Manor questions digital signs
BY RICHARD REITZ, Correspondent
A request for approval of a sign with a message that changes as often as every five seconds appears to lack support in Manor Township.
The potential for distracting motorists weighed against the proposal that would require to the township to amend its ordinance allowing business signs along township roads to change only once a day.
Businessman Ed Hollinger asked the supervisors Feb. 4 to change its ordinance restricting "sequential signage" -- digital signs that automatically change messages at a set time.
Hollinger sought approval for a sign that would change its message every 5 seconds outside the Sun Dance Car Wash, 2154 Columbia Ave., across from El Serrano restaurant and east of Route 741 (Millersville Road/Rohrerstown Road).
Supervisors were unanimous in their opposition because of safety concerns.
"There is a sign like this at John Herr Market in Millersville, and I think that sign is a hazard," Supervisor Jay Breneman said. "It distracts the eye. That one changes every five seconds, and I certainly don't want to see anything like that in the township."
Supervisor John May agreed.
"When you see one message, you then feel like you need to see the next one," he said. "It's just human nature to want to watch those signs."
With Hollinger's proposed sign visible from the Route 741 intersection, May was concerned that a frequently changing sign would distract motorists.
"It just opens up the possibility for more and more and more of these signs, and I'm opposed to that," added Supervisor Allen Kreider.
"I'm not opposed to signs changing, but not every five seconds," Supervisor Chairman Brandon Clark said.
Supervisor John Wenzel suggested that the board find a reasonable middle ground between "once a day" and "every five seconds" for the sign ordinance.
"If we were to change it to once an hour, I think it would create a sufficient opportunity to advertise the business," he said. "I would consider that proposal."
The other supervisors were in agreement that once an hour was a reasonable consideration.
"Once an hour is something I could live with," Breneman said.
"It's not dangerous," May added.
Hollinger, who attended the meeting, declined to comment on the discussion.
Township manager Barry Smith said the next step will be to work with the township solicitor to craft a revised ordinance for supervisor review and possible adoption.
Also, resident Chris Peris was appointed to the Manor Township Zoning Hearing Board. He filled the vacancy left when Wenzel was appointed to serve as supervisor last month.
Peris, 43, is the owner of Peris Heating & Cooling Inc. He was one of four candidates who had expressed interest in the position.
The board also appointed Mike Julian as an alternate member of the zoning hearing board. He was approved by a 4-1 vote, with May casting the only no vote.
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