The news came down early from the East Whiteland Planning Commission where this was supposed to be discussed:
Now we already established that East Whiteland Outdoor was Catalyst. As in wants billboards in Lower Merion, Haverford Township, West Whiteland Township, Tredyffrin Township and basically any place they can shove a sign and make dough-ray-me. It’s not about first amendment rights to sell advertising space on billboards, or fitting in with a community, or beautifying a community, or helping a community it’s like a Howard Johnson’s dine and dash isn’t it? They come in, make money, right?
Well no, actually WRONG. We LIVE here, right? I guess you could say the billboard people live her too but would they put giant billboards on their front lawns? NOPE.
So this came back to me early:
The company was a NO SHOW. Were they at a Christmas party or something? I mean how disrespectful to East Whiteland’s Planning Commission and residents was THAT?
Some one else wrote:
I just came from the planning commission meeting. The applicant (sign company) did not show up and the commission recommended unanimously against approval. they are advisory to the supervisors. The supervisors will have a conditional use hearing on Jan 15,2020 at 7pm unless they reschedule….As the solicitor pointed out, that hearing is like a legal hearing and there is a public comment period but it is last. The hearing could be continued into extra hearings until they finally get to public comment…. It is vitally important to get a show of as many citizens as possible at that Jan 15 meeting. No one in the township is in favor of these billboards as one neighbor pointed out tonight. They do not accept letters or petitions at the hearing. You have to show up in person.
They are CORRECT. No EXCUSES. People have to SHOW UP. Even from other affected municipalities because there are so many municipalities dealing with this SAME company. Just ask other communities like Lower Merion, Haverford Township, West Whiteland Township, Tredyffrin Township, East Pikeland Township, and Phoenixville Borough (which said NO and prevailed incidentally)
WEST CHESTER – A Chester County Court judge dismissed a Philadelphia-area billboard baron’s challenge to the Phoenixville zoning ordinance that he claimed improperly excluded such signs from the borough.
In a May 20 ruling, Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Tunnell upheld the ruling by the borough’s zoning hearing board, finding that the zoning ordinance did allow for billboards and other large outdoor signs to be erected, just not in the location that Thaddeus Bartkowski III and his company, Chester County Outdoor, wanted to erect them.
Bartkowski had filed a substantive validity challenge to the ordinance in 2011, claiming that it unconstitutionally prohibited a type of business from the borough. In 2012, the zoning board ruled against Bartkowski…‘The clear and unambiguous language of the zoning ordinance permits an occupant to have one freestanding sign per lot subject to the terms of the zoning ordinance,’ Tunnell wrote in a 16-page decision. ‘Billboards and off-permises sign are included … and are permitted in the borough.
‘Therefore the board properly concluded that there is no de jure prohibition and exclusion and (Chester County Outdoor’s) substantive validity challenge mist be denied.’
The decision was greeted with satisfaction by attorney Anthony Verwey of the West Chester firm of Unruh, Burke, Turner & Frees, who was appointed to act as special counsel for Phoenixville Borough Council in the case.
Now Tredyffrin is still in court with Captain Billboard as per Tredyffrin Blogger Pattye Benson.
So residents of Chester County and elsewhere? Aren’t we #StrongerTogether? We should all be getting to these meetings. Yes they take time. Trust me I know, I literally spent almost every month for years going to billboard hearings in Lower Merion Township and Haverford Township. And here we are again, everything old is new again…this time in East Whiteland and Tredyffrin. Also can’t forget West Whiteland. Issue may be dormant for now, but is it gone?
West Whiteland made them demonstrate a live version of what a sign would look like at 500 N. Pottstown Pike in 2018. (See this letter that went out at the time.) Then there was a meeting. For now not sure what is going on with billboards in West Whiteland, but based on past patterns of this company, can we say they will be back?
Hey, a related aside: is there a billboard Terminator? Asking for lots of friends.
So from Scenic America:
To learn more about billboard blight and what you can do about it, click on any of the issue areas below:
And don’t forget three states in this country prohibit billboards: Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine. So it IS possible.
As per East Whiteland these are the applications in front of them:
Ok the locations and applications are public record. East Whiteland Township posted the information on their website along with the applications. What bugs me is the township seems to have had these applications for months? Yikes.
So there you have it. That is all the information available to the best of my knowledge. The media doesn’t find this a sexy issue apparently because I did not hear of any media coverage to date over the potential of billboards in East Whiteland. But what if they just looked at the fact that as well as elsewhere, the townships of Tredyffrin, East Whiteland, and West Whiteland all have a common problem here?
I don’t have a crystal ball. What I do know is residents need to show up in force at the billboard hearing January 15, 2020 at 7 pm. They need to be there or be a billboard.