Rockledge council OKS business sign amendment
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.
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.