Decision Issued by Board of Appeals
On December 15, 2012, we received a copy of Cardington Township's decision regarding the billboards. The Board of Appeals ruled that because "the concerns of the members of the community relative to the safety of the billboards as it relates to US 42 was not well founded," and that "denying a variance would clearly work a significant hardship on [Lind Media]," the variance to allow the billboards to stay would be granted.
You can read the decision here.
They did add a condition to securing the permit, however, namely that Lind Media install crash barrels around the columns "to provide additional protection to the motoring public should someone's vehicle ... come in contact with the stanchion of the billboard."
Needless to say, we are saddened by the decision to allow the billboards to stay. Based on our exhaustive research of the facts, the law, and expert opinion by a nationally-recognized safety authority, we always have contended, and still contend, that the billboards do indeed provide a safety concern, and that the hardship to which the Board of Appeals refers was self-imposed by Lind Media, and therefore not justification for a variance.
We thank both Cardington Township officials for allowing us to participate in this process, and even more, those Morrow County residents, voters, and taxpayers who supported us through this effort.
This decision can be appealed for 30 days from December 12, 2012. We will be evaluating our options over the course of the next several weeks in this regard. As always, if anyone has any questions or has any thoughts, please don't hesitate to contact Vicki at (419) 946-1505.
In the interim, we ask two favors of you. First, more than ever, be extremely careful as you drive through the US 42 curve. Second, pray that no motorist, whether through fault of their own or due to inclement weather, loses control of their vehicle and winds up injured or dead as a result of the presence of the billboard structure.
If you are interested, you can find a copy of our "Position Paper" here, all of the backup documentation here, the expert opinion of a national authority on billboard safety here, our Letter to the Editor from the 10/2/12 Sentinel reacting to Lind's attorney's assertions here, and our Letter to the Editor from the 12/19/21 Sentinel reacting to the decision here.
Just as a refresher, here are some pictures of the curve and of the billboards on the curve.
Who are we?
"Concerned Citizens for Your Safety" (CCFYS) is a Mt. Gilead /Cardington-based group of residents who are concerned about the safety of all persons traveling through our communities.
We have researched that the outdoor advertising signs located on the triangular parcel encompassed by US 42, CR 128, and TR 143 in Cardington Township are illegal and must be removed.
Two CCFYS members filed a complaint with Cardington Township on August 2, 2012 to do just that. Following consultation with Legal Counsel, on August 17, the complaint was returned.
On August 21, the Township revoked the permit.
On August 30, the billboard company applied for a variance.
On September 26, the Appeals Board hearing was held
On December 12, the Appeals Board issued their ruling, and decided that the billboards could stay, contingent on the installation of "crash barrels" for the columns. This can be appealed until January 11, 2013.
Why Must the Billboards be Removed?
1. The permit approved by Cardington Township was mistakenly issued. To be in compliance with the Township's zoning code, no outdoor advertising sign greater than three square feet can be located on that parcel without the approval of a variance. The permit was issued without a variance.
2. A variance should not be granted, as placing the billboards on this parcel violates Cardington Township's zoning objectives of "improving public safety" and "protecting the character and values" of the community.
The permit issued by Cardington Township is illegal and should be repealed, a variance denied, and the billboards removed.
In the map below, per Cardington Township zoning code, the billboards MUST be TOTALLY ENCLOSED in the yellow triangle and CAN NOT be located within any of the red circles.
Each day that the billboards (and the columns) remain standing is another day during which a serious or fatal accident could occur. Dealing with these illegal billboards needs to be expedited.
You Can Help!
If you believe that the billboards present a significant safety issue, you can help!
1. Call and write Cardington Township Trustees.
2. Write letters to the Morrow County Sentinel.
3. Come to the public appeal meetings and express your opinion to the Trustees.
4. Tell your friends at gatherings, meetings, chance encounters at the grocery store.
5. Post a one-page flyer (See "You Can Help" tab) on bulletin boards
6. Stay informed.
... and ...
This is costing money (the filing fee alone was $100). Folks have been very
generous, and we thank them so much. Even with their kindness as of 8/15/12,
we are still $352 short.
We have opened a separate bank account for CCFYS at First Knox Bank.
You can also donate through Paypal by clicking on the Paypal button
on the "You Can Help!" page.
For More Information ...
Call Vicki Kerman, a Mt. Gilead Township resident, at (419) 946-1505, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.