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Bedford Plan Commission Looking At Sign Restrictions
Updated December 11, 2014 3:49 PM
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(BEDFORD) - Bedford Plan Commission members assigned a committee to go over details about proposed sign restrictions.

Plan Director Dan Kirk says he has read 15 different city codes on signs and sees problems with all of them.

The developing sign codes is complicated. For example, the current code restricts off-premise signs -- those that are far away from the businesses they're promoting. But what about exceptions for community causes, such as signs on outfield fences of youth baseball diamonds? Other questions concerned murals -- is an ice cream cone painted on the side of a yogurt shop a mural or an advertisement? And how does the city regulate signs and protect a person's right to free expression?

Kirk listed three priorities in addressing what he called "overwhelming complaints and problems with signs." Those are:

  • Public safety. For example, some temporary signs are often placed close to street intersections and can make it difficult for motorists to see oncoming traffic.
  • Property values. Kirk has received complaints about signs causing property values to decrease in residential neighborhoods.
  • Public beauty.

Then came discussion on murals on buildings. Kirk says they cannