Town Planner Zach Pond provided a brilliant update to the current sign ordinance that will address the harmful use of signage while still allowing citizens the right to express their opinions.
This is the rationale for the update:
The Mayor and Council find that signs provide an important medium through which individuals may convey a variety of messages. However, left completely unregulated, signs can become a threat to public safety as a traffic hazard and a detriment to property values and the Town’s overall public welfare as an aesthetic nuisance.
The Mayor and Council further find that some signage has a single targeted function and identification of signage by description is impossible without referring to its function.
For instance, address numerals are used for the sole purpose of identifying addresses, which is a benefit to persons looking for those addresses and is essential to public safety personnel responding to emergencies.
In addition, directional signs are used for the sole purpose of ensuring safe movement of vehicles entering and exiting property to and from public rights-of-way, private roads, and driveways. While such signage may be referenced based upon the function it serves within the context of this article, the provisions of this article are unrelated to the content of the speech provided and allow maximum expressive potential to sign owners.
By enacting this section, the Mayor and Council intend to:
a.Balance the rights of individuals to convey their messages through signs and the right of the public to be protected against unrestricted proliferation of signs;
b.Further the objectives of the Town’s comprehensive plan, which is expressly incorporated herein;
c. Protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and others within the Town;
d.Reduce traffic and pedestrian hazards; e.Promote the aesthetic qualities of the Town;
f. Protect property values by minimizing the possible adverse effects and visual blight caused by signs;
g.Promote economic development; h.Ensure the fair and consistent enforcement of sign regulations; and
i. Promote the stated purposes of the Zoning Ordinance, which are expressly incorporated herein.
The Planning Commission approved the changes.