Officials within the Westmont Borough held a Public Hearing and Meeting where they discussed the Boroughs Zoning Ordinances.
This comes months after Westmont residents got the A.C.L.U involved when they began receiving violations for going against the Borough’s Sign Ordinance.
Channel 6 spoke to a Staff Attorney for the Pennsylvania A.C.L.U who says it’s a good thing Westmont Borough is looking to alter their sign ordinance.
Over the summer of 2022, the Pennsylvania A.C.L.U was contacted by Westmont Borough residents who received violation notices for the signs in their yard whether it was a political sign or just on the property longer than a certain amount of time.
“So we sent a letter to the Borough. We got a response from the Solicitor who told us that those violation notices would be withdrawn, and they would suspend enforcement pending review of the ordinance and that’s the last that we had heard”.
In the letter sent to the Westmont Borough on August 16th of 2022, Ting wrote “If Westmont Borough residents wish to display any non-commercial messages, they have a right to do so at any time and for as long as they wish. This is a matter both of property and free speech rights”.
At the Westmont Borough Public Hearing and Meeting Tuesday evening officials discussed amending the zoning ordinances related to signs on residential property.
Under the current ordinance, Zoning Officer Mark Walker told us in August that they restrict all signs to thirty days no matter what the signs are for.
“Hopefully they’re looking at the supreme court cases on sign ordinances particularly with respect to noncommercial sign on residential property because those types of signs have the broadest protection, So that’s why any sort of time limitation on what people can put up in their yards and a limitation on the number of signs; those types of things are probably invalid”.
“A sign that obstructs the view of traffic, you know, that might be a valid regulation. Supreme court has said just this general idea that we want our town to look nice and it’s an aesthetic thing is generally not a valid justification for regulation signs.”
The Westmont Borough Administrator wrote in an email Wednesday saying the ordinance is being adjusted but the process was postponed until the next meeting of council on March 14th.