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Sharpsburg restaurant needs sign permits

June 07, 1998

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - More than a month after having a legal battle dismissed over a sign, a Sharpsburg restaurant owner needs a permit for two more signs, the town's attorney said.

A new sign was posted recently at the New Central Restaurant without a permit, Town Attorney Charles Wagaman told the mayor and Town Council at last week's meeting.

The sign facing Main Street for the 104 S. Mechanic St. restaurant meets requirements so once the owners apply for a permit, it will be approved, Wagaman said.

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Wagaman said he expected to approve a permit for an older sign on the side of the restaurant as well.

Restaurant co-owner JoAnn Carson said she would apply for the permit. She said her husband, Alpert Paul Carson, didn't think they would need a permit for those two signs because they are on the building.

No one had complained about the older sign, but Wagaman said he had received a complaint about the new one.

Town Council members told Wagaman the permit process is not complaint-driven.

"We need to get out of this witch-hunt mentality," said Councilman Ralph Hammond.

Anyone who needs a permit and doesn't have one should apply for one, Hammond said. If Wagaman sees a violation, he should follow up on it, he said.

Wagaman had filed charges against Alpert Carson on March 3, claiming he violated the town's zoning law because he didn't have a permit for a lighted sign in front of the restaurant.

Those charges were dismissed by the state's attorney's office on April 28 because Carson removed the sign.

Former Mayor Ron Milburn said he applied for permits to post signs for the restaurant on his properties at two Town Square corners, but was denied.

Wagaman said he denied the application because the signs wouldn't be on the restaurant site.

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