Peters Township Council wants to revisit the municipality’s electronic sign ordinance and might eventually allow businesses to install multi-colored signs.
The council heard from Stacey Pape, owner of SP Floors & Design Center on Route 19, about her concerns that the standard electronic sign with red letters is inadequate to promote her business.
“Just because it’s digital, doesn’t means it brighter or flashing or distasteful,” Pape told the council during its Monday night voting meeting. “It’s tasteful, it’s upscale and it advertises our merchandise. It’s not flashing, not animated.”
She took the council through a slideshow of potential signs she would use and told the officials that there are now automatic dimmers that can be calibrated to be softer during evening hours.
Councilman James Berquist said he’s been surprised by the improvement of the electronic sign industry after amending their township ordinance a couple years ago. He said they should review their ordinance to allow business owners and organizations to have more options than the typical “ugly” black and red signs.
When we originally did the sign ordinance … we were trying to control electronic signs and keep them somewhat consistent throughout the township,” Berquist said. “If the technology has gotten better so we can see signs like these, then I think we have to revisit it.”
Councilwoman Monica Merrell agreed, although she wants to make sure they’re still protective about what sizes are allowed and where they can be installed.
“The technology, already in this short time, has come such a long way,” she said. “We need to be very particular where they belong and where they’re allowed. The Washington Road area is our prime commercial area and I think that would be where they’re most welcome.”
But Councilman Robert Lewis wasn’t so sure. He said he’s disappointed to see the numerous signs on Route 19 that advertise flu shots or toilet paper without ever mentioning local events or organizations.
“I caution everybody not to jump too fast to look at a pretty picture and want to revisit it,” Lewis said.
The council voted 6-to-0 to have the planning commission review the ordinance again with Lewis abstaining from the vote. There’s not timeline on when the ordinance might be changed.