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New business signs in Verona must comply – PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEWJun 01
By Sarah Kovash
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 10:02 p.m.
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012
New business owners in Verona will have to abide by updated sign guidelines.
As part of the borough’s business district revitalization project, council is revising its sign ordinance to ensure that all signs share a cohesive look.
Existing signs will not have to change but new business owners will have to get a permit and abide by new sign standards that are meant to complement the historic and architectural look of the buildings as well as fit in with the general aesthetic of the business district.
Some of the new guidelines prohibit flashing signs, roof signs and pole signs.
The borough started the revitalization project about three years ago to promote local business and update the look of the business district, according to advisory committee member Bridget Seery.
“I will just be so glad when this (the sign ordinance) is passed,” Seery said.
Borough officials still need to approve the final draft of the ordinance and said the new sign guidelines will probably go into effect in about 60 days.
Other proposed improvements to the business district include a new Allegheny River Boulevard crosswalk, safety improvements to other crosswalks and public art displays.
The total project is expected to cost around $ 500,000. So far, the borough has secured about $ 160,000 in federal Community Development Block Grants.
Civil lawsuits pursued
The borough plans to file lawsuits against rental property owners who have not paid annual fees.
Each year rental property owners are required to pay the borough $ 30 per unit, but borough officials say about 30 property owners still haven’t forked over any money.
Over the past few years the fees weren’t strictly enforced, but this year the borough aimed to improve its diligence in collecting fees, councilwoman Rhoda Gemellas-Worf said
So far this year, the borough has brought in about $ 13,500 in rental property fees, but officials say the borough is short about $ 3,000 from the negligent property owners.
“It was a big endeavor to take on,” Gemellas-Worf said.
Now the borough plans to file suits against the people who still owe money.
Gemellas-Worf said that at least three notices were sent to property owners who still owe the borough money without response.
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