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Waynesboro council postpones decision on electronic signs

July 17, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Another month will pass without the flicker of electronic signs in the Borough of Waynesboro.

The Waynesboro Borough Council held a public hearing Wednesday about its latest plan for the signs, but postponed any decision until the Aug. 20 meeting.

The proposal before the council would permit the signs on the west side of South Potomac Street in the general commercial district as well as the south side of East Main Street in the same zoning district. That would encompass the Red Roof Storage business on South Potomac Street, the South Potomac Street Shopping Center, CVS Pharmacy and the Waynesboro Mall.

Many residents have said they want to continue with the town's current outright prohibition on electronic, flashing signs that don't solely display time and temperature. Others say they understand that the state Supreme Court has ruled that signs must be permitted somewhere within a municipality.

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"My main concern is protecting the residents from the visual distraction (and) the motorists from the safety distraction," said Dick Rose, a resident of West Fifth Street.

Rose researched regulations from about 100 municipalities and made a presentation during the hearing. He urged the council to consider restrictions on scrolling and background colors.

Councilman Ronnie Martin was represented at the hearing by attorney Suzanne Trinh. Since Martin applied for a flashing sign for one of his businesses and was denied a permit, he could possibly take the borough to court.

Trinh thanked Rose for his research, but asked the council to look at its neighboring municipalities. She mentioned ordinances in the Borough of Chambersburg and Washington Township.

"You can drive out Route 16 and see there's not a proliferation of signs (in Washington Township). You can count on one hand the number of signs in Chambersburg," Trinh said.

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