Rockledge Council amends ordinance
With a deft i f s omewhat obscure bit of verbiage, Rockledge Council amended t he borough’s zoning code Monday to l egalize t he existing s i gnage at Rockledge Plaza.
The zoning amendment allows the plaza’s main directory sign to have a maximum area of 120 feet per side, with a maximum height of 20 feet, as well as a secondary, freestanding directory sign with arrows or words indicting rear entrances.
The secondary s i gn may have a maximum of 16 square feet and must be placed “as nearly possible t o t he secondary r oad t aking t r affic t o t he r ear of t he property.”
Essentially, t he ordinance describes t he signage already planned f or Rockledge Plaza, where t he entrance to Acker ’s Hardware has been moved to the rear of t he building.
The vote approving the ordinance amendment was 5- 0, with council Vice President Michael Praediger abs t aining. Praediger and his father, Mayor Harold Praediger, own Acker ’s Hardware, the business directly affected by the change.
Councilwoman Robin Morris did not att end t he meeting.
The phrasing of t he amendment was somet hing of a challenge f or Borough Solicitor Joseph Bresnan, who was charged with drafting it. Council asked Bresnan July 30 for an amendment that would apply only to t he businesses at t he plaza.
Bresnan replied, however, t hat ordinances cannot be written f or a benefit of a s pecific, named establishment and must be written i n a general way t hat applies t o t he entire borough. The wording of the ordinance t herefore applies, i n general, to “multi-tenanted l ots” with “businesses t hat are not l ocated i n such a way t hat t he s t orefront f aces t he parking l ot i n which t he primary dir ectory s i gn i s l ocated, placing such businesses at a disadvantage r elat i ve to t he i ntended purposes of businessoriented s i gnage.
At present, t he plaza i s t he only property i n the borough t hat fits t hat description.
The vote followed a brief public hearing. Discussion of si gnage, which occupied much of borough council’s attent i on over the summer, appeared to be at an end f or t he t i me being.
In other business Monday, council opened t hree s ealed bids f or t he purchase of a 2007 Ford Expedition that has been r eti r ed by t he police department. The highest bid was submitted by Asia Motors of Chicago, I l l . , which offered the borough A6,579 for t he vehicle.
Council tabled a decisi on on t he sale f or t wo weeks so the borough manager administration could check t he Asia Motors’ bona fides.