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Fairfield to tackle signage

Richard D. L. Fulton

(11/18)  The Fairfield Borough Planning Commission directed county planning services to review borough sign requirements, particularly those applicable to the historic district, and residence and business street addresses.

Over the past number of years, non-conforming signs that do not meet the borough’s existing sign requirements have cropped up along Main Street.

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

Of those, he said, eight predated the rules, while the remaining six got through the system without conforming with the strict letter of the law, apparently the product of lax enforcement or the regulations not being properly applied, especially regarding signage in the historic district.

To ensure that future signage in the historic district (or village core) meet historically acceptable standards, the planning commission directed county Planner Rob Thaeler at their meeting to review the array of existing signs and develop some new guidelines.

Regarding the half dozen that slipped through the cracks, borough Councilman Carroll Smith, also a member of the planning commission, suggested those owners be notified that the requirements will be enforced if the non-conforming signs are ever altered or if the businesses change ownership.

Additionally, planning commission Chairman Dave Metz suggested that standards relating to house and business address numbering also be evaluated.

Business will need use change

A flower and craft business located at 202 East Main Street, Fairfield Borough, may soon be moving to a new facility.

According to Borough Zoning Officer and planning commission member Francis Cool, Back the Alley, a business operated by Joe Bolin, may be moving to 119 West Main Street, a building which has previously served as a residence.

Bolin was expected to close on the property by the end of November.

Cool stated at the November 14 meeting of the Fairfield Borough Planning Commission that Bolin will need to apply for a change-of-use permit once the former residence is acquired for business use.

Fairfield county runoff changes adopted

County Planner Rob Thaeler informed the Fairfield Borough Planning Commission at their November 14 meeting that the majority of comments made by the commission regarding proposed rules to govern county storm water management were adopted by the county.

Thaeler stated at the October 10 borough Planning Commission meeting that the county is seeking 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.

The main difference between the existing Monocacy Plan rules, and that which the county has proposed, primarily changes the permitting process to ease engineering expenses, especially on small property owners looking to build a simple structure, such as a garage.

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