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Sign law changes drafted in Waynesboro

April 17, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - As advertised, Waynesboro Borough Councilman Clint Barkdoll brought a proposal to the council calling for changes to the borough's sign ordinance.

The council has come under fire lately from local real estate broker and developer Ronnie Martin for keeping in place a sign ordinance he says is outdated and no longer fits modern development needs.

The law, as it exists, limits free-standing commercial signs to 20 square feet.

Martin is building a major bank, retail and commercial office complex at the intersection of South Potomac and West Third streets. He asked the council on several occasions in recent months to amend the ordinance to allow larger signs, saying a 20-foot square sign is too small to advertise large businesses.

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Barkdoll pledged to take up the issue on the council's property and public safety committee. He did and the committee came up with a draft proposal for the council to start the process Wednesday night.

His proposal, which was accepted by the council, calls for basing the size of a business' sign on its amount of road frontage - 1 square foot of sign for every 2 feet of road frontage.

A corner business with frontage on two roads could combine its frontage, according to the committee's plan.

Under the rules, the council has to notify the Franklin County Planning Commission and the borough's planning and zoning commission of the proposed amendment. It also must advertise for a public hearing.

The council could adopt the change at its May 21 meeting.

In a related matter, Council President Douglas Tengler pressed for a second amendment to the borough's zoning laws that would allow businesses and financial institutions to have drive-through windows without going through the process of seeking a special exception.

Martin also has lobbied for this in recent months.

"It's hard in the 21st century to get a business to move to Waynesboro if it can't have a drive-through window," Tengler said.

Affected most are fast-food restaurants and banks, he said.

Martin said after the meeting that he was pleased that the council studied the problems and decided to make the changes.

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