The current ordinance allows “signs of expression” such as political sigs to be placed thirty days prior to the election with removal a maximum of one week after the election. The size of the signs can be no larger than 6 square feet of area and not higher than 4 feet from the ground. The zoning ordinance also prohibits signs in the right of way.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi said the practicality of enforcement of the ordinance has raised an issue when the Code Enforcement Officer removes a political sign that is in violation, if he is from the opposite political party they think he’s just picking on them. Surrisi also noted that he would have “ difficulties in court” with the freedom of speech aspect.
The recommendation from the current city administration was to remove all restrictions on political signage except prohibiting them from the right-of-way.
Plan Commission member Doug Feece said, “We toiled over this portion of the zoning ordinance.” He continued by commenting, “Political advertising gets over bearing after a while and they don’t clean up them(signs)up after the election.”
Member Greg Compton said, “Most of the people follow our 30 day rule.” He also suggested notifying a candidate if the sign is in violation by sending a registered letter instead of removing the sign.
Plan Commission member Mark Gidley motioned to deny the zoning amendment. The vote was 3 in favor of the amendment and 6 voted to deny the amendment so the current sign ordinance will stand in the city limits.