Butler Council Denies Nursery School Signs
Governing body claims signs violate local ordinance.
Don't expect to see any signs advertising the Smoke Rise Nursery School in Butler.
The Butler Borough Council unanimously voted Tuesday to deny the Kinnelon-based school's request to place signboards advertising the school at various locations around town. The council claimed the signs violate local ordinances.
"The school is a business and advertising its business," Mayor Robert Alviene said. "It's not like they are advertising an event where signs could be placed temporarily. We're talking weeks or even months.
"If they want to advertise their business they would need to apply to the zoning board for a variance."
Officials of the nursery school were not present at the meeting, but Alviene said the school wanted to advertise its enrollment.
"This is clearly a business matter and we have to treat them like other businesses," Alviene said. "Our sign ordinance is clear. We have to deny this application."
Borough Attorney Robert Oostdyk wondered why the school did not go to the zoning board in the first place.
"That would have been the way to go," he said.
Also Tuesday, the governing body unanimously passed Ordinance 2011-15 amending fees for photocopies.
The ordinance lowers copies of letter-sized pages to 5 cents, legal-sized pages to 7 cents, copies of public meetings on CD to 50 cents per CD and copies of cassette tapes to the cost of duplication or transcription, whichever is available.
"This brings us in line with the state code in compliance with the Open Public Records Act," Alviene said.
In other business, the council unanimously passed on first reading three ordinances that will be further discussed at the Oct. 18 meeting following a public hearing.
Ordinance 2011-16 clarifies that service stations with convenience centers are a limited use and designates those stores' signage within the central business district and the redevelopment zone.
Each station/center will be permitted to have one lighted or unlighted sign displaying the name of the user against the front of the building or on an awning or canopy attached to the front of the building. The sign will not be able to exceed an area equivalent to 5 percent of the front of the building or 50 sq. ft., whichever is smaller.
One unlighted sign may also be attached flat against the side of the building and, where there is a side or rear entrance, one unlighted sign may be attached against the side of the building at the said entrance.
Signs may also be displayed on the inside of the front windows on the ground floor of the building and one freestanding easel may be placed against the building. The easel, however, should not block the sidewalk and a four-foot sidewalk clearance must be maintained.
Ordinance 2011-17 revises the ordinance providing for levels of membership and standards of efficiency in the borough fire department.
Levels include members in good standing, members in good standing/on leave, conditional membership and associate membership.
The fire chief is to review member efficiency every October as a minimum and submit the results to the council by Nov. 1. In addition, all candidates seeking election as an officer shall be reviewed prior to the election with the results being presented to the governing body before the election.
Ordinance 2011-18 appropriates $50,000 from the general capital-capital improvements fund for improvements to municipal buildings and grounds, including the Butler Museum.