Dispute over Pa. furniture store ad trucks continues

November 23, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Harry Morningstar Jr.'s advertising for the Furniture Market of Waynesboro, Pa., is seen in this April 1 file photo on Pa. 16 a few miles west of the borough.
File photo

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The disagreement between the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors and a Waynesboro businessman over advertising on his trucks popped up again this week.

The supervisors and Harry Morningstar Jr. have been at odds over the Furniture Market’s graphics-splashed trucks and practice of affixing costume-clad mannequins to the vehicles.

In September, the supervisors denied Morningstar portable sign permits for two of his trucks — one a vintage model with an oval sign on the bed and the other a box truck with graphics on the side.

Some of the board members said they think the entire truck is part of the sign, meaning the sign would exceed the 12 square feet allowed by local ordinance.

Earlier in the year, Morningstar received notices that he violated ordinances concerning off-premise signs and nuisance signs by affixing mannequins to his delivery trucks.

The supervisors on Monday decided to send Morningstar a cease-and-desist letter regarding four trucks he had parked in the township without portable sign permits.

For his part, Morningstar said he was “testing the waters” when he had two trucks serviced at a mechanic shop in the township and two parked with “for sale” signs at other locations.

“I’m not surprised it came up, ... (but) these are legitimate needs. We took the mannequins off to not antagonize them,” he said in a telephone interview.

Morningstar said he doesn’t understand why his truck drivers are allowed to make deliveries and have a meal in the township, but not park at a mechanic’s garage in Zullinger, Pa.

“We have not had a single other incident in the probably 100 townships we’ve been in,” Morningstar said, noting that a truck with the mannequin was even driven this year to Washington, D.C.

The supervisors Monday were reluctant to address the issue after their 4-0 vote. Supervisor Jeff Geesaman abstained from the vote.

Morningstar said he’s “not a person with a vendetta.”

“I’m just trying to keep a furniture store in Waynesboro,” he said.

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