 2024 reports #1-16 as submitted, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Conditional Use Hearing – John Gary Kulp

Mr. Thompson opened the conditional use hearing for John Gary Kulp, and the proceeds were taken by Jim Finlan, court reporter.

The following exhibits were placed into the record:

T-1 Application
T-2 Public Notice
T-3 Proof of Publication
T-4 Email from Mr. Kulp granting extension on the date to open the hearing.
T-5 Review letter from Dan Wright of Montrose Environmental dated 4/17/24.

No one requested party status.

Testimony was heard from John Gary Kulp and Andrew Miller. Conditional Use approval was requested for construction of an accessory structure (garage) in excess of 50% of the footprint of the principal structure. The house footprint is 1,599 sq. ft. and the proposed garage is 1,200 square feet. The applicant agreed to include a waiver request for above ground storage facilities as part of the conditional use application. Mr. Miller said the stormwater system would be partially above ground and partially below, due to the number of trees in the area and location of the septic system. An underground system would be larger and would necessitate more tree removal.

An additional exhibit was placed into the record:

A-1 Site Plan

Questions from the audience were heard from Carol Armstrong, Matt Guarneri, and Greg Nesspor.

The hearing was then closed.

Mr. Willig moved to approve the application with the following conditions:

Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. A written decision will be provided within 45 days.

Old Business –


New Business

Presentation of Girl Scout Silver Award Project

This matter was tabled to July 1st due to the unavailability of the scout. Mr. Heleniak said that Morgan Duffy plans to present her project for a Little Library at Charlestown Park.

Preliminary Master Plan Proposal for Swiss Pines

Mr. Tom Comitta presented his proposal for a Preliminary Master Plan for Swiss Pines, which began with background and three ChescoViews maps including an aerial view, topography, and soils map. Following his site visit with Mr. Kuhn and Matt Rogers on March 24th, he created two exhibits including a land characteristics map and a diagram showing a proposed realignment of the entrance drive for safer access.

The Proposal outlined the following Scope of Services:

  1. Communications: Proposes that a subcommittee be appointed at the July Supervisors meeting, which would meet five times over the following six months. Outreach to other knowledgeable persons, the residents on the property, others familiar with the former Gardens and/or Llewellen Mansion and the extended acreage would be made.
  2. Inventory & Analysis: Gathering of various data including topographic, hydrologic, woodland resource, historical and cultural, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, and utilities/infrastructure.
  3. Visioning and Preliminary Recommendations: Recommendations would utilize Best Management Practices to address programming, management and maintenance alternatives, enhancement ideas for vehicular ingress and egress, ideas for rehabilitation of the Gardens and other grounds improvements, and funding options.

Mr. Comitta expects the process to take approximately six months, with a presentation to the Supervisors in February 2025. The cost of the proposal is $25,000.

Open discussion followed. Mr. Comitta said the 17 acres of the original Japanese gardens still has remnants including sculptures, lanterns, bridges, statues, and plantings. An additional 221 acres surrounds the original Garden. Initial brainstorming ideas include forging alliances with outside groups, and seeking short, medium, and long term funding streams. Groups like the Chester County Trail Club, Boy Scouts or other affiliates could be involved with stewardship roles.

Mr. Comitta said a concessionaire could be sought for the Llewellen Mansion though that would likely be cost prohibitive.

Mr. Rubinfield asked how the present tenant leases would be handled. Mr. Heleniak said all the leases run through February 2025, and the Board can plan to discuss options 60 days prior to that time.

Mr. Rubinfield asked about preservation of the buildings on the site, and Mr. Heleniak said discussions would be part of this process. He noted that the Llewellen Mansion is not on the Historic Register but is located within Charlestown’s Historic zoning district.

Mr. Kuhn said there are multiple conservation easements on the various parcels that will need to be reviewed and possibly revised. Mr. Philips asked about the parcels previously owned by Henriette Bumeder, and Mr. Kuhn said they reverted to the Bartschi Foundation upon her death and are included in the 221 acres.

Mr. Comitta said engineering will be needed to create a perimeter configuration from metes and bounds for a more accurate plan.

Mr. Willig asked about the creation of the subcommittee. Mr. Philips proposed Dan Mount from Parks & Rec, Dan Wright, Dan Walker representing the Planning Commission and EAC, himself and Mr. Kuhn as supervisors. For the 17 acre Gardens, he proposed adding Rosemary Philips or Nancy Long from the HARB and consulting with Carol Quigley. Staff planner Mike Allen would also be consulted.

