Phoenixville Says NO To Billboards

Well, what do you know?

Both Phoenixville AND Haverford Township said “no” to BIG BAD Billboards this week.


Both these cases will go to an appeals process.  This guy wants his billboards everywhere.  He feels it is his Constitutional right.  Never mind the rights of affected residents.    Who knew Constitutional rights were so subjective, right?

A commenter on the Phoenixville Patch referred to Article 1 Section 27 of the Pennsylvania State Constitutions  which states:

 “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

Residents in all counties being affected by these billboard challenges should deluge their state elected officials on this topic.  Since the whole shebangy started in Haverford Township a couple of years ago over billboards state level elected representatives have been making appropriate noises regarding protecting communities, only nothing ever seems to go past those supportive murmurs. (Not that I am surprised, politicians are well..politicians.)  But this is an election year, so the people could make this count if they make enough of a stink.

Kudos to Phoenixville.  And ya know, it is a Classic Town, so people really should enter the DVRPC photo contest…..

But I digress.  Back to billboards and here is the latest in the media, and look lively in East Pikeland, the billboard king has apparently filed there too.  The Inquirer says that will be heard in East Pikeland on February 29.

Phoenixville says no to billboard baron

February 16, 2012|By Anthony Campisi, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Suburban billboard baron Thaddeus Bartkowski III suffered a loss Wednesday evening in his effort to erect three electronic billboards, 12 feet high and 40 feet wide, near the heart of Phoenixville’s historic downtown.

The borough’s Zoning Hearing Board turned down Bartkowski’s request to invalidate an ordinance that would prevent him from erecting the signs along Nutt Road, a major thoroughfare in the Chester County community.

Bartkowski, who is engaged in similar battles in Delaware and Montgomery Counties, has argued that all Pennsylvania municipalities must allow billboards somewhere within their borders…..In its decision Wednesday, the zoning board said Phoenixville does permit outdoor advertising, just not of the scope of Bartkowski’s V-shaped signs, which would rise 43 feet in the air.

An attorney for Bartkowski could not be reached for comment Thursday. Bartkowski has appealed similar unfavorable decisions to county courts

An application for a substantive validity challenge by billboard company Chester County Outdoor was denied Wednesday evening.

ByLynn Jusinski   Email the author   February 16, 2012

The next step may be county court for a company hoping to erect electronic billboards along Nutt Road in Phoenixville.

In front of a modest crowd Wednesday evening, the borough’s zoning hearing board denied the application for a substantive validity challenge from Chester County Outdoor.

The company currently has leases with three Phoenixville businesses to erect V-shaped electronic billboards standing 12 feet tall and 41 feet wide, with the total structures at 43 to 47 feet from the ground to the top of the sign.

Haverford Patch: Zoning Board Votes No On Billboards

BIG plans to appeal the ruling.  By Anthony Leone  Email the author

During its Thursday night meeting, the Haverford Township Zoning Hearing Board voted 5-0 against the billboard proposal.

Bartkowski Investment Group’s (BIG) wanted to have five 672-square-foot billboards placed in Haverford Township—two of the billboards would be located along Lancaster Avenue in Haverford Township overlooking Bryn Mawr in Lower Merion Township, and three signs along West Chester Pike in Haverford Township. BIG’s challenged that Haverford Township’s no billboard ordinance was unconstitutional and a restriction on free speech.

But after a nearly three-year battle with experts and residents giving testimony in front of the zoning hearing board, the board on Thursday night disagreed with BIG’s validity challenge that the township bans all forms of outdoor advertising, since it does allow for other outdoor advertising, such as ads on SEPTA buses. In addition, the board also ruled that the township and the residents’ legal party in the case showed that billboards could be unsafe for residents.

However, Thaddeus Bartkowski explained to Patch in a recent story that he will be appealing the zoning hearing board’s ruling if it was not in his favor. Neighbors: Haverford Township goes billboard free

Margaret Murr couldn’t help pointing out whose turf Bartkowski Investment  Group played on for the past three years as the advertising company worked to  put up five billboards in Haverford Township.

“It’s our town,” Murr, one of the four township residents who filed as  parties in the hearing, said after the Haverford Township Zoning Hearing Board  voted unanimously to deny BIG’s challenge to the validity of the township’s  advertising code