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City may update temporary business sign rules

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:19 AM

Keery-Turkelson said City Council was asked by a local business owner to amend the zoning ordinance to allow yard signs to be placed on private property — advertising a business that does not relate to the existing business, or products for sale or available on the site.

City Council directed the Planning Commission to consider the request and send a recommendation back to council on the issue.

“What the individual is asking for is they would like to have temporary signs for their business to be placed off-premises,” she said.

Currently, Section 40-704 of the city’s sign ordinance does not allow a sign on a property that does not relate to the existing business, or products for sale or available on-site.

“This would be a big departure from our current ordinance,” Keery-Turkelson said.

If these signs are placed not relating to the existing business, Keery-Turkelson said city officials have the ability to remove them when they are reported.

“We do the best we can with the resources we have,” she said.

According to Keery-Turkelson, an amendment could be drafted to allow businesses to advertise on a different property; however, officials have noted that there are several issues that should be considered in drafting such language. These issues include the number of signs permitted, period of display time, rate of occurrence, size restrictions such as area and height, material including sign and pole structure, illumination, and placement on the lot (in yard, on trees, attached to structure).

Additionally, commissioners are being asked to determine whether signs should be allowed on a nonresidential parcel/district, if permits should be required, what kind of enforcement would take place, if there needs to be permission by the property’s owner, and whether an advertising business needs to be located within the city.

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 7:30 at City Hall, 519 Washington Ave., to discuss the issue. Keery-Turkelson said she hoped that more than just business owners gave their input on any changes to the sign ordinance during the ordinance review process.

“I think it would have a tremendous impact on the aesthetics of the community,” she said. “I hope we’ll hear more than from just the business owners.”

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