SPRINGFIELD, Pa. – In the Philadelphia Suburbs, the debate rages on whether to allow Billboards to be displayed on Baltimore Pike. It all started when Bartowski Investment Group put in applications to place billboards in local townships, including Springfield. The group wanted to install over seven billboards in Springfield Township and due to strict zoning laws, their application was rejected. You would think the story ends there, but it does not.
The investment group is challenging the ruling and wants legal action since billboards are not specified in township code. This has many residents, commissioners and anyone who loves Springfield very worried. The only one who seems to want the billboards is the investment group and the property owners for the billboard locations. The investment group asked for seven billboards, but they are asking for double sided billboards. It would bring the number of large billboard ads up to fourteen. Their plan is to place the billboards on the roofs of stores like T-mobile, the furniture store and the old car dealer. At first I felt mad at the local businesses, but then I learned it is not their fault. They simply lease the buildings and it is the building owners who have agreed to this.
The township has enforced its code strictly with merchants and stores for many years. They have made them display smaller signage and kept strict rules about zoning. The residents of Springfield Township have come to expect that the township uphold zoning rules. We are used the residents demands coming first, and it’s heartbreaking to think that our little town could have billboards displayed up and down Baltimore Pike. Baltimore Pike is our home, the main road that goes through our town. It is not a highway or an interstate, it’s a local road and billboards would stand out too much. It would ruin the appearance of our beautiful little township. I know many residents agree and have started to make their voices known. People have been writing to our commissioners, putting opinion pieces in our local newspaper and attending the zoning hearings at the township building. People are not going to take this lightly; they are and will fight back. The Ardmore Coalition is one of those groups and you can access their website here.
As a longtime Springfield Township resident, I am following this issue closely. I don’t want to drive to the grocery store and have billboard advertisements along the way. I truly hope the township and its leaders can find a way to keep the billboards out of our town! You can view the latest Springfield news here on the current events page.
-Springfield Township Homepage Current Events – http://www.springfielddelco.org/Current%20Events/news.htm
-Springfield Township Homepage – http://www.springfielddelco.org
-Save Ardmore Coalition – http://www.saveardmorecoalition.org/taxonomy/term/305/bartkowski-investment-group
-Delaware County Times, July 24th Edition – Owner Wants Out of Property Deal – http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2009/07/24/news/doc4a692a0a9271e279673099.txt