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Sharpsburg looks to add bite to sign regulations

Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Business banners along Main Street in Sharpsburg. Officials are considering new regulations for signs in the borough,

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Sharpsburg officials want to prevent the borough from turning into what one councilman describes as “the Las Vegas strip.”

Council plans to revisit an ordinance on signs in the borough. Regulations were drafted in 2000 but they were never adopted.

Borough secretary Jan Barbus said the only sign regulations are what is in the borough's zoning ordinance.

Councilman Anthony Sacco said the existing regulations don't help the borough much.

“There's no teeth ...,” Sacco said. “It just barks.”

Sacco agreed that it was a good idea to consider another set of regulations on signs.

Mayor Richard Panza agreed that it was best to start over instead of relying on rules updated in 2000.

“That has to be gone over,” Panza said. “There are new signs.”

Councilman Greg Domian said he didn't like the use of flashing signs that some businesses have added recently.

“It's starting to look like Las Vegas down on the lower end of town,” Domian said.

The ordinance also could address the use of tarp signs by businesses.

“The tarp signs, that's really tacky,” Domian said.

Sacco said while he agreed those signs looked “tacky,” there could be a limited place for those signs in the borough. If a business has a grand opening or special event, they could be permitted for a limited time.

“It's very tacky but it's a tool for a business,” Sacco said.

Solicitor Mike Witherel will review what ordinances exist before officials decide how to proceed.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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