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Pa. township moves toward adopting far-reaching sign law

March 30, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington Township, Pa., is on its way to adopting a comprehensive ordinance regulating 32 different types of signs.

A citizens advisory board last spring asked township officials to review the permitted types, sizes and placement of signs in the township.

The planning commission on Wednesday started discussion to move the resulting draft ordinance into a series of meetings, public hearings and decisions needed before it can be enacted.

The citizens advisory board reviewed the standards in place by municipalities all over Pennsylvania and even outside the state bounds, said Elena Kehoe, a representative of that board.

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The ordinance is designed to avoid excessive visual competition, promote motorists' safety and preserve the township's rural character, according to documents reviewed by the planning commission.

Existing regulations primarily focus on temporary yard signs indicating property is for sale or rent, home improvements are being made or farm products are for sale.

The new ordinance might prohibit moving, animated, flashing or revolving signs, officials said. The Borough of Waynesboro, which is surrounded by Washington Township, is reviewing similar prohibitions within borough limits.

The township's new ordinance is expected to stipulate how far the sign can extend from the curb and over a pedestrian walkway. It also has provisions for the maximum allowable size of billboards.

The new ordinance would give the township's code enforcement officer authority to require business owners to remove signs within 30 days of the business' closing.

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