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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Meetings regarding sign ordinance productive

  • After the decision to reject the sign ordinance submitted by the planning commission, Monday night, township supervisors met to discuss their next move on Wednesday.
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  • — After the decision to reject the sign ordinance submitted by the planning commission, Monday night, township supervisors met to discuss their next move on Wednesday.
    Attempts to contact them for comment were unsuccessful.
    Business owners were also welcome to attend a meeting Wednesday night at the Riverview Restaurant, owned by Rusty Palmer.
    "The meeting was well-attended," says Joelee Motichka from Rent-E-Quip. "We went through the shortened proposal line by line and business owners provided their input on how the items would work for them. I feel the proposal will fit both sides, both business and residential."
    She says that consultant Tom Shepstone, who is representing Palmer, will be including the changes and will resubmit it to the township supervisors.
    "Our meeting was very productive," says Shepstone. "We looked at the practical impact then made a number of minor changes. The focus is on getting rid of the extraneous stuff that has no public purpose. I think the supervisors are doing a great job trying to get more input from the public and business owners. We want to achieve the right balance that will serve its purpose without going overboard, but to also please merchants and the public. This isn't a matter of businesses against the public, but finding the right balance that will work for both."
    He also states that he feels they are on the road to finding the right compromise that everyone can be happy with. He is optimistic.
    "I'm making another draft of the proposal with the changes, and that will be submitted to the supervisors again," Shepstone says.
    Ed Coar, Wayne County Planner, says that the Texas Township supervisors have several options now that the planning commission resigned Monday night.
    "They have the option to appoint other people in the community to a planning commission," says Coar. "They can form a planning committee, which consists of individuals from the governing body. Or they can form a planning department."
    Under Pennsylvania's Municipal Code, otherwise known as Act 247, it is a state law that allows municipalities to make a planning and zoning commission, if they so desire.
    In Article II, planning agencies are discussed. It says that the "governing body of any municipality shall have the power to create or abolish, by ordinance, a planning commission or planning department, or both. An ordinance which creates both a planning commission and a planning department shall specify which of the powers and duties conferred on planning agencies by this act; each shall exercise and may confer upon each additional powers, duties and advisory functions not inconsistent with this act..."
    It goes on to discuss appointment, term and vacancy. Under section 209.1, powers and duties of planning agency, it says "the planning agency shall at the request of the governing body have the power and shall be required to prepare the comprehensive plan for the development of the municipality as set forth in this act, and present it for the consideration of the governing body..."
    Page 2 of 2 - Coar says that having any of these planning agencies isn't mandatory.
    "No municipalities in Wayne County have a planning department," he says. "One, maybe two, have a planning committee, and there are a number of municipalities in Wayne County that have none."
    In Texas Township, when an application was submitted, the supervisors would send a copy of it to the planning commission and another copy to the Wayne County planning department. They would get two sets of comments back and the supervisors would decide to approve or reject it.
    Now that the planning commission resigned, the system will still work the same way, except the supervisors will be receiving one set of comments instead of two.
    The next meeting of the township supervisors will be Monday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

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