Perkasie requests waiver for borough sign – theporteronline


PERKASIE — Being able to set the rules does not put the municipality above those rules, borough officials said at the Sept. 6 meeting of the Perkasie borough council.

“We oblige ourselves to follow the same rules as everyone else,” said borough director Andrea Coaxum.

This includes rules for a digital electronic board planned in the amphitheater the borough opened this year in Lenape Park.

“We force ourselves to apply for permits all the time,” Coaxum said, “and this time our zoning officer refused the permit.”

The Perkasie Borough Zoning Hearing Committee is now being asked to approve the variances to authorize the sign, she said. The hearing will take place on Monday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Four waivers are requested, said Doug Rossino, Perkasie’s engineer.

“One is for panel size,” he said.

Others are to allow electronic sign and allow scrolling, he said.

“The big issue was the timing,” Rossino said. “The borough decree imposes one minute between each change of sign.”

The borough calls for allowing the message to change every 15 seconds, “which seems more realistic if you want someone to read more than one article as you go along,” Rossino said.

The sign would be used for announcements about amphitheater events and other borough information, council chairman Jim Ryder said.

Two street trees will need to be moved as part of the plan, Rossino said.

In other questions at the meeting:

• Council approved a revised definition of disturbing the peace.

The change, which follows state court rulings that render part of the borough’s previous ordinance unenforceable, amends the borough’s ordinance to remove obscene language and dawdling from the definition, a said Jeffrey Garton, the borough attorney.

“It’s not disturbing the peace anymore if you call someone swear words, and just because you’re around the corner doesn’t mean you’re disturbing the peace,” Garton said.

“It’s mostly about keeping our codes up to date,” Ryder said of the change.

• Proposed revisions to parking requirements for future development were discussed.

“The goal was to bring parking requirements more in line with current standards,” said Dave Weaver, chair of the planning and zoning committee.

The proposed changes also make it easier to calculate the number of parking spaces needed, he said.

Instead of existing regional standards, the new ones take into account that boroughs such as Perkasie have on-street parking and people can walk to places in the city, borough officials said.

A hearing on the proposed new parking requirements is scheduled for October.

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