Boyle magistrates approve changes in sign ordinance

November 26, 2003|GARY MOYERS

Boyle Fiscal Court took what Judge-Executive Tony Wilder called "a good first step" Tuesday when it gave first reading to amendments to the county's sign ordinance.

The amendments allow exceptions to the original law, which caused a furor earlier this fall when enforcement efforts outlawed various real estate, campaign and yard sale signs.

Several business and citizen groups complained, and efforts began to examine possible exceptions to the ban.

"The new ordinance is less restrictive, and is a little more people-friendly," said Wilder.

Magistrates will give it second reading approval Dec. 9.

Wilder said magistrates and County Attorney Richard Campbell met with members of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Boyle County Board of Realtors Monday to come up with exceptions to the original ordinance.

"We've got some more work to do, especially with regard to temporary and mobile signs, but this addresses an immediate need," he said.


Exemptions include:

* One sign promoting the sale, lease or rental of the premises upon which the sign is located. The sign will be no larger than 10 square feet, except in residential districts where the maximum size will be six square feet.

* Off-premises signs directing the public to the site of an open house event conducted to sell the real estate, provided the site advertised is on any roadway other than an arterial street.

If the site is located on a collector street, one off-premises sign may be placed at the intersection of that collector street and the nearest arterial street, or at an intersection of two arterial streets.

Sites on local streets may have two signs off the premises. The signs may not be name or company specific; may include only the date and time of the open house, may be no more than three square feet in size; and can be displayed no sooner than three days prior to the event and must be removed immediately after the open house is concluded.

* One on-premises sign advertising the auction of real and/or personal property, but the sign is limited to 32 square feet in size per sign face, and may be printed on both sides.

Also, an off-premises sign is allowed displaying only the auctioneer, date, time and location of the auction, posted at locations as directed by the same terms as above.

These signs are limited to five square feet in size. The on-site sign may be displayed no more than 14 days in advance of the auction, and off-site signs may go up within seven days of the auction. All signs must be removed on the day the auction is held.

* Temporary signs announcing or relating to a campaign, drive, or event of a civic, philanthropic, educational or religious nature may be located on private property with the owner's permission or on public right-of-way, provided a permit is obtained.

Signs under this exception may go up 21 days in advance of the event and must be removed within three days after the event's conclusion.

* One temporary, off-premises yard sale sign is allowed, no larger than three square feet, located with owner's permission on private property or on public property with governmental permission.

These signs may be in place one day in advance and must be removed at the conclusion of the sale.

* Temporary signs advocating a political candidate, political party or other ballot issue for an upcoming election, providing they do not obstruct traffic or other public safety signs.

They cannot be placed more than 60 days prior to an election, and must be removed within seven days after the election.

The amendment includes a penalty section empowering enforcement officials to warn violators, in writing, that they have seven days to remove the sign.

Failure to comply with the notice enables enforcement officials to remove the sign or signs and bill the owner for expenses. Off-premises signs violating the ordinance are subject to immediate removal.

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