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Fairfield continues signage work

Richard D. L. Fulton

(8/24) At their August 13 meeting, the Fairfield Borough Planning Commission continued to develop sign regulations for the Village Core District.

The Village Core District consists of most of Main Street. The Historic District, which tends to have stricter aesthetic regulations, lies within the Village Core but does not encompass all of it.

The primary sign regulation issues facing the commission include allowable sizes, allowable types, compatible colors (at least in the Historic District), quantity, and, in the case of window signs, percent of window coverage.

Much of the discussions held during the August 13 meeting dealt with internally located window signs and internally located lit window signs.

While the commission seemed reluctant to regulate internally located window signs, county planner Robert Thaeler from the Office of Planning & Development suggested that the borough consider regulating the amount of window space such signs would cover.

Thaeler noted that Littlestown Borough has a similar regulation which was promulgated when some signs there covered up most of a businessís windows.

It was also suggested that "Open" and "Closed" signs might be exempted from restrictions in any new rules.

Borough sign regulations were promulgated by zoning districts. Since the Historic District is not a true zoning district, creating regulations for the Village Core would likely result in two different bodies having to review the proposed signage, depending on where along Main Street the signage is intended to go.

Signage within the Historic District are overseen by the borough Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB), while a (likely) a zoning officer would have to regulate signage that falls within the Village Core outside of the jurisdiction of HARB.

Additionally, signage proposed within the Historic District would have to be reviewed by the zoning officer before HARB would even consider it.

The commission will continue to work on proposed new regulations until they are in a position to make a recommendation to council.

Any changes recommended by the commission to council would not apply to signage that predates even the existing sign regulations, but would be applicable to new signage, as well as signs that have cropped up "illegally" over time.

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