Rock­ledge coun­cil OKS busi­ness sign amend­ment

Glenside News - - POLICEREPORTS - By Joe Bar­ron

Busi­ness signs may shine again in Rock­ledge.

In a unan­i­mous vote July 30, bor­ough coun­cil amended the Rock­ledge zon­ing code to al­low new, in­ter­nally il­lu­mi­nated busi­ness signs along Hunt­ing­don Pike for WhH firVW WLPH VLnFH 2004.

The vote fol­lowed re­peated dis­cus­sions in which ERrRuJh RI­fiFLDOV VDLG WhH or­di­nance al­low­ing only ex­ter­nally lit signs had failed to change the char­ac­ter of the bor­ough’s busi­ness dis­trict. Most busi­nesses that had in­ter­nally il­lu­mi­nated signs when the ban went into ef­fect have re­tained them, but many have al­lowed them to de­te­ri­o­rate, coun­cil mem­bers said.

Re­vis­ing the law, they said, would en­cour­age busi­ness own­ers to bring their older signs into com­pli­ance with bor­ough main­te­nance stan­dards with­out hav­ing to spend too much on new, ex­ter­nally lit signs.

,n D OHWWHr GDWHG -uOy 26, the Mont­gomery County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion rec­om­mended adoption of the amend­ment, stat­ing that it ac­knowl­edges the re­al­ity of sig­nage along the pike.

“The pro­posed amend­ment would re­store com­pli­ance with the code for the vast ma­jor­ity of busi­ness own­ers on Hunt­ing­don Pike with re­gard to the method of il­lu­mi­na­tion used for signs,” se­nior plan­ner Sean Met­rick said in the let­ter.

At a meet­ing July 18, the Rock­ledge Bor­ough Plan­ning Com­mis­sion also en­dorsed the change.

While per­mit­ting in­ter­nal il­lu­mi­na­tion, the zon­ing amend­ment re­quires sign backgrounds to be darker than let­ters.

“In­ter­nally

il­lu­mi­nated signs are per­mit­ted in the [res­i­den­tial-of­fice-re­tail] and [high­way busi­ness] dis­tricts pro­vided that they are con­structed with an opaque back­ground and translu­cent let­ter­ing, or with the col­ored back­ground and let­ters and sym­bols lighter than the back­ground,” the or­di­nance states.

Dis­cus­sion on busi­ness sig­nage con­tin­ued af­ter the vote as Coun­cil­man Frank En­derle, chair­man of the law and plan­ning com­mit­tee, pro­posed ad­di­tional changes to al­low a larger direc­tory sign at Rock­ledge Plaza, as well as an ad­di­tional sign for the plaza’s two largest oc­cu­pants, Abing­ton Physi­cians and Ack­ers Hard­ware.

The plaza owner is ne­go­ti­at­ing with the bor­ough coun­cil over the size of the direc­tory sign, En­derle said, and in ad­di­tion, Block­buster Video, the pre­vi­ous oc­cuSDnW RI WhH PHGLFDO RI­fiFHV, had a free-stand­ing sign, and Ack­ers re­quires one be­cause the en­trance to the store is now at the rear of the build­ing, he said.

Bor­ough So­lic­i­tor Joseph Bres­nan re­minded coun­cil it could not pass a law for the EHnH­fiW RI RnOy WwR EuVLnHVVes, and that any amend­ment to the zon­ing or­di­nance would have to ap­ply to all busi­nesses.

Coun­cil in­structed Bres­nan to draft an amend­ment that would ap­ply to strip malls with a frontage of PRrH WhDn 200 IHHW — D rHTuLrHPHnW IuO­fiOOHG Ln RRFNledge only by the plaza.

The plaza owner would like the direc­tory sign to EH 20 IHHW hLJh, EnGHrOH said, but board Pres­i­dent Ja­son Show­maker replied that the re­quest seemed ex­ces­sive.

“Height, we’re will­ing to JLYH 16 IHHW,” BRrRuJh 0Dnager Grace Met­zinger said.

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