Township Planners Eager For County Signage Research

Township Planners Eager For County Signage Research

SANATOGA PA – A problem that has vexed the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners three times in recent years – the potential use of lighted and animated billboards or messaging signs – is being researched by the Montgomery County Planning Commission in hopes of creating a future model sign ordinance, township planners learned Monday night (Feb. 25, 2013).

The proposed law is likely to address issues like physical size, illumination brightness, change frequency and other items not covered by most townships in existing signage regulations, Assistant Manager Alyson Elliott told members of Lower Pottsgrove Planning Commission.

Chairman Frank Cebular likened the county’s pending research to its earlier efforts regarding zoning, in which proposed regulations favorably served as a template for townships’ laws. Elliott agreed, noting the model probably would rely on industry standards and safety information to which small municipalities wouldn’t normally have access. Some of Cebular’s colleagues referred to the signs as “annoying.”

Signage constructed with super-bright light-emitting diodes, as well as other forms of computer-driven or -controlled signs, have caused both minor and potentially major controversies in Lower Pottsgrove.

The most well known involved an electronic billboard erected by Lamar Advertising of Reading on Porter Road. The company threatened a lawsuit in 2011 if the Board of Commissioners declined approval; board members eventually compromised and allowed the structure. Others involved signage at Sunnybrook Ballroom on East High Street and Coventry Christian Academy on North Pleasant View Road.

National Penn Bank on East High Street, and contractor Haines and Kibblehouse in Sanatoga also proposed electronic signs but later withdrew their requests.

Monday’s meeting was the first for Lower Pottsgrove planners in eight months. Elliott said it will be necessary to pick up that pace, and resume monthly meetings beginning March 18.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Planning Commission’s Feb. 25 meeting):

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