Proposed Zoning Ordinance for Township Service Properties Discussed

The Collegeville Planning Committee met Thursday to discuss current projects and approve a motion to be sent to Borough Council.

Proposed Zoning Ordinance
The Collegeville Planning Committee unanimously agreed to make the recommendation to Borough Council about a zoning ordinance amendment exempting properties used for borough services.

By amending this ordinance, current zoning exemptions would be extended to buildings such as the fire hall and possibly the main street office.

“Basically, this is just an expansion of the previous definition of municipal-owned property to include borough services,” said township manager Geoffrey Thompson.

The committee agreed that this is a standard procedure, and all members supported the motion for approval to go to Borough Council.

Sign Ordinance Discussion
In a continuing discussion within the committee to finalize a township sign ordinance, Thompson engaged the committee in a conversation on the topic of temporary signs and restrictions for commercial usage.

There are many definitions for temporary signage. As an exercise in competitive analysis, Thompson has been reviewing nearby township ordinances. At the present time, there are loose restrictions on the use of hanging banners and mobile sings. The committee is looking to make tighter restrictions for these types of signs as a way of furthering the process of beautification within the area.

With the exception of election signs and signs for nonprofits, each commercial property is allowed to display one mobile sign for 30 days. Signs that are currently allowed and will continue to be approved are the sandwich type A-frame sign and smaller, mobile signs that can be hung.

The committee talked at great length about the aesthetic value of mobile signage and will continue discussions at future meetings to hammer out a comprehensive sign ordinance.

In other updates
Streetscapes is currently wrapping up the application of the brick-patterned crosswalks around town. The crosswalks and the borders will be finished in about a week.

joe April 23, 2011 at 11:30 PM
It's about time they do something about the temporary signs. There are way too many people ( Cordery Painting on Park Avenue, between the CVS and 3rd Street) and some plumbing company on Clayhor, between Park and 5th, where the signs are out there almost all the time. These houses are not where work is being done, but actually where the owners of the companies live. They just feel like giving themselves free advertising on their front lawns, and could care less that is looks like crap. They should be restricted from doing this.
Tom McMenamin April 25, 2011 at 11:09 PM
Perhaps the owners of these homes don't like the color of your shutters, the type of tree you have planted in your yard, the flowers you have chosen to plant in your windowbox. Maybe they think the signs are attractive and add to the uniqueness of their yard. Who is anyone to judge what others should do with their property short of safety hazards and blatant disregard for their neighbors ?
joe April 25, 2011 at 11:19 PM
That's a completely different issue. Using your property to advertise your commercial business, on a permanent basis, is exactly the type of thing zoning and municipal codes are supposed to regulate. Just like there are regulations related to how short your grass/weeds need to be. In Collegeville, I believe the ordinance calls for action if somebody's grass is over 2 ft tall. It's about limiting blight. That's what keeps the value of properties in the neighborhood. Zoning also restricts what can be built on a plot of land, usually keeping commercial properties out of R-1 neighborhoods. Just because you own a piece of land, doesn't mean you can do whatever you want- there are restrictions. If you want to limit your rights even more, then you move into a development with a Homeowners Association, then they'll tell you what color you can paint your house, etc.


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