Official calls mannequins 'nuisance signs'

March 21, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A Waynesboro-area businessman will be receiving a notice he’s violating the Washington Township, Pa., zoning ordinance by placing mannequins atop his delivery trucks parked along streets.

“The basis is they are off-premise signs and nuisance signs,” Township Solicitor John Lisko said of the trucks with advertising information on their sides.

Supervisors John Gorman, Carroll Sturm and Elaine Gladhill voted unanimously Monday to send the violation notices to the Furniture Market’s proprietor. Supervisor Jeff Geesaman chose to abstain from the vote. Supervisor Stephen Kulla was absent.

For his part, business owner Harry Morningstar said he was trying to be lighthearted when placing the mannequins in different places in the Waynesboro area.

“This was really about having some fun in tough economic times,” Morningstar said when reached by phone Monday evening.

Pine Hill Drive resident Charles Strausbaugh told the supervisors he supports small businesses in their attempts to advertise, but he finds the trucks and mannequins to be a distraction to motorists. He said the community could look “junky” if all businesses chose to advertise like that.

“I’ve never understood why you have a sign ordinance, but I do now,” Strausbaugh said.

Contacted before the supervisors decided to send a certified letter about violations, Morningstar said he’d take down the mannequins if they were deemed to be a problem. One was placed on top of a billboard on Pa. 316 South.

“Most people shrug it off as, ‘Oh, that’s cute.’ Most people can’t talk about it without smiling,” he said.

In discussing the trucks, Sturm said he also has a problem with portable storage units displayed across the community. On them are the business name and contact information for potential customers.

Ronnie Martin placed one of those units outside his real estate office on Pa. 16 in Wayne Heights to show the service provided by another of his businesses, Red Roof Storage. The units can be stored at home or at Red Roof Storage, or delivered to someone’s new home.

“They’re basically 18-by-16, so they can be delivered,” Martin said.

Martin said he’s received no complaints about the boxes and felt he was within his rights on his property.

Gladhill said the supervisors would be looking at the issues separately.

“People push the envelope all the time,” Sturm said.

Violations of the township ordinance are filed before a magisterial district judge and can result in fines, Lisko said.

“If they comply, that’s the end of it,” he said.

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