Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2007

Council adopts sign ordinance

February 1, 2007

After more than a year and after several drafts, the Eudora City Council adopted a new sign ordinance Jan. 22.

The ordinance represents the last piece of an entirely updated set of zoning codes for the city.

"It's just a well-defined law rather than a question mark," Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

The new ordinance gives citizens clear definitions of different types of signs and how they can be placed within the city, Beatty said.

In particular, the new code guides Eudora city building inspector Rick Treas to what exactly makes up a legal temporary or permanent sign, Beatty said.

"Now it all goes through one source, just like the zoning code," Beatty said. "He can monitor and issue permits without going back to city council or the planning commission based on rules and regulations."

The new code means citizens will now have to approach Treas to set up a community interest sign, Beatty said.

"They no longer have to go to the council," Beatty said. "The sign code says whether they are allowed or not allowed."

The new codes also outline regulations concerning billboards off Kansas Highway 10.

According to the new ordinance, "The erection and placement of billboards along K-10 Highway within the city are subject to relative size, spacing, location and height to avoid adverse safety impacts."

Any billboards would have to meet both city and state regulations, Beatty said.

At most, Beatty envisioned four billboards on K-10, two on each side of the highway.

The sign ordinance went through several incarnations since September 2005 when Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle first brought the issue to the council.

At the time, Pyle said the old ordinances were too restrictive ---- especially when it came to billboard signs along K-10.

In addition to be being too restrictive, the council found the wording of the old ordinances unclear.

"The old sign ordinance didn't define well," Beatty said.

Beatty presented an earlier draft of the ordinance to the council in June, but the council decided to wait and further refine the codes after hearing public comment.

After adding input from Brian Fuller of Full Bright Signs and Lighting and extensive proofreading, the new ordinance garnered approval from the Eudora Planning Commission Jan. 3.

Beatty presented the final draft of the ordinance to the Eudora City Council after the codes gained approval from the planning commission.

"I'm just happy we finally got it to this point," Eudora City Councilman Dan Gregg said. "It has taken a long time to get this document done."

The council passed the new codes unanimously and approved a $20 sign permit application fee.

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