Council to redo sign rules

Staff Writer

JACKSON — Several weeks after municipal officials suspended local regulations regarding the placement of certain signs by business operators, an ordinance has been introduced that will change the rules.

The Township Council introduced the ordinance on Oct. 28. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on Nov. 12. The council may vote to adopt the ordinance after the public hearing.

Officials said the changes will allow business operators and community groups to place temporary signs on their properties no earlier than 14 days prior to the event or sale being advertised. The signs must be removed no later than five days after the sale or event.

In addition to a timetable that states when signs may be displayed, the amendment to the municipal code also describes the types of signs that will be allowed.

Business operators will be permitted to post signs “supported by uprights or braces” affixed to the ground, that do not require electricity, are no larger than 25 square feet in surface area and are displayed “no higher than 6 feet above the ground” at its mounted height.

The move to amend Jackson’s code came in response to complaints from business owners who placed signs at certain locations and were informed by the municipality that the signs were in violation of local regulations.

Some business owners said that the removal of the signs posed a potential hindrance for their business.

“I would think, as the township, that you would want small or large businesses to succeed, and [advertising] is one way for us to succeed and pay property taxes,” Wayne Jordan, the property manager for Woodmere Apartments and Pineview Apartments, said at the time.

Although the regulation was not enforced unless a sign was deemed to be inappropriate or distracting to drivers, officials said the need to clarify existing regulations was enough to warrant an amendment to the code.

Officials temporarily suspended five specific provisions in the municipal code — ranging from the use of holiday decoration signs to displays advertising private sales — while the proposed ordinance was drafted.

Under the current municipal code, only government flags, historical markers, signs smaller than 2 square feet in area, political signs, private sale or special event signs, and real estate or other “For Sale” signs are allowed to be placed without a permit. Other types of signs, including outdoor advertising signs, are prohibited.