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Waynesboro planners move to prohibit electronic signs

January 17, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Planning Commission voted Monday to request the Borough Council's approval on proposed regulations that would prohibit electronic signs in town.

In a time when area nonprofit groups are calling for new commercial ventures in Waynesboro, that amendment to an existing ordinance would prohibit electronic, electrical and mechanically controlled signs within the borough limits.

An existing ordinance prohibits signs that scroll or flash intermittently.

The language in that ordinance was unclear and needed to more specifically detail restrictions, according to members of the planning commission.

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The new ordinance would prohibit signs that have a changing message or are illuminated by a flashing light source. If approved, future signs could not have moving patterns or bands of light.

Exemptions are for signs that only scroll time and temperature or display gasoline prices, said Jon Fleagle, chairman of the commission.

Also, signs are permitted to be illuminated at nighttime.

"You can light a sign. You just can't flash or move or scroll," said Kevin Grubbs, director of borough engineering.

The planning commission first fully realized the problems with the existing sign ordinance when the developer of a CVS Pharmacy being built on East Main Street proposed a sign that changed information about specials, said Fleagle.

Planners and borough council agreed the sign could change information once a day, but CVS corporate officials went to the zoning hearing board to request the information change more frequently.

That request was denied late last year, Fleagle and Grubbs said.

Only one electronic sign with frequently changing information exists in Waynesboro, according to Fleagle.

It is outside the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce office on East Main Street. The sign, which displays information about community events, was excluded from restrictions, said Councilman Allen Porter.

Part of an existing ordinance permits signs that serve as an advertising device for a nonprofit organization as long as they do not exceed 12 square feet.

The proposed changes to the sign ordinance will go before Borough Council at its meeting Wednesday. The council's approval is needed before the changes go into effect.

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