east whiteland are you woke to billboard issue YET?

When is the last time you saw essentially EVERY local television network report on an issue in suburbia? Well they turned out in force for billboards in Bryn Mawr. This makes me happy personally, because I was at most of the billboard hearing meetings which began in May, 2009.

So the media should have said MORE than a decade when referring to when this issue began for the beleaguered residents of Bryn Mawr. And while the billboard location is Haverford Township, those billboards also will affect Lower Merion Township residents across Lancaster Avenue. I took the next photo on May 7, 2009. Residents bought blue tarps and put them all together so everyone could see how big a billboard would be. I’ve never forgotten this visual.

NBC 10: Billboard Battle Rages in Bryn Mawr

CBS 3: “These Signs Aren’t Safe’: Decade-Old Billboard Battle Renewed On The Main Line

6 ABC BILLBOARD CONTROVERSY IN HAVERFORD, PA.

VILLAGE VIEW: We don’t want billboards in Bryn Mawr By Bonnie Squires, For MediaNews Group Dec 30, 2019

More than a decade later because it’s actually been 11 years for these Bryn Mawr billboards, the meeting rooms still get packed every time this company comes calling. And last night it wasn’t just residents. People from other communities and staff members from State Senators’ offices and State Representatives’ offices. I actually saw in one news report that State Representative Greg Vitali was there.

I spent years going to meetings about these billboards before I moved to Chester County. Then the issue seemed to slow down but I always felt they would be back. In the intervening years I have watched this billboard company go to Phoenixville (see this article too), Tredyffrin, West Whiteland, Charlestown (yes Charlestown!) and more. Now they want to come to East Whiteland.

And sorry not sorry, as is the case with many other things, East Whiteland seems kind of asleep at the municipal wheel and why? How many things are some of these Supervisors going to seemingly ignore?

Relative from Scenic America:

To learn more about billboard blight and what you can do about it, click on any of the issue areas below:

The Truth about Billboards

Digital Billboards

Legal Issues and Billboards

Public Opinion on Billboards

Tools for action

On-Premise Sign Control

And don’t forget three states in this country prohibit billboards: Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine. So it IS possible.

This company wants to put THREE giant electronic billboards in East Whiteland. This needs to be STOPPED.

There is no reason why we need these billboards in our community. They do nothing for us except destroy communities. I mean if these signs were really so fabulous don’t you think the owner and employees of this billboard company would have them on their own front lawns? This is about using our communities just to make them money isn’t it?

I warned everyone a public hearing was coming in a prior post that also had the proposed locations.

Well East Whiteland’s agenda is out:

January 15 at 7 PM. East Whiteland Township Building as of now. Please turn out for this meeting and turn it up. For residents in the communities not too far off of Lancaster Avenue you’re going to want to come to this meeting too. Those signs are that bright that you need to seriously be concerned in my humble opinion. ( And don’t forget what West Whiteland did to test HOW bright the signs proposed there would be)

Oh! And speaking of West Whiteland, is this 2019 LLC entity thingy West Whiteland or another municipality? Where is this for?

And oh yeah maybe a little excerpt from a very lengthy 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Since 2008, Thaddeus J. Bartkowski III’s billboard wars have flared in more than a dozen communities in Delaware and Montgomery counties.

Now he is moving on Phoenixville, with the first shot fired toward the Chester County borough’s historic downtown.

If Bartkowski prevails, three electronic, V-shaped billboards, 12 feet high and 40 feet wide, will go up along Nutt Road, a major thoroughfare. They will rise 43 feet above a borough that has struggled to reinvent itself, filling the void of industrial decline with quaint shops, good restaurants, and gussied-up rowhouses…..In tonier Pennsylvania suburbs in particular, Bartkowski has tried to erect billboards by mounting legal challenges to municipal zoning codes.

He has used as ammunition Pennsylvania Supreme Court rulings dating to the 1960s that outlaw “exclusionary zoning,” typically in regard to low- and moderate-income housing. Municipalities may not restrict development in ways that keep out specific classes of people or kinds of businesses…..Attorney Jim Byrne, Bartkowski’s most notable opponent, represents six municipalities in their fight against the billboards. He contends they can bar the signs as long as the municipalities prove they represent a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of residents by, say, distracting drivers.

The exclusionary zoning thing? Why is that important here ? Because exclusionary zoning is something that was designed more with affordable housing in mind, not billboards. I find that offensive. Of course it also makes me wonder what they actually do in Harrisburg all day. After all it’s no joke that the Municipalities Planning Code is out of date. Where are the laws that protect the residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from the blight of billboards in small towns?

East Whiteland needs to get woke and fast. Don’t just bitch on social media in local groups about this issue, roll up and attend this meeting. I hope people from other municipalities show up in solidarity too.

Please call State Senator Andy Dinniman’s office ( 610-692-2112 ) and ask him to attend this East Whiteland meeting. It would also be nice to ask invisible State Representative Kristine Howard (610-251-1070) attend but she will undoubtedly have an excuse.

Don’t you think billboards equal blight in our communities? What do you think things like this actually do for property values in addition?

Residents YES. Billboards NO.