After a 40-minute discussion on a type of temporary sign, the Warsaw Plan Commission tonight agreed on final revisions of the proposed sign ordinance.
Monday night’s meeting was the fourth public hearing on the ordinance, which will be ready for a final vote by the WPC next month before being passed to the Warsaw Common Council for final approval or changes.
The initial discussion about whether to allow 120 days or 180 days for temporary signs led to a point by WPC member Rick Keeven who noted he is not a fan of the political-type signs and suggested the board look at creating a new section for them. He described the signs as those that use an H-wire for stability and the sign itself is constructed of corrugated cardboard or plastic.
He referenced such signs currently being used by The Party Shops for a Vera Bradley promotion, and similar signs used by Great Clips, Dominoes, Walgreens and auto parts stores used for promotions. “The wind blows them over, they’re dangling … I just don’t like them,” said Keeven.
The comment led to a debate among the WPC members who all agreed with Keeven that the type of signs are not favorable, but part of the mix that needs to be dealt with. The board, as a whole, agreed that the revised sign ordinance will allow for enforcement of those signs to be removed or replaced if they come tattered. And, under the new ordinance, the signs would also be limited to how long they can be in place.
In the end, the board opted against writing a separate entry for those types of signs, but agreed that enforcement would be a priority.
The board also agreed to allow temporary signs to be used with a permit for a period not to exceed 180 days.
In another area, Jim Breading said he wasn’t happy with the restrictions the ordinance places on the size of signs downtown businesses can have. “Why are you sitting on people in the downtown but letting Walmart have a big sign? You’re handcuffing the local merchants with these smaller signs.”
Breading was specifically referring to the sign on his business, Merle Norman Cosmetics. In the revised ordinance, signs would be limited to being no larger than 32 square feet. Breading said when the time comes that he will need to replace his current sign, he’ll be forced to reduce the size.
City planner Jeremy Skinner said Breading’s sign is actually smaller than what is allowed now, but Breeding argued the point saying, “It’s 6 (foot) by 8 (foot). It looks smaller when you put up in the air.”
Skinner agreed to go measure the Merle Norman sign prior to the board meeting on Sept. 10. At that meeting, the size will be discussed before WPC votes on passing it to the city council.
The Sept. 10 meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers.