Troy addresses 'Byway' resolution
TROY - Troy Borough Council recently revisited the Route 6 "Byway" resolution it passed at last month's meeting.
The Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance of Galeton, Pa. is seeking to achieve National Scenic Byway and All-American Road status for US Route 6 and 6N and Business Route 6, where applicable, according to a Feb. 26 letter to Troy Mayor Mike Powers.
The Alliance noted that the first step to becoming a National Scenic Byway is to be designated a Pennsylvania Byway. The Alliance said it was looking for support from the 110 municipalities across the Route 6 Corridor.
According to the Alliance, it's seeking "to preserve, enhance and promote the transportation heritage of one of the nation's first transcontinental highways; to sustain and enhance the small rural communities linked by the highway; and to preserve and enhance the natural, scenic beauty of one of America's favorite 'road trips.'"
At its March meeting, council passed a resolution in support of the Alliance's efforts.
But at this month's council meeting, council president Krystle Bristol said the borough had some concerns, following the passage of the resolution.
Bristol said "some of our understanding and some of the discussion that took place about the signage and what was going to be allowed and what wasn't might not be exactly accurate."
Bristol told council that the resolution had been put on hold, and council had two choices: it could allow the resolution to go through or could rescind it.
She said the borough was concerned about one sentence in the Feb. 26 letter from the Alliance that mentioned a "Corridor Management Plan."
The letter to the borough notes that "it is important to remember that your municipality will be expected to demonstrate a local commitment in the future to preserve the intrinsic qualities of the corridor through design standards, zoning, easements and/or economic incentives."
The letter states that this local commitment "means assurance provided by communities along the scenic byway that they will undertake actions, such as zoning and other protective measures, to preserve the scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archeological, and natural integrity of the scenic byway and the adjacent area as identified in the corridor management plan."
Bristol said the borough talked with the Alliance and PennDOT about its concerns regarding the corridor management plan, as mentioned in the letter.
"We asked for a definition of what the corridor management plan was, and what it entailed, and we were told that that has not even been written yet," she said. "So, part of our concern is that we passed a resolution that agrees to something that's not even been made yet." Harold Caldwell, the borough's solicitor, read a proposed resolution to rescind the previous Byway resolution.
"So, if you pass this, then you haven't agreed to abide by rules that haven't even been written yet," he explained.
"And we're not saying that they (the rules) are going to be good or bad, but we just don't know," Bristol commented.
She explained her signage concerns.
"We don't know if that's going to be put an extra layer of restrictions in place for businesses that want to put off-premise signing," she said.
The Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance had addressed the signage issue in the letter to the mayor.
It noted that one requirement of byway designation, both state and federal, is the enactment of signage regulations along the corridor.
"Current billboards will be able to remain, and on-premise business signage and temporary signage are allowed along the corridor," the letter read. "If Route 6 is legislatively designated a Pennsylvania Byway, then PennDOT- the Engineering District would be in charge of enforcement of billboards and also approving and denying new signage permits."
Also, Bristol said council had a short deadline to pass the resolution last month.
In addition, Bristol said other municipalities on Route 6 have had concerns as well.
She felt that council didn't have enough information at this time, and there were a lot of unanswered questions. She said there were a lot of gray areas that council wasn't considering, and council was taking the resolution "at face value."
"We need to know exactly what we're signing up for," borough manager Dan Close said.
Council then voted to rescind the resolution that was passed last month.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.