Signs Signs Everywhere a Sign
Have you noticed a few extra signs around Chester Heights this fall?
We have and so have borough residents and folks just passing through. We’ve received multiple inquiries asking us specifically about the large sign at 391 Valleybrook Road across from St. Thomas the Apostle Church.
So, since we love the freedom of speech, and we believe in following the rules, we checked out the zoning ordinance governing signs in our borough. (CLICK HERE FOR COPY OF CODE Sect 185):
Does this sign conform to the code?
Section 185-100 of the Borough Code specifies: The following types of signs and NO OTHER shall be permitted in residence and multifamily districts.
Official traffic signs – NO.
Street identification signs – NO.
Historic homes or sites signs – NO.
Professional, accessory use, or identification signs indicating the name, profession, or activity of the occupant of a dwelling - NO.
Identification signs for schools, churches and similar permitted uses other than dwellings- NO.
Real estate signs- NO.
Trespassing sign - NO.
Nonconforming signs provided that:
The sign was conforming under the previous ordinance.
The total area of all such signs relating to a single use at the effective date of this chapter, or at the effective date of any amendment of this chapter by which any sign shall be made nonconforming, shall not be increased.
No such sign shall be changed or replaced in kind outside the limits of this article
NO This sign was not in existence under prior ordinance. Therefore, none of the exemptions apply.
NO. Our interpretation of this section of code is that the sign on Valleybrook Road is in violation of the code, because any sign that does not fall into the categories listed above is not permitted in a residential district and is in violation of section 185-100 of the Borough Code.
That’s what the code says.
The Borough Code Enforcement Officer applies the code and makes the determination of how the code applies.
Here is the reply we have received from the Borough Code Official: CLICK HERE TO VIEW EMAIL.
"The sign in question is a Political sign. Chester Heights Sign regulations do not regulate political signs! In order for there to be a violations I must have chapter and verse. None exist! If Council wishes they can visit the sign ordinance and create some regulations. At the current time political signs are not regulated. In the past there have been signs for both sides in areas of the Borough. They never had any form of enforcement action taken.” – Rich Jensen
Though we cannot override the decision of our Borough Code Enforcement Officer, as residents we can ask about the interpretation of the code and ask for clarification.
If you have concerns or questions about this sign code issue it is best to address it with the borough directly.
You can email The Borough at firstname.lastname@example.org.