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Sign protester says,  'A rip in the scenery'

PENN YAN—“We’re all citizens of Milo and we’re all looking for the best for Milo.” Town supervisor John Socha addressed this comment to the number of people who attended the town board meeting Monday, March 16. The issue that brought out the protests was an advertising sign on Route 54 south of the village of Penn Yan.
Before comments were taken, Socha said, “We’re not attacking the people, we’re attacking the issue.” The issue is the 10 foot by 10 foot advertising sign that was put up about two weeks ago. Many who spoke were concerned that the sign was in a residential area. One resident, Mary Worth, called the sign, “A rip in the scenery.” Barrington resident Bob Shaw said, “I drive up and down the road. One thing I like about the trip is the lake on one side and nice houses on the other side that is now polluted with a commercial sign.” Bob Corcoran added, ”This is not a sign; it’s a billboard. I think it’s totally inappropriate.” There were other comments about the proliferation of signs in the town.
Town zoning board member Bill Laffin said he feels the sign violates the intent of the 1997 town comprehensive plan. He said, “The current plan includes preserving and improving the rural character of the town. The sign does none of the above. If the sign is used for generating revenue it is a commercial enterprise and should have a special use permit.” Socha asked what the ordinance is and town code enforcement office Dan King responded, “All requirements were met. The town attorney says it does not constitute a business,” adding, “The comprehensive plan is a guideline. I work with the code and I believe it is within the code.”
Laffin asked sign owner Bucky Lane if he could try to find a piece of property where the sign doesn’t “stick out like it does.” Lane said, “I spoke to the neighbors before the sign went up and there were no objections. We’ll try to work with you. I didn’t realize I was upsetting so many people.” Dale Lane also attended the meeting and told the group, “We knew there was a problem, that’s why we’re here tonight. It did open a Pandora’s box. We have looked at a spot by Nielsen’s Granite. We’d be more than happy to move it. Will this be satisfactory?” Nielsen Granite is in a commercial area less than a mile from the sign’s current location.
During the meeting, there were suggestions from the audience that a moratorium be put in place until the issue of signs could be studied further or that the town code on signs be changed. The subject of comprehensive plans came up during the 30 minute comment period and it was made clear that these plans are not law, but can lead to changes in the laws or codes of a municipality. The Town of Milo Comprehensive Plan Committee is wrapping up more than a year of intensive work on updating the town’s comprehensive plan. One of the requirements is a public hearing to receive comments on the document. A public hearing on the revised Milo comprehensive plan is expected to be scheduled later in the spring. 

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