OPINION: We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!

So, it seems there’s an independent, renegade authorizing agent in Columbia.

stinkin rules

An agent with more power than the borough council!

More power than the Historic Architectural Review Board (H.A.R.B.)! [NOTE: Here’s more about the State’s Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s intent for Communities with a H.A.R.B.] “In Lancaster County only Lancaster City, Strasburg and Columbia Boroughs use this type of preservation regulations and, of those, only one is very stringent – and that was a local decision.” – SOURCE: Lancaster County’s Planning Commission Historic Preservation Guidelines. Only three communities in Lancaster County have H.A.R.B.s? Lancaster, Strasburg … and Columbia.

An agent making decisions predicated on his feelings at the moment.

Or on who he knows.

Or on “‘Who knows?”

If you’ve been following the comments at the Columbia Spy‘s “St. Paul Church defies council decision on LED sign” article, you see folks weighing in on two sides of an issue.

The issue? Whether an entity in the downtown area, an area designated as being within the Historic District defined by the borough, has borough permission to install an outside LED sign.

No matter the opinions in the comments, the central question remains: Is the signage authorized in the borough’s code?

This large LED sign was recently mounted on the front of St. Paul Episcopal Church on the 300 block of Locust Street.- Used with permission, Columbia Spy
So, when does someone have the authority to override borough council and borough codes? Well, according to the Pennsylvania State Law, the mayor can. In this case that did not happen, no variance was granted. In fact, there’s no reason that any single person would grant an exception in this case unless the person has no regard for the rule of law.
Unless that person is an independent, renegade: “a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles.” 

In July, 2015, Columbia news, views & reviews posted this:

RE-POST OF AN EARLIER ARTICLE: Code enforcement … na-a-a-h!

PERHAPS because there’s no enforcement – there are now even more flashing signs!

Seemingly, the flashing or animated signs are everywhere and Columbia’s taking on a (south of the) border-town appearance.

OpenSignNeonLight

Back in 2011, Columbia news, views & reviews posted this:

“Someone asked us about businesses with “flashing signs” in their windows.”

Guess what? According to the Borough code, those signs are not allowed.

§ 220-53 Prohibited signs. The following signs are prohibited in all zoning districts: Flashing, blinking, twinkling, animated or moving signs of any type, except time and temperature signs may flash. In addition, flashing lights visible from a street shall not be used to attract attention to a business. This restriction specifically includes window signs …”  

Funny thing is that (in 2011) we counted nearly a dozen of them around town (that includes more than a half dozen on one block of a main street.

Today, there are more signs.

If it’s a code or a law, enforce it. If you do not want to enforce it, get it off the books. 

8 comments

  1. Or control the “independent, renegade” actions by one.

    Or write fewer ordinances that are not enforced.

    Or enforce the ordinances and codes equitably.

  2. Your fired:

    Whoever at the CHURCH authorized the sign even if it was authorized.

    Anyone with the borough who authorized this, if anyone did.

    The refs in the Saints game

    The administration of the Covington Catholic School who responded to mob rule without gathering facts.

  3. Your fired:

    Whoever at the CHURCH authorized the sign even if it was authorized.

    Anyone with the borough who authorized this, if anyone did.

    The refs in the Saints game

    The administration of the Covington Catholic School who responded to mob rule without gathering facts.

    Whoever wrote this headline, “How You May Inadvertently be Committing Tax Fraud”

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