MEETING DATE: April 26, 2018 -- Work Session Meeting

Duly advertised in The Pottstown Mercury and posted at

The Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors held their first public working session meeting on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 7:30pm.  This is an informal meeting to discuss township related business with the public, without making any motions or voting on any discussed items.  Martha Majewski, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:30p.m.  In attendance were board members Fred Parry, Jim Morrisson, Mark Donovan, and township solicitor William Brennan.  Board member Susan Guerette was not in attendance.  

The working meeting’s agenda was to discuss the Natural Lands Trust’s (NLT) proposal to work on the townships zoning and SALDO ordinances. Specifically, creating a “Going Greener” ordinance.   The work will be partially funded by the township, with a budget of $10,000, and grants received.  Jim Morrisson stated that NLT is highly qualified and experienced in developing ordinance changes within Chester County Municipalities.  Fred Parry reminded all that the township needs to make sure the proposed ordinance follows the MPC.  Jim Morrisson agreed and stated that it will go through the process of going to the Planning Commission, Open Space Commission, Chester County Planning Commission, solicitor, engineer, etc., to ensure that it doesn’t violate the MPC.   Discussion ensued about the qualifications of NLT, and the benefit of having NTL revise our ordinance to incorporate more open space. Fred Parry questioned why Gilmore & Associates isn’t writing the ordinance revisions.  Martha stated that John Sartor of Gilmore & Associates advised that NTL specializes in writing Open Space ordinances, and that it would be a conflict if his company wrote the ordinance and reviewed it as well.  Bill Brennan agreed and asked if NTL would make sure their work didn’t conflict with other sections of our ordinance.  Jim Morrisson recommended that Gilmore & Associates check it once it’s prepared to confirm there are no conflicts with other sections.   It was agreed that at the regular board of supervisors meeting on June 6, 2018, that the Board will vote on sending a Request for Proposal (RFP) to NLT.  The May 2, 2018 meeting will rush the RFP and it’s not enough time to have all parties review it prior to voting on it. Bob Cooney and Bob Mauch, members of the townships Open Space Commission were in the audience. They asked that they be able to review the RFP prior to it going to NLT.  Martha said they would forward the RFP to them for their review.

There was discussion regarding the University of Valley Forge’s application to the Zoning Hearing Board that was received on Friday, April 20, 2018 regarding the property they own at 1455/1485 Valley Forge Road, Phoenixville, currently known as the Conference Center at Valley Forge.  The University is seeking a special exception to develop a college campus and educational institution on the property. This proposed use of the property is permitted by special exception under Section 37-20.B and 370-16.G(1) of the Townships zoning ordinance.   The Zoning Hearing may take place in June if all parties are available.  If the University is granted the special exception, they will go under the townships current zoning ordinance for the property, not the proposed changes that the Going Greener ordinance will/may require if/when it’s adopted.

Martha Majewski asked if any board members had any topics they felt could be discussed at next months’ working meeting. There were no suggestions.  Martha suggested continuing her research of changing terminology in the ordinances that refer (sometimes incorrectly) to a specific job title. Such as “the township manager”, “the township engineer”, “the township code enforcement officer” and replacing with either the correct department or simply “the township”.   It was agreed to have this on the Thursday May 24th, 2018 agenda.    If ordinance details need to be changed, the board can direct Gilmore & Associates to work on the changes and present their changes at the next work session to discuss.  Gilmore & Associates will only need to attend the work session meetings if they are requested to by the Board.

With no further items to discuss the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 pm.

The working session meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday of every month, at 7:30 pm.  The next working session meeting will be Thursday May 24, 2018, at 7:30 pm in the Township Meeting Hall.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kimberly Yocom
Zoning Administrative Officer