Township talks political sign regulations

The Loyalsock Township Supervisors and the Planning Commission discussed creating new ordinances with new regulations for political signs placed throughout the township on Tuesday.

The Planning Commission brought a proposed amendment that would include a definition of political signs and the following regulations for citizens who wish to place political signs within the township:

• No signs may be placed on township or state-owned right-of-ways

• No signs can be placed on township or school district-owned property

• No sign can be placed in any area between the street curb and public sidewalk

• A license is required to put up signs

• The license application must be accompanied by a check deposit of $100 that is refundable if all signs are moved within 10 days after the election

• Signs can go up 45 days prior to the election and must be taken down within 10 days after the election

• Failure to remove the signs within said date shall result in the forfeiture of the deposit

• Signs can’t be larger than 32 square feet within the commercial, commercial neighborhood and industrial zoning districts

• Signs can’t exceed six square feet in all other zoning districts

• Already existing billboard signs are exempt from the zoning requirement

• The township has the right to enter any premises to remove signs that are not in compliance with the regulations without notice

Political signs do not require a zoning permit but must follow the new regulations placed by the Planning Commission once approved by the township.

Currently, the new ordinance would not allow the township to place political signs on their property during election season and there are other legality issues that Solicitor Ryan M. Tira wants to get further advice on.

“I would suggest prior to taking any action, that we get legal guidance on this,” he said.

Supervisor Paul D. Nyman agrees and said that political signs should not be separate from other signs, opening up yet another question.

“I don’t think you can treat political signs any different than any other signs,” he said.

Marc C. Sortman, chairmen supervisor, said that 45 days prior to election is too long, but agrees that the matter should wait until further legal advice has been brought to the supervisors.

“I think 45 days is too long, it should be 30,” he said. “Ryan will review this and come back with legal advice and a legal recommendation as to if we should have political signs separate.”

In other Planning Commission news, a public hearing to discuss the addition of an outdoor entertainment ordinance at the Williamsport Country Club, 800 Country Club Drive, will be held August 13 at 7:15 p.m. The hearing will discuss the addition of a driving range addition and will be approved regarding that the board place reasonable conditions to insure the protection, the health, the safety and the general welfare of township residents.

The drawing that the township supervisors have been given is currently not drawn to scale and the parking lot is creating a concern between supervisors.

“I am really concerned about the parking lot,” Supervisor, Virginia M. Eaton said.

With that, there was a motion to advertise for a public hearing. Supervisors Paul D. Nyman, Eaton, and John C. Bower voted yes and Chairmen Supervisor Marc C. Sortman abstained.

The next Loyalsock Township Supervisors meeting will be held August 6 at the township building on East Third Street at 7:30 p.m.