Committee members oppose changes to temporary sign code
The Pataskala Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended Pataskala City Council approve changes to the city's temporary sign code, but the city's economic development committee members said Sept. 10 they do not agree with all the changes.
The legislation cannot move forward if City Council doesn't bring the issue back to the table again. City Council tabled it Aug. 20.
"It's likely to come off the table this week (Sept. 17) if we can hash out our differences on it," City Council President Dan Hayes said.
The legislation will be listed under old business on City Council's Sept. 17 agenda.
City Attorney Rufus Hurst raised issues with the proposed temporary sign code Sept. 10.
He said the new code allows temporary signs to be placed in public rights of way, which he opposes.
"I would encourage this committee to very carefully consider whether it will allow any signage of a commercial nature to be placed in any city right of way, for any purpose, for any length of time," Hurst said. "I think if you allow it, you're going to be up against it to try to prohibit any other request for signs in city rights of way."
Hurst said even sandwich board signs on sidewalks may be a problem in areas of the Old Village, where sidewalks can be as narrow as three feet.
He also encouraged the committee to remove a provision for temporary commercial signs in residential areas.
Committee member Bernard Brush said he agrees temporary signs should not be allowed in public rights of way, including sidewalks.
Committee member Merissa McKinstry said she would like City Council to approve the changes because the business community has requested it.
She said the city needs to have a sign code that encourages professional signage with proper aesth etics.
"We need to do something we can live with that promotes businesses and looks good," she said.
Pataskala updated its sign code in 2010, Hayes said.
In 2011, some issues were raised with the temporary sign code when a local business wasn't able to get a permit to display a temporary sign.
Hayes said Connie's Cuts was displaying a temporary sign in front of the business that was brought in at night. The business was required to have a permit, which limits the number of days the sign can be displayed. The business requested a second permit but was unable to obtain it until the first permit expired.
Hayes said city officials then asked the planning and zoning commission to clean up the code, providing better guidance on the number of days the signs can be displayed and how often a permit for temporary signs can be obtained.