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Sign cautions drivers 'entering dictatorial Windsor Township'

David Weissman

Barred from placing a billboard on his property, one Windsor Township property owner decided to warn others of the township's "dictatorial" ways.

A truck with a sign cautioning drivers entering "dictatorial" Windsor Township appeared at the intersection of East Prospect Road and Cape Horn Road during the weekend. (Photo by Marci Wiltison)

A truck displaying a sign that reads "Caution Entering Dictatorial Windsor Township" first appeared Saturday parked in a lot at the corner of East Prospect and Cape Horn roads.

A dictatorship is a form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a single person, known as a dictator.

The truck is owned by J&K Salvage, which offers customers the ability to rent out its trucks as a form of mobile advertising.

This particular truck was rented by Sam Seitz, who lives in western Pennsylvania but owns a handful of properties in York County, including the lot where the truck was parked.

Pictures of the truck were widely shared across Facebook over the weekend as residents guessed what prompted the message and some posted comments defending the township.

Township manager Jennifer Gunnet said she's received several calls from residents about the sign, but she didn't know what prompted it.

Seitz said Monday that the sign stems from his request for a permit to place a billboard on that same property where the truck is parked. The township's zoning hearing board denied his request last fall.

"I think they overstepped their boundaries in denying me a permit to do work on my property, which has been in my family's name since 1945," he said. "I'm 75, and I'll do whatever the hell I want with my property."

Seitz used to live in the township and said "it's always been backward."

The property used to include a building that Seitz rented out, but the building was torn down when the state remodeled that intersection.

The state paid him for his troubles, but the property is too small to include another building, Seitz said, and adding a billboard is his only chance to produce income from the lot.

Gunnet, upon learning that Seitz was the creator of the sign, confirmed that he was denied a permit to build a billboard on the property, but she did not immediately know what the zoning hearing board's reasons were.

The five-person board is an appointed, quasi-judicial entity that would have approved Seitz's request if it had legal merit, Gunnet said.

Zoning hearing board members could not immediately be reached for comment.

Seitz, who was going to allow Lamar Advertising to manage the billboard, said the board cited another billboard being within 1,000 feet of his property as a reason for the denial.

The Windsor Township ordinance does state that no billboard shall be located within 1,000 feet of another billboard, but Seitz said the other billboard is in a different township and shouldn't apply.

Seitz said he's considering legal action while also planning to post additional signs opposing incumbent officials during election season.

Gunnet said the township can't and won't take any action to remove the sign because it's freedom of speech.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.