Mr. Philips moved to accept the Thomas Comitta & Associates’ Proposal for Land Planning Services for the Swiss Pines Preliminary Master Plan for a not to exceed cost of $25,000, and Mr. Willig seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion.

Ms. Lisa Lombardo asked if the Japanese Gardens are salvageable. Mr. Comitta said that during the March 24th walk, they noted that if the bamboo is removed, many remnants remain that could be repurposed. These included a kiosk, entrance hut, lanterns, and possibly reinstate spiral stone raked areas. An area along Charlestown Road might be a suitable location.

Ms. Armstrong asked if it should be renamed, as the land should be speaking to the use.

Mr. Guarneri suggested that rather than seeking a certified arborist, the Township should seek a national consulting arborist for more advanced expertise. He also noted that newer technology can be used to map all the trees. Draft horses can be used in tree clearing for less overall soil disturbance. Mr. Philips said these suggestions will be addressed later at the committee level.

Mr. Philips called the vote. All were in favor.

Discussion Regarding Standby Generator Ordinance

Mr. Heleniak referenced the Residential Stand-by Generator ordinance, #213-2020, and said it creates problems for townhouse communities and their HOAs due to the setback requirements. He said while noise is a problem, soundproofing could be required where needed. Also, the current ordinance has no provision for medical necessity. He asked if the Board would be willing to re-examine the ordinance and consider some amendments. He suggested that he begin by contacting the affected HOA communities for feedback.

Mr. Willig asked if a group ownership arrangement could work for a row of townhouses. Mr. Kuhn said that LG standby battery packs would be able to provide sufficient power for emergency needs such as heat or medical devices.

The Board was agreeable to re-examining the ordinance. Mr. Heleniak will begin by soliciting feedback from the HOAs.

Charlestown Playhouse School Zone Flashers

Mr. Heleniak said that PennDOT notified the Playschool some time ago that one of their school flashers would have to be moved to comply with current PennDOT standards. Where it was first thought that the relocation was due to the Playschool’s parking lot expansion, he later learned it was brought to PennDOT’s attention by one of their employees when he drove by two years ago and noticed the flashers should be moved further away from the school/parking lot in both directions. The Playschool received a quote from Armour & Sons to move the signal for $6,524.00 and asked if the Township would assist in the cost. While the Township owns the signals and holds the Traffic Signal permit, the Board declined the request to cover all or part of the cost to relocate them. Mr. Heleniak will communicate this to the Playschool administration.

Greene-Marks/Beyer-Green Settlement Agreement

Mr. Thompson provided some background on the matter. Following the Board of Supervisors’ preliminary approval and final approval of the Greene-Marks Subdivision Plan, Appellants Frank Beyer and Jill Green appealed both decisions with the County Court of Common Pleas. Upon the Court of Common Pleas denial of the preliminary plan appeal, the Appellants then appealed to the Commonwealth Court as well as filing a lis pendens appeal.

While there is a civil action outstanding between Greene-Marks and Beyer-Green, the Settlement Agreement proposed this evening addresses only the three matters where the Township was a party.

Mr. Thompson said that both parties except the Township have now signed off on the negotiated settlement agreement, and following review, everything is in order for the Board’s consideration.

The settlement agreement proposes to settle the litigation by withdrawing the appeals. The Township will receive amended plans allowing for a two-lot subdivision and review them under the PA Municipalities Planning Code. Mr. Heleniak said the other party, Beyer-Green, will have an opportunity to review the plans first before they are submitted to the Township.

Attorney for Beyer-Green, Kate Harper Esq. said they worked very hard to agree on a stormwater system that is acceptable to both parties. Mr. Thompson said Mr. Wright has reviewed the stormwater language and finds it acceptable and consistent with the Township’s recommendations. Mr. Wright said the stormwater plan makes conservative assumptions on existing conditions.

Mr. Willig moved to approve the Settlement Agreement for the Greene-Marks subdivision application, and Mr. Kuhn seconded. Mr. Philips called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Other Business

No items were brought forward.


There being no other business, Mr. Philips adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m. The next Business Meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 1, 2024, at 7 p.m., at 11 General Warren Blvd., Suite 1, Malvern, PA.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Treasurer/Admin
sheet, 6/3/2024