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Controversy over Palmer Twp. digital billboard heads to court

By Olivia Albright, Assignment Editor / Web Producer, OAlbright@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 08 2013 10:27:45 PM CDT
Palmer Township Supervisors
PALMER TWP., PA -

The Palmer Township Supervisors decided to file an injunction against the owner of a digital billboard at their meeting Monday night.

Charles Bruno, the township solicitor, helped the supervisors come to this conclusion by explaining the parameters and effects of injunction proceedings. The digital billboard along Route 22 is eligible for an injunction because it currently violates several township codes, according to township officials.

Township officials say these violations include: not having a permanent power source; not having the light source’s brightness tested; and not having an occupancy permit.

The supervisors already sent the property owner a notice of enforcement about these alleged violations on March 15. The owner has since filed an appeal.

The required brightness test takes about one and a half hours and costs $150. It is the responsibility of the owner to request such an inspection, according to township officials.

The injunction proceedings could lead to the sign being turned off until it meets all of the required standards. Once all codes have been met, the sign could go back to being used, said township officials.

Outside of the aforementioned violations, the sign is in perfect legal standing and does not face any threat of being torn down or relocated, according to township officials.

The supervisors’ motion to file an injunction passed by a vote of 5-0. Once they file a complaint and petition with the courts, a hearing will be scheduled, likely one to two weeks after the paperwork is received.

Several concerned citizens came to the supervisors’ meeting to make sure that something was being done about the electronic billboard they say has drastically changed their neighborhood. For weeks, many residents who live near the new billboard have complained about its constant, blaring lights. Many still expressed concern that something like this could happen again.