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Salem should relent, OK car dealer's flag pole

October 5, 2011
Morning Journal News

Salem car dealer John Kufleitner probably didn't think he would be asking the city of Salem for any special favors when he decided to try to fly the largest American flag in Ohio from his dealership.

All he needs is a taller flag pole. He's not asking for anything that will interfere with anyone else's property, create noise or be an eyesore. It's the U.S. flag for heaven's sake, not some unsightly commercial banner or anything that should offend any American.

So why is it taking so long for him to get approval?

Kufleitner, whose $3.2 million dealership is under construction just south of the U.S. 62/state Route 45 bypass, requested a variance from the 45-foot height limit to allow him to install a 130-foot flag pole that would fly a 30- by 60-foot flag. We should all be proud that he is undertaking the effort to honor our country and bring favorable attention to Salem and Columbiana County.

Many people do not understand why Salem officials are dragging their feet and making Kufleitner jump through hoops to fly the super-sized American flag.

On Sept. 19 the Board of Zoning Appeals denied Kufleitner's request to allow him to erect a flag pole in excess of the permitted height of 45 feet. The board denied the request, citing the possible precedent which could be set, along with a concern for safety.

Now, the zoning board has scheduled a meeting for Monday to reconsider the request. City Council's Committee of the Whole has also indicated that it may be willing to consider an ordinance to allow the taller flag pole, but no meeting has been set for this.

If permission for the taller flag pole is something which the zoning appeals board feels is beyond its jurisdiction, then Salem council should take up the issue immediately and allow this flag to fly.



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