Council approves sign ordinance change

The city has opted to deregulate several aspects of its zoning ordinance.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, the council voted to remove several limitations on signs throughout the city to bring the ordinance in line with current planning trends.

The changes would remove restrictions of the size of political signs, no longer imposing the 4-by-4-foot restriction it had previously enforced.

Stephen Troskey, city planner, previously said removing the political sign size restriction came up to avoid First-Amendment litigation.

However, most of the changes relate to commercial signs.

Banners on light posts will now be allowed, provided the business owner has the proper permit. Also, the ordinance now allows for sandwich boards for businesses downtown and in the 13th Street district. While the city never specifically prohibited the signs, technically, it did not allow businesses to post commercial signs on public property (i.e., the sidewalk).

The ordinance will also allow for sponsorship signs, such as those at the disc golf course and skate park.

The council voted in favor of the changes 5-1. Council member Marla Grabenbauer, third ward, abstained because of her ownership of a Main Street business. Bob Schubert, first-ward council member, was the lone dissenter.

The ordinance will go into effect following publication, most likely sometime next week, according to the City Clerk’s Office.