Not only have the dozens of the yard signs caught the eyes of passing motorists and residents, they’ve also gotten the attention of Pennsburg Borough Council.
Council discussed at length Tuesday night the recent barrage of temporary yard signs advertising everything from discount haircuts to real estate open houses left all over the borough. And according to Council President John Lear, officials aren’t prepared to just let the signs be placed anywhere. Those signs aren’t just unsightly, they are, in fact, illegal.
The borough code enforcement officer had been taking down all the offending signs over the past few weeks, starting with those said to be littering the Pennsburg Shopping Center in the 400 block of Pottstown Avenue.
As a borough ordinance stands now, all business temporary signs, not including contractor signs, must first be approved through a sign permitting process which charges a total of $34 per sign. It’s a process businesses have largely been ignoring.
Borough Roads Superintendent Rick Krupp noted the political parties each pay a fee to advertise their yard signs during election season under a separate section of the ordinance. Contractor signs are legally allowed to be posted seven days before a project and three days after before having to be removed according to current regulations.
“I’m thinking businesses need all the help they can get in these times,” Lear said. “But the ordinance is there to keep the town from looking like crap.”
Lear discussed allowing businesses to have one small “sandwich board” sign or up to two yard-style signs before needing a permit. Those signs must only be on the business’ property. Off-premise advertising would only be allowed once the business owner obtained the proper permits.
And signs attached to utility poles aren’t exempt either. Lear said those signs are ugly and a nuisance and the borough, despite not owning the pole, can legally take them down too.
Council members agreed to talk about what types of signs would be permissible and for how long. Solicitor Chuck Garner said he would look into other municipalities’ ordinances to give the borough ideas and he would also work on a definition for temporary signs as there was no clear-cut one on the books.
In other borough news, council came to a consensus on discontinuing chipping weekly for the time being. Chipping will only take place on the second and fourth Mondays of each month until the borough hall renovations are completed. The move will reportedly free up borough staff to complete many of the projects that need to be addressed in and around the new borough chambers like finishing drywall, pouring concrete for the steps and entryway and finishing renovations to the existing and new restrooms.
Council also granted a land development waiver to the Woodbridge Development Group of 418-428 Main Street. The company, in partnership with Brode & Brooks Realtors, will renovate the parking area between the two properties, enlarging it by about 2,000 sq. ft. They will also make a one-way ingress and egress with better visibility to improve safety at the sight.