This large LED sign was recently mounted on the front of St. Paul Episcopal Church on the 300 block of Locust Street.
Churchgoers at St. Paul Episcopal will soon be able to see the light - but maybe not the way they thought they would. A large LED-lighted sign, which the church has owned for about two years, was recently installed - or more specifically, re-installed - at the church on the 300 block of Locust Street.
The sign was originally installed on a metal stand in October 2017, even though Columbia Borough Council had voted in July 2016 not to allow the installation. (Council members Kelly Murphy and Cleon Berntheizel recused themselves from the vote, because they are members of the church.) Shortly after Columbia Spy posted THIS ARTICLE , the sign was removed - and later the supporting frame as well. An existing wooden frame remains in place for posting announcements.
Sometime this past week, the LED sign resurfaced, this time mounted to the historic stone and mortar of the church's front face, using metal support strips secured by a series of large bolts.
According to a July 25, 2016 LNP news article, Columbia Borough Council denied the church permission to install an LED sign:
"Council denied a proposed LED-lighted sign at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 340 Locust St. Glenn Shaeffer, Historic Architectural Review Board chairman, asked that council create an amendment not allowing this type of sign in the future.
“There are no other signs like this in the historic district and allowing it would open the door for others and have an impact on the historic nature of the district,” Shaeffer said. “The historic district should not look like the Las Vegas strip.”
Council members Kelly Murphy and Cle Berntheizel removed themselves from the vote because they are members of the church."
July 11, 2016 council meeting minutes regarding the 5-0 vote to deny St. Paul Church's sign request.
HARB Chairman Glenn Schaeffer's comments to council during the meeting.
Council President Kelly Murphy's recusal
Councilman Cleon Berntheizel's recusal