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Council adopts sign compromise in Waynesboro

May 22, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Saying 3,200 square feet was too much and 20 square feet too little, Waynesboro Borough Councilman Clint Barkdoll moved for a compromise Wednesday night on an amendment to the borough's regulations governing free-standing signs that advertise businesses.

Barkdoll's motion, which passed unanimously, compromised at 110 square feet for free-standing signs.

The size of signs was on the minds of a half-dozen residents who attended a public hearing Wednesday to voice their opposition to the council's original motion to allow signs up to 200 square feet, a size one resident said was "larger than a double garage door." Opponents said signs that big are installed at major highway interchanges.

Under the old rules, which were dropped when the council passed on Barkdoll's motion, free-standing signs could not exceed 20 square feet.

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Waynesboro real estate developer Ronnie Martin of 1625 E. Main St., has been lobbying for months to get the council to amend the regulations found in the borough's planning and zoning rules.

Martin has complained in the past that the restrictive rules cause new businesses to open in adjoining Washington Township rather than in the borough, a claim not supported by some of the half-dozen residents protesting the larger signs.

Stephen Monn of 126 W. Main St., said the only proponent of increasing the size of signs is Martin.

"I understand his reasons, but I'm not sure what businesses were lost because of signs," Monn said.

Donald and Peggy Weller, of 512 S. Potomac St., were among the opponents.

"It's ridiculous," Peggy Weller said after the council's vote.

"We wanted it left as it was at 20 square feet," she said. "Doubling it to 40 square feet would have been an enormous increase."

Barkdoll, with support from Council President Douglas Tengler, argued that sign regulations should reflect the needs of business. "Our tax base is soft and downtown is dried up," Barkdoll said. "We need to encourage development."

The new rules do not apply to the downtown business core.

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