City business owner Benjamin Stopper's application for conditional use for signs to advertise his barbecue restaurant was tabled Monday by the Williamsport Planning Commission because the drawings were too simplistic and lacked necessary information.
Stopper, who left the meeting without a word, applied for conditional use for proposed signs to be displayed on buildings not near the restaurant. The applications are for 300 Grove St. and 25 Maynard St.
The signs would advertise his restaurant Bootleg BBQ at Basin and Church streets, according to Gary Knarr, city zoning officer.
Jeremy and Heather Plocinski, owners of the Grove Street property, were not in attendance.
"He needs to have a more professional looking indication of what he's looking for," said Carolyn Bullock, vice president of the commission following the meeting. "This is not the first time a request was tabled because it didn't meet the standard of what the commission should be provided when a request goes before it," she said.
"We did not get a photo copy of the seven elements for conditional use," Bullock said. "I think the codes office needs to play a more informative role in letting people know what is expected," she said.
Chris Keiser, a member of the commission and an engineer, was taken aback by the simple drawing and had concerns about setting the wrong precedent if the commission were to vote to recommend it.
"I think we're opening a Pandora's box," Keiser said.
Keiser said he didn't want the commission to approve a measure that essentially would permit anyone to rent a building facade to advertise.
After the discussion, the commission tabled or delayed the application.
In other business, Joe Gerardi, city codes administrator, said he wants to eliminate the process of bringing applications for certificates of appropriateness for signs in the central business district before the commission.
"Why have businesses in the district that want to put up signs apply for a certificate of appropriateness if they meet the city zoning ordinance and requirements set forth by it?" Gerardi asked. "Our department has enough to do and doesn't need this extra step that takes time and is not needed if there is zoning law."
"Half the time the signs are already up," said Charles Plankenhorn, a commission member.
Commission President Marvin Staiman recommended Gerardi's request be put into a motion and the commission gave it a positive recommendation.