HARRISBURG- Littlestown Borough and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania signed a consent order yesterday, agreeing to proposed revisions to the borough's sign ordinance, which the ACLU says unconstitutionally restricted political speech.
The agreement comes after the ACLU filed a March, 2008 lawsuit in a Harrisburg federal court on behalf of Littlestown homeowners Kenneth and Virginia Frock.
The lawsuit challenged a borough ordinance that banned political signs except for signs posted thirty days before and three working days after an election. The ordinance also required that signs be no larger than six square feet. This prevented the Frocks from displaying a sign that read, "We refuse to yield to 'Gestapo' tactics of Littlestown Borough" in response to the borough's handling of a disputed water bill last summer. It als prevented Mr. Frock, an Air Force veteran from displaying a "bring our troops home" sign by mid-March.
Now, Littlestown has agreed to make permanent changes to its sign ordinance, ending the lawsuit.
"Littlestown has agreed to do the right thing. Through careful drafting, towns can enact zoning ordinances that give the democratic process room to flourish in any season- not just election season," said Valerie Burch, Staff Attorney for the ACLU.
The consent order is available here.