Waverly board delays vote on sign changes
Waverly Village Trustees Tuesday postponed voting on a proposed law that would allow churches in its residential zone to install LED signs, pending review by the Tioga County planning board.
County planning director Elaine Jardine notified village officials Monday that the county board needs to review the law as required by New York State's general municipal regulations, said mayor Dan Leary. The proposal will be submitted to the planning board for review at its Sept. 18 meeting.
The state's municipal code requires all zoning changes that will affect an area within 500 feet of a municipality's border to be reviewed by the county.
Village attorney Betty Keene said she thought the regulation did not apply to the village's proposed law because none of the churches in the village's residential area are within the 500-foot zone. However, because the change impacts the entire zone - which does fall within 500 feet of the border - the county must review the proposal, Jardine said.
If the county board does not recommend the change, a supermajority of trustees - five out of seven board members - will be required to override the decision, Keene said.
If passed, the law would amend the village's sign regulations in its zoning code to allow exceptions to residential sign guidelines for churches and religious institutions.
Under the proposed law, churches in residential zones would be allowed to install a ground sign up to ten feet high and with a maximum area of one square foot for every three lineal feet of building frontage, up to 40 square feet.
The law would only allow for the operation of LED signs between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. or for emergency notification purposes outside those hours.
Churches wanting to install a sign under the new regulations would need to receive a special permit from the village planning board, involving a site plan and public hearing, according to the draft law.
The proposed law was developed upon request from the Waverly United Methodist Church on Chemung Street, which plans to replace its deteriorating traditional sign with a 28-square-foot digital sign. The church's pastor, Rev. Anne Canfield, said a digital sign would help the church inform the public of its services and would not be susceptible to theft or vandalism.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.