At its Monday, June 25 meeting today’s version of Town Council, with Kristina Samonte and Bryan Maher on board, will try its hand at revising the township’s current sign ordinance — much to the chagrin of the administration.
In the past few months there has been increased scrutiny of the variation of signs posted and permitted in the township. After Councilman George Borek took a proactive stance (WW-P News, April 13) Council asked to have an opportunity to revise the current ordinance.
Besides his concern over any impact to the municipal budget, Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh, having freshly created the township’s economic advisory group, cautioned Council about a potential pitfall behind a stricter sign ordinance — being a detriment to businesses.
“You need to let businesses make their own decisions. Linda Geevers’ philosophy is that we need to control more. Linda wants us to have more control over the businesses. That is totally against economic development and that is the reason the planning board refused to accept this project,” Hsueh said.
In an interview the mayor mentioned financial oversight that is needed. “Four or five years ago the planning board didn’t want to make the sign ordinance to become so restrictive, and the Council voted 5-0 to take over its control, and Council did all the things they wanted to do against my opposition and Planning Board Chairman Marvin Gardner’s opposition. It appeared to them that they went too far and that there was too much governmental input. There were a lot of complaints from the business community,” Hsueh said.
According to Mayor Hsueh, West Windsor had to previously invest resources and manpower to make sure signage procedures were properly followed.
“When Marvin Gardner decided that he would not get involved, he said the township would have to appropriate a minimum of $40,000 to do it. Now Council says they want to change it, and Marvin says ‘I don’t want to touch that — let Council take care of it,” the mayor said.