Advertising debate continues in Waynesboro

June 06, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Is it Spider-Man? No, it's just a mannequin that was part of Harry Morningstar Jr.'s advertising for the Furniture Market of Waynesboro, Pa. This display was on Pa. 16 a few miles west of Waynesboro when it was shot in March.
By Jennifer Fitch/Reporter

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A Waynesboro business owner engaged in a debate with the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors regarding trucks used as advertisements went before the board on Monday to question an ordinance violation notice he recieved.

Harry Morningstar Jr., who was joined by his attorney A.J. Benchoff, asked the supervisors about where he can park the delivery trucks and for how long. At issue are logo-splashed Furniture Market trucks, many of which have mannequins affixed to them.

The township solicitor said previously the trucks fall into the categories of off-premise signs and nuisance signs.

Benchoff told the supervisors he doesn’t feel the trucks need to meet requirements set forth by the ordinance regulating signs.

“Our position is it’s not a sign when its essential purpose is to deliver,” Benchoff said.

The supervisors said the violation occurs when the trucks are parked in the township for purposes other than delivery or because the driver is patronizing a business. They referenced the trucks being parked at a location for a few days.

“When they’re parked for the sole purpose of advertising ... that’s when there’s a problem,” Supervisor Elaine Gladhill said.

Two months ago, the township issued Morningstar a notice, which he appealed to the zoning hearing board. The supervisors withdrew the notice prior to the hearing, saying the Furniture Market removed the trucks from the township.

“We just wanted to get some guidance,” Benchoff said of asking the supervisors for the trucks’ return.

Benchoff and Supervisors Chairman Stephen Kulla disagreed about whether the two sides should meet in a closed-doors, executive session. Benchoff said he felt they could have a “productive dialogue” in executive session.

Benchoff and Kulla squared off for several minutes about when a delivery truck becomes a sign. The exchange became tense at one point.

Benchoff said, “This is the exact type of dialogue —” before Kulla interjected and said, “— you want to keep from the public.”

When Morningstar and Benchoff left the meeting, they said they received some clarification about the trucks, but did not completely understand the constraints for parking them with road visibility.

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