New Albany recently updated its sign code, which will provide new guidelines for developers and business owners, as well as give them access to materials not previously used in the village.

New Albany recently updated its sign code, which will provide new guidelines for developers and business owners, as well as give them access to materials not previously used in the village.

Village council passed an ordinance Dec. 7 to replace the previous code.

Kathryn Meyer, deputy director of community development, said the previous code required more and more variances each year, so the village decided it was time to offer more guidance and set parameters for residents and business wanting to install signs.

The village began development of the new sign code in the spring, and the draft plan was recommended for approval by both the village's planning commission and architectural review board (ARB).

The new code includes examples of appropriate signs in different zoning districts and specifies the number and type of signs that can be used in a particular zoning designation. The village center, for example, will allow different types of signs than the business campuses.

Before approving the new code, council members amended the legislation to include some clarifications provided by Mayor Nancy Ferguson.

Ferguson suggested two modifications. The first amendment ensured that permanent signs are integrated with the design and building on which they are located, while the second gave the ARB the right to deny neon signs if that type of sign was not deemed appropriate for the building and site.

Ferguson also asked that signs with moving parts be prohibited.

"A lot of people have spent a lot of time and money creating signs in the village related to our brand, with the traditional architecture," Ferguson said. "I think that's a winning combination that we should continue to promote."

However, councilman Glyde Marsh said moving signs are being used well in some places, such as on The Ohio State University campus, and can easily be read.

Councilwoman Colleen Briscoe said she, too, thinks the village may need to reconsider moving signs.

"At some point, we may want to put those in," Briscoe said.

At Marsh's suggestion, council also amended the legislation to allow commercial construction signs to be put in place 60 days before construction. Signs must be removed within 14 days of the end of a construction project.

The new code includes a provision for banners, which the village and other entities had discussed as a good option for a building like the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts to help it better promote upcoming shows and events.

Meyer said the amendments provided clarification.

"I think the proposed changes are helpful," she said.

The sign code takes effect Jan. 13. Meyer and village planner Michelle Murphy said no new sign-code applications have been submitted, so none are scheduled for review until the new code takes effect.