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Newtown Area Zoning Jointure considering regulations for billboards, EV charging stations


The townships of Wrightstown, Newtown and Upper Makefield are considering placing local zoning regulations on billboards and electric vehicle charging stations.

The three neighboring municipalities handle zoning rules collectively through the Newtown Area Joint Zoning Council.

The jointure has put forward two ordinances – one on billboards, one on electric vehicle charging stations – for the boards of supervisors and planning commissions of the three township to review and provide recommendations upon.

The proposed ordinances came up at the Jan. 22 Wrightstown Board of Supervisors meeting.

Wrightstown Supervisor Chairman Chester Pogonowski said the ordinances are not the finished article at this point. He noted the boards of supervisors for each of the three townships must approve the ordinances before they can take effect, and that voting may not occur until the fourth quarter of this year.

“Each township is on its own schedule for review and proposing changes, fitting the reviews in between other project reviews,” said Pogonowski.

Still, what officials are considering could prove of interest to residents. Currently, local zoning rules don’t address billboards. An under-consideration ordinance would change that.

“It would establish regulations for the placement of billboards within the jointure municipalities and would establish specific areas where billboards would be permitted,” Pogonowski said. As it stands, there is only one billboard in the jointure area – on Route 413 in Wrightstown, the chairman noted.

The electric vehicle charging station ordinance provides zoning regulations for placement of commercial and residential charging stations.

Based on what’s been considered to date, the commercial installations would be more highly regulated relative to property location, design and use.

“The ordinance also makes a distinction between the placement of a limited number of units in front of a store or office, and a service station approach where the entire lot is dedicated to vehicle charging,” Pogonowski shared.

As currently envisioned, the rules would allow businesses to charge a fee for the use of the units. However, “charging stations for residential properties would be specifically permitted for ‘personal’ use,” Pogonowski explained. “Residents’ units would be for private property use only and would not be able to be used to provide a service to others either for free or with payment.”

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