The signs in front of a pawn shop on Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret are out of compliance with zoning restrictions in the town, according to officials. The shop's owner did not appear before a variance hearing to address the signs.
The Pomfret Zoning Board of Appeals recently held a use variance hearing to make decisions regarding the signage in front of James Langendorfer's pawn shop, located at 8066 Route 60 in Cassadaga.
According to the ZBA Chair Sam Allesi, a sign placed on the face of the building is allowed, but Langendorfer's may be slightly oversize. Allesi felt he can live with those signs.
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James Langendorfer’s excessive pawn shop signage was an issue at a recent Zoning Board of Appeals meeting in the Town of Pomfret.
"He's at his limit for the signs on the building," he said, including those illuminated signs in each of the four windows.
It was also noted numerous other signs and banners were in violation. A large sign on a tractor trailer parked alongside the building is not allowed, and signs in front of the building placed in concrete are out of compliance with the town, and in violation of a state Department of Transporta-tion (DOT) right-of-way easement.
"I'm surprised the DOT hasn't come in and just taken those (signs) down, because they usually don't mess around with that," ZBA member Ray Lewandowski said.
Further, Lewandowski noted the number of flags on the peak of the building outnumbered the single flag allowed in the zoning codes. Other questions were raised about banners on the property.
ZBA member David Fridmann said, "It seems to me he's found a way to violate every single statute," regarding signage.
At a previous meeting, the operation of the business itself was in question. Langendorfer appeared with a lawyer to address the question of zoning for the pawn shop in the town, for which no definition was present in the zoning codes.
However, Langendorfer's lawyer suggested the use was similar to a second-hand store, which is a zoned use in the town, and told the board his client would submit paperwork for permitting as a second-hand store.
The signage issue was delayed to October, and the zoning department had expected the new paperwork from Langendorfer, but it had not been received according to Building Inspector Warren Kelly.
Kelly also said the building has changed use from a collision shop to a retail store, and hasn't been inspected as such.
"I don't know if he has the proper exits and other required amendments as zoned in the building codes," he said.
The purpose of the signage hearing was to allow the business owner to make a case for an allowed variance of the building code and to be allowed to keep some or all of the signs which are out of compliance.
Because neither Langendorfer nor his lawyer attended, the meeting was adjourned. The signs out of compliance are now left to the code enforcement officer to issue citations as well as an order to cease operations if the codes aren't met.
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