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Fairfield to seek HARB input on signs

Richard D. L. Fulton

(12/15) The Fairfield Borough Planning Commission will be seeking comments from the borough Historical and Architectural Review Board (HARB) regarding business signage.

According to the planning commission, non-conforming signs that do not meet the boroughís existing sign requirements have cropped up along Main Street over the past few years.

Borough Zoning Officer Francis Cool, also member of the planning commission, noted at the commissionís November 14 meeting that he counted 14 business signs in the borough that did not meet signage requirements.

During a continued discussion of the issue of finding a means to ensure historic colors are used on commercial signs in the "village core," the commission decided at their December 12 meeting to defer to HARB, since that is the body who would be ruling on signage colors.

Cool stated, "HARB should make a decision on what their background colors are going to be (for signs). They have to approve it before I have to do the permit. I think that is something HARB should work on."

Most of the business structures along Main Street, he said, were white or brick. Current regulations call for signs to have a background that matches color schemes existing on the main structure, which would limit the number of colors acceptable.

County Planner Rob Thaeler suggested HARB could find colors considered compatible with historic districts by researching guidelines presently being used by other communities (such as Williamsburg, Virginia).

Coming up with an acceptable range of colors, borough Councilman Carroll Smith, also a member of the planning commission, said, "I donít think that is a monumental task."

Storm runoff changes in DEPís hands

County Planner Rob Thaeler informed the Fairfield Borough Planning Commission at their December 12 meeting that the countyís proposed stormwater runoff rules have been approved by the county commissioners.

Now, he said, the regulations have been submitted to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for state approval.

The proposed regulations were promulgated to reduce the impact the Monocacy Plan rules were having on small property owners and developers as the result of excessive, Monocacy Plan-driven engineering requirements.

When the DEP approves the pending regulations, the municipalities in the county will have to develop local storm water runoff regulations that comply with the countyís rules.

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