By a vote of 3 to 2, Conoy Township supervisors decided to appeal a decision by their own zoning officer to grant a permit for an electronic sign for a motorcycle dealership and repair shop.
Solicitor Matthew J. Creme Jr. told supervisors at their meeting on Thursday, April 12, that BMA Cycles had applied for the sign permit stating that it was an electronic sign, but the zoning officer did not know that it would have a changing message on it. Creme said the township would need to appeal the decision of its own zoning officer in order to preserve the ability to force the shop to remove the sign if things cannot be worked out amicably. Creme said changing lighted signs are not allowed where BMA Cycles has its sign.
“The sign is not permitted. He would have to go to the Zoning Hearing Board to get a variance for it,” Creme said.
Supervisors Gina R. Mariani and John L. Shearer both expressed concern about the cost of the sign and said they did not want to hurt a business that had spent about $1,000 for a sign. Supervisors Chairman Stephen L. Mohr said that amount of money would be trivial compared to the cost of damages if the sign distracts a driver who causes a crash. Mohr voted along with Clyde H. Pickel and Kevin S. McKain to direct Creme to appeal the decision; Mariani and Shearer voted no.
In other business, supervisors agreed to send a letter to Lancaster County President Judge Dennis E. Reinaker and others expressing opposition to eliminating the magisterial district court in Elizabethtown, where cases from Conoy Township go. Reinaker made a proposal in December of 2016 to eliminate the Elizabethtown court; Elizabethtown Magisterial District Judge Jayne F. Duncan abruptly resigned at midnight on Sunday, April 8. Mohr noted that Conoy Township was the only municipal government to go on record supporting Duncan when she had a lengthy dispute with District Attorney Craig W. Stedman over her handling of a traffic case.
“I think it was basically payback. … We have to come out strongly opposed to that,” Mohr said about the plan to eliminate the magisterial district judge position that Duncan just resigned from.
Mohr said the earlier decision to eliminate the Manheim court seemed to be part of a trend of consolidating courts in Lancaster. He said if that trend continues, it will cost more for local police because of the time and expense of travel to a distant court.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article posted online reported erroneously that Lancaster County President Judge Dennis E. Reinaker had proposed eliminating the magisterial district court in Elizabethtown in December. He made the proposal in December of 2016.