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Greensburg beer distributor will obey rules, take down signs

| Thursday, May 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Greensburg beer distributor said he will remove two portable advertising signs, after a city board on Wednesday upheld a zoning officer's decision that found the displays to be in violation of the city's zoning ordinance.

“I didn't go through the right process, obviously ... and I'll take them down tonight,” said Frank Mesich of Pittsburgh Street Beverage at 660 E. Pittsburgh St.

Mesich said he put up the two signs out of concern prospective customers might not see his business, which is in an alley and approximately 100 feet off East Pittsburgh Street.

Solicitor Lou DeRose told the zoning board portable signs aren't allowed in the involved area.

“I really must tell the board, you have no choice in the matter ... but to uphold the decision of the zoning officer (city planner Barbara Ciampini),” he added.

But before Mesich's comments and the board's decision, his attorney, John O'Connell, accused city planning officials of “selective enforcement” and being hostile to businesses.

“There are temporary signs all over the city of Greensburg ... that would be in violation of the ordinance,” he said.

“It's what you would call selective enforcement ... and it's (his client's signs) not doing harm to anyone,” he added.

He cited signs for the Greensburg Rotary on East Pittsburgh Street and Sandra Lynn's School of Dance on North Maple Avenue as two examples of violations because the displays flash.

“What's happening is some of the actions of city employees have discouraged people from doing business here,” O'Connell added.

He argued that because of the alleged selective enforcement, the zoning board could overrule Ciampini. DeRose maintained the board couldn't do that.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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