Black: Rewrite temporary sign ordinance
DANVILLE — At least one alderman wants to scrap the city's temporary sign ordinance and write a new one.
Alderman Bill Black said that's what he would like to suggest when the city council discusses temporary signs at its meeting Tuesday.
Temporary signs have become an issue with some business owners in Danville after city officials sent more than 80 letters to various businesses telling them their temporary signs must be removed by March 15 or face fines.
Black has taken exception with the city's sudden enforcement of its temporary-sign ordinance and asked for the issue to be placed on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at the municipal building, 17 W. Main St., Danville.
The city's current ordinance recognizes various types of temporary signs, including banner signs — the type the city letters targeted — as well as political, construction, real estate and community event signs. The ordinance specifies size limits and length-of-display restrictions for each type of sign. Banner signs also have certain size restrictions and must be mounted on a wall or fence or displayed between two poles but cannot be displayed for longer than 120 days in any calendar year.
City administration officials said the number of all types of temporary signs in the city has increased significantly in recent years, and some become worn, tattered or break loose, and the enforcement is an attempt to improve the appearance of the city. But some businesses that received letters, stating their signs must be removed by March 15 did not have worn or tattered signs.
And the current ordinance includes language addressing such issues, stating that "any temporary sign which becomes torn, broken, tattered, mutilated, defaced, damaged, deteriorated or otherwise falls into disrepair shall be deemed a nuisance and such sign shall be immediately removed or replaced."
The city council will also be considering new appointments to the city's zoning board of appeals and planning and zoning commission, following changes the city council approved last year concerning who will serve on the board of appeals.
In the past, the zoning board of appeals has been a three-member panel made up of city employees. But that make up and the zoning board of appeals process came under fire from some aldermen and city residents when the zoning board of appeals approved a variation from the zoning rules, allowing a AT&T to build a cellular tower near the helicopter landing pad at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center on Logan Avenue in Danville. Some aldermen and residents argued that tower would be a safety issue for the helicopter and did not like that there was no way to appeal a decision made by the zoning board of appeals.
In December, aldermen supported revisions to the zoning board of appeals process, giving the city council an opportunity to review decisions and changing the make up of the board, increasing it from three members to five members. None of the five can be city employees.
On Tuesday's agenda is the appointment of five people to the zoning board of appeals: Linda Bolton, Ron Candido, Bruce Meachum, Tracy Taylor and Ted Vacketta. Taylor and Vacketta are also members of the city zoning and planning commission.
The agenda also includes appointments to the zoning and planning commission and the city's electrical commission and bids for the city's approximately $1 million project to improve the southwest section of the Danville High School campus.