RANT:  At last, a rough draft of the new sign ordinance

rough draft of the new sign ordinance
November 27th, 2017   Lynn West   Rants & Reason Blog

A rough draft of the new sign ordinance governing business and other signs in New Albany has been circulated to city officials and others.

First Ward Alderman Amy Livingston stated at the city board’s regular meeting on Nov. 7 that she, working with others, had completed a draft of a proposed new sign ordinance. She circulated the draft the next day in an email with the subject line “Sign Ordinance–Rough Rough Draft.”

Having been repeatedly critical of the city’s present sign ordinance, both its provisions and its enforcement, we were pleased to see this “rough” draft. Realizing this is not a finished product, and that it is likely to undergo considerable changes before the Board of Aldermen approve it, we cautiously opine that this draft ordinance seems to be an improvement over the confusing, often foolish, ordinance that the then city board imposed in 2006.

The draft of the new ordinance is 16 pages and approximately 5,770 words in length. That’s a lot of words.  However,  it’s about 900 words shorter than the 2006 ordinance, and that in itself is encouraging.

Appropriately, this draft is not a re-write of the badly flawed 2006 ordinance, but appears to be a document created “from scratch.”

Among the apparent improvements in this rough draft of the new sign ordinance:

  • It appears that businesses will usually get a sign permit — or the denial of one — within ten days of applying for one. Under the 2006 sign ordinance, businesses have often been left dangling in the wind, their business held up for many weeks, perhaps never having their sign permits resolved.
  • Realistic provisions about the lighting of signs, recognizing the usefulness of illumination technology developed in recent years, seem to be included in the proposed new ordinance.
  • Specific and reasonable formulae for calculating the allowable size of signs are included.

We understand that elected officials, the city attorney, the code enforcement officer and others are working to further develop and fine tune the new sign ordinance.

We provide here a copy of the complete “rough draft” of the new sign ordinance as circulated by Alderman Livingston. Notes made by modified type color, highlights, question marks, etc. indicate some points still to be resolved as the ordinance is written.

Document: Complete draft new sign ordinance

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