Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Tredyffrin Township’s neighbor Phoenixville didn’t want Digital Billboards – The town stood up to Catalyst Outdoor Advertising and won! Why can’t we do the same?

Aside from the fact that Catalyst Outdoor Advertising has been in discussion with the township supervisors for 18-24 months regarding the proposed digital billboard at the Clockworks location without the community’s knowledge – there’s the threat of litigation that the township solicitor and supervisors are touting as a reason that the community needs to go along. The implication is that the township could not win against Catalyst because seemingly no one can.

Should our community be held hostage over an electronic billboard ‘welcome’ monument that no one wants and the loss of a historic building over the threat of litigation – an absurd argument! But further – facts do matter – Catalyst Outdoor Advertising does not always win as some would have us believe. We need to look no further than to our neighboring Phoenixville Borough to show us how they stood up when it counted!

A few years ago, the Phoenixville Borough found itself in a similar situation as the Tredyffrin Township community, not wanting digital billboards that Thaddeus Bartkowski III and his billboard company Chester County Outdoor (now known as Catalyst Outdoor Advertising) was proposing.

Back in 2011, Bartkowski used the same argument with Phoenixville as they are now doing with Tredyffrin – claiming that our zoning ordinance was illegal. But herein lies the difference – the Phoenixville community didn’t want electronic billboards and the Phoenixville Council members fought back on their behalf. In May 2014, Chester County Court judge dismissed Bartkowski’s zoning ordinance lawsuit against Phoenixville as detailed by the Daily Local article “Billboard baron loses fight over Phoenixville zoning”.

Just goes to prove that the little guy doesn’t have to finish last – if Phoenixville Borough can stand up to Catalyst why can’t Tredyffrin?

UPDATE: In less than a week since I created the petition, “BAN the Digital Billboard” we are now at nearly 2,000 people opposing the electronic billboard and the demolishing the historic Clockworks building! Community is voicing its opinion loudly. If you haven’t yet signed, click here for link.

UPDATE: We need “BAN the Digital Billboard & Save the Clockworks Building” lawn signs. There’s a GoFundMe with a goal of $1,000 for the sign order – we’re over half way there with $440 to go — can you help us get to the finish line so we can order the signs? We need to place the order, no donation is too small and can be made anonymously. Click here for the link.

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  1. You can make a difference immediately by making a small $5.00 donation to the $630.00 collected. Only $370.00 to go before Pattye can order 200 signs to drive the message home::::

    NO DIGITAL BILLBOARDS in our Community.

    Pattye is an expert in historic preservation and community activism. Let’s help her help us rid our community of Digital Billboard pollution.

    A few $20.00 to $25.00 gifts would ensure 200 lawn signs. A very small price to pay to protect the beauty, culture and history of our historic community.

  2. The success of the Phoenixville Board of Supervisors leaves me asking the very simple question, Who’s interests are being served by the Tredyffrin BOS? The Boards lack of transparency and their 11th hour notification which has been met by subsequent strong public outcry under normal circumstances should be enough to stop this initiative. It hasn’t. Why?

  3. Can someone find if Catalyst has field a lawsuit or only threatened? I have looked at all the places I can find and I do not find a lawsuit filed.

    Per Supervisor Lukens “Catalyst has commenced a lawsuit against the Township claiming our zoning is illegal in the prohibition of digital billboards.”
    To me that means it has been filed somewhere.

    1. Catalyst Outdoor Advertising has also called itself Chester County Outdoor and Delaware County Outdoor – they have been very active in pursuing digital billboards in the Philadelphia suburbs for several years, threatening litigation if municipalities don’t comply, here’s a couple:
      In Haverford:

      In Springfield:

  4. Pattye – Despite the claim from the BOS that the proposed billboard is “not on the agenda” for October 22nd, the community still needs to be heard at that meeting, and every one that follows. Be very wary of claims by the BOS that would limit or defer the discussion….

    It would be truly amazing to see any evidence of courage among any of the BOS. If they could only stop hiding behind the Solicitor ALL the time….

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