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Appeals board overturns billboard decision

July 16, 2004|by TARA REILLY

A Mount Airy, Md., billboard company will be allowed to erect four signs with multiple sides in Washington County, the county's Board of Zoning Appeals ruled last week.

The decision overturns the Washington County Planning Commission's June vote to reject the site plans submitted by Great Outdoors Advertising Company.

The billboard company filed appeals shortly after the decision.

Zoning Appeals board member Kirk C. Downey said the ruling was overturned because the county's zoning ordinance didn't provide a clear interpretation of the size limits of billboards.

The ordinance states billboards shouldn't exceed 1,000 square feet, but it wasn't clear whether that meant each side of a billboard sign shouldn't be larger than that limit or the sides, cumulatively, shouldn't exceed 1,000 square feet.

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County planners interpreted the ordinance to mean that the sides, cumulatively, shouldn't exceed 1,000 square feet.

The Board of Zoning Appeals decided that each side of a billboard shouldn't be larger than 1,000 square feet.

The outdoor advertising company plans to build four billboard structures in Washington County. Two of the billboards, one at 11321 Massey Blvd. near Motel 6 and the other at 1726 Massey Blvd. near Roy Rogers, will have three sides, according to planning documents.

Another billboard will be erected at 13611 Pennsylvania Ave. at the Keystone Hunting Supply property near the Maugans Avenue intersection, according to planning documents.

A 50-foot-high billboard will be built at 19741 Leitersburg Pike. The Pennsylvania Avenue and Leitersburg Pike billboards will have two sides.

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