Signs a hot topic for PT Council

Published Feb 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm (Updated Feb 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm)

Peters Township Council has spent time the last two meetings dealing with issues involving signs. On Jan. 28, discussion between two attorneys and council centered around an off-premise sign for a restaurant on Camp Lane. The parties were told to resolve the dispute between themselves and not to involve the township.

On Feb. 11, council dealt with a request by two representatives of St. Benedict’s the Abbot Church, and a request for several signs advertising the upcoming Lenten fish fry events each Friday.

Fred Abrew, a parishoner, said the signs are needed to attract customers for the luncheons and dinners at the church. Township ordinances are stringent on where and how long any temporary sign may be displayed unless a special permit is granted by the township.

Abrew suggested placing the signs throughout the township from Wednesday afternoon until Saturday at noon for the seven weeks in Lent. He called the temporary days a “reasonable alternative.”

Michael Benya, facilities manager, asked for a compromise.

While council members said they could not bend the rules for the church, several agreed to place a sign on the East McMurray Arrowhead Trail bridge during weeks not otherwise taken. The Peters Township High School Thespians have requested use of the bridge for a banner display from March 7-March 23. Members also suggested the church contact area businesses with digital signs, and told Abrew and Benya church members could place signs no larger than 6-square feet in private front yards. Also suggested was the church could attach fish fry advertisements for six weeks on the bottom of its off-premise sign on Valley Brook Road and on the directional, off-premise sign at the intersection of Washington and Valley Brook roads.

In other action, council:

• Approved a waiver to Williamson and Jefferson Inc. to draw down a bond to complete improvements in the Chadwick Estates Plan. Initially, the township was going to acquire money from the bond to complete the project, but agreed to permit the developer to complete the roads with a deadline of June 1. If the project is not completed, the township will then acquire the money and do the work itself.

• Accepted public improvements in Chadwick Estates Phase 2, including Ashwood and Chadwick Drive.

• Approved a special permit request by the Canonsburg Lake Restoration Committee for a sign on the Arrowhead Trail Bridge for a fundraiser to Save the Lake. The sign will be placed April 15-29, and again from May 2-June 3.

•Approved a special request by the Cross Country Boosters for a sign on Arrowhead Trail Bridge for a 5K race. The sign will be on the bridge from June 3-15.

• Rejected a request by residents of Hays Road to conduct a traffic calming study. Township ordinances require a minimum of 20 names on the petition. The Hays Road petition contained only 15 names.

• Announced Comcast rate increases of 1.9 to 9 percent. The notice was sent to the township’s cable attorney. Council asked Michael Silvestri, township manager, to determine if the township is permitted to take any action.

•Agreed not to repair a drainage problem on private property as requested by the owners of 220 Sprindale Road. The Hofbauers, owners of the property, requested the township cover all expenses. However, Council agreed not to cover the costs, choosing to stick with a previous agreement to share the costs.

Councilman David Ball said the Hofbauers will have 30 days to accept the initial cost-sharing agreement or that offer will be rescinded.

Next meeting: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25.

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