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Unity zoning board OKs variance for car dealership sign

| Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

The Unity Township Zoning Hearing Board has approved a sign touting the expansion of a car dealership.

Pittsburgh Sign and Lighting LLC applied for a variance on behalf of Smail Auto Group for a single-pole lighted sign that will be outside a building at 5019 Route 30 West, site of the former Italian Oven.

The square sign will be 22 feet high and read “Smail Pre-Owned Center II” on each side, measuring 134 square feet total, 44 square feet more than allowed in the B-2 zoning classification.

Zoning officer Joann Dunn reported to the board that the township had no opposition to the sign, which will sit outside the state right of way to the highway.

Mark Wood of Pittsburgh Sign and Lighting said a sign within the zoning parameters would not be visible enough to passing drivers on Route 30.

“There's a lot of white area on there,” he said. “It's impossible the way their logo is to fill that area and still be visible, especially with the setback on the road.”

Leonard Peffer, facilities maintenance manager with Smail Auto Group, wrote on the application that the hardship for the variance was “speed of traffic,” which is not an acceptable hardship, according to the board.

Wood said, however, that it would be difficult to see the sign from the west at only 30 square feet per side.

Board approval of the variance was unanimous.

Before the sign is installed, the company must submit an application permit that requires zoning board approval, Dunn said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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