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City Council to take up tweaking new sign regulations

Changes may elliminate fees for yard sale signs

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POSTED: July 25, 2013 8:00 a.m.

Richmond Hill’s new comprehensive 40-page sign ordinance is already getting tweaked after City Council members voted last week to change the way temporary signs are regulated.
The issue came up at the July 16 council meeting when council member Russ Carpenter asked for an amendment to the ordinance that would change registration requirements for yard sale signs and end any associated fee.
A public hearing will be held before any changes are made and the measure will be voted on Aug. 20. Richmond Hill passed the new ordinance in May.
Afterward, Carpenter said the “tweak to the ordinance will work on the size of the sign, perhaps by allowing in the right of way signs that are 18 inches by 24 inches. With this, we won’t get into First Amendment issues and residents and businesses can have the weekend signs that they need.”
At the meeting, he brought the issue up after the council dealt with nine requests for variances to the sign ordinance from businesses.
“The new sign ordinance was adopted in part to make the city look better by cleaning up our roadside signs,” Carpenter said, noting the intent was to keep people from leaving yard sale signs tacked up in visible areas in the right of way.
He said regulating yard sale signs “gives the impression that the city only wants citizen’s money and leads to the erroneous belief we want to regulate yard sales.”
Carpenter also pointed out the effort to handle applications and deposit the $25 fee from residents applying for yard sale signs was “cumbersome” for city workers.
“We can keep the city clean and tidy without this policy,” he said.
Council members voted unanimously to amend text of the ordinance. A first reading on the hearing will occur at city council’s Aug. 6 meeting.

 

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