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New sign sends Baldwin Borough scrambling to get billboard policy in place

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Stephanie Hacke | South Hills Record
A billboard for Dean Honda in the Sugar and Spice parking lot on Route 51 in Baldwin Borough.
A billboard for Dean Honda does not violate Baldwin Borough's signage policy because it is on a separate parcel from the Loose Moose Saloon and its business sign.
A billboard for Dean Honda was recently erected along Brownsville Road in Baldwin Borough.
A billboard for Dean Honda was recently erected along Brownsville Road in Baldwin Borough.
A billboard for Dean Honda does not violate Baldwin Borough's signage policy because it is on a separate parcel from the Loose Moose Saloon and its business sign.

The erection of a large sign adjacent to the Loose Moose Saloon on Brownsville Road, advertising the opening of a car dealership, alerted Baldwin Borough officials to their lack of restrictions for signage and billboards.

“We've got to change that,” borough manager John Barrett said. “The bottom line is, we have to do something and get some rules in place.”

Baldwin Borough officials now are looking at amending the borough's sign ordinance to introduce regulations for billboards, something the borough code previously lacked. The borough code has requirements only for the square-footage of signage allowed on each parcel, Barrett said.

“We don't account for them in any fashion,” Barrett said. “The word (billboard) is used interchangeably with ‘sign' in the borough code.”

The borough manager said he looked at the borough code when an application was made to put up a sign near the Loose Moose property. Barrett said he initially thought the sign might not meet borough code because of an existing sign on the property.

“That sign conforms because it's actually on a separate parcel,” he said.

Another billboard-style sign — advertising the same car dealership — was erected in the rear of the Sugar & Spice Ice Cream shop parking lot.

Baldwin officials do have regulations in place for LED signs, Barrett said.

“If that was LED, we would have a say,” he said.

A consultant who is working to complete a comprehensive plan for Baldwin Borough is looking at sample billboard ordinances that could apply in Baldwin, Barrett said.

Barrett said he hopes to have an ordinance for council to review in October.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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