A local car dealer has been given a green light to put up a sign for a Family Dollar store in Palmerton.

The borough's Zoning Hearing Board on Tuesday unanimously granted Joseph Bennett a variance related to the maximum size and overall height for a sign in the front of the store at 545 Delaware Avenue.

After a brief recess, the zoners gave Bennett permission to erect a freestanding sign that is 70.9-square-feet in size with an overall height of 25 feet for the store, which is located in a commercial downtown zoning district.

Bennett's request for the sign was previously rejected by borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker because a section of the zoning ordinance limits the size of freestanding signs to 30-square-feet, and limits the height to 15 feet.

Prior to the zoners' ruling, Bennett withdrew a request for a second sign he initially proposed that was 101.50 square feet. The zoning ordinance allows a maximum size of 84 square feet for single-faced signs based on proposed building frontage.

However, Bennett said he plans to put a sign up on the front of the building that will comply with the zoning ordinance. There will also be a sign on the right side of the building towards the parking lot.

Bennett told zoners the Family Dollar store will be situated on the left side of the property, known to many as the former Lefty Haydt gas station, while the right side will be able to accommodate 26 parking spaces.

"I think this is a good project for the community," Bennett said. "It will be a well-maintained property."

Bennett said he believes the retail store, which he said will employ between 25-30 people, will fill a real need within the community.

"It's going to be representative of a nice size store that will fit in nicely in this community," he said. "It [the sign] will enhance visibility and draw people into their store."

Bennett previously owned the Bennett Palmerton Dealership at 555 Delaware Ave. He has since purchased the George Hahn Dealership in Lehighton. For over the past year and going forward all service and parts operations will be conducted at 619 Iron Street, Lehighton.

Upon completion of his new showroom on Route 443 across from the Mahoning Inn and Boulevard Drive Inn, Bennett will be the dealer for Jeep and Chrysler for all of Carbon County.

Bennett said the back end of the former Bennett Palmerton Dealership has been converted into a Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit facility for autistic children and is expected to open next week.

He said plans are in the process for a third tenant for the front of the former Palmerton dealership building, but declined to provide any further details.