Washington Twp. planners discuss truck signs

September 12, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Debate about how advertisements on trucks fit into sign regulations seemed to generate more questions than answers at Monday night’s Washington Township (Pa.) Planning Commission.

Harry Morningstar of Furniture Market has applied for portable sign permits for an antique pickup truck with an affixed sign and a logo-splashed delivery truck. He wants to park them for extended periods of time at several commercially zoned properties in the township.

Earlier this year, Morningstar was at odds with the municipality regarding mannequins — some clothed in costumes, including Spider-Man — he placed atop some trucks. The mannequins issue drew media attention throughout the Tri-State area and across Pennsylvania.

A resident in attendance at the planning commission meeting was the first to ask whether Morningstar would place mannequins on the trucks in the application.

“That was our intention. ... We’re trying to keep this tasteful, fun and lighthearted,” Morningstar said.

That information launched lengthy discussion with lawyers, residents, planning commission members and township staff. The debate included whether a truck is a sign and, if so, what type of sign a truck is, and issues like sight distance, driver distraction and square footage.

Ultimately, the Washington Township Supervisors will make decisions regarding the conditional-use permits being requested. The planning commission offers recommendations to that board.

The three planners in attendance — Jay Heefner, Chris Firme and Kyle Hess — said they were OK with the antique pickup truck without mannequins if the sign is less than 12 square feet and the truck does not interfere with motorists’ line of sight.

The planners could not agree what to recommend regarding the box trucks or mannequins.

The Washington Township Supervisors have a workshop meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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