Sign ordinance approved by council, goes to Plan Commission for review

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette The Hancock City Council listens to reports. From left to right: Paul LaBine, Ted Belej and City Manager Glenn Anderson.

HANCOCK — The City Council approved a new sign ordinance at its Wednesday meeting.

The ordinance passed with a 5-1 vote, with John Haeussler as the lone dissenting vote.

Haeussler stated that he was philosophically opposed to the ordinance, expressing a general dislike of regulations that limited expression.

The ordinance will now go to the Planning Commission for review.

According to the statement of intent, the ordinance is designed to establish uniform regulation of signage and clear rules.

“The need to advertise products and services must be balanced by the city’s obligation to restrict clutter, maintain an aesthetically pleasing environment, protect property values and enhance public safety,” it reads.

Under the ordinance prohibited signs include any that impede traffic, stand higher than 30 inches near intersections, obstruct fire escapes or imitate traffic signs.

Obscene or offensive signs not of artistic or political value, as well as neglected signs, are also prohibited.

Requirements differ by district, and there are specific rules for temporary signs. Temporary sign restrictions allow only one temporary sign per “dwelling unit” with a sign area under 6 square feet.

Other property owners are limited to two signs.

Extra signs are permitted 60 days prior to and after elections, when two additional signs are allowed. One additional sign is also permitted for property sales.

Signs in violation may be removed and stored for seven days. During this period the owner may pick up the sign after paying a fee of up to $50 per sign. If not picked up the sign may be disposed of after the seven days.

Violations may be appealed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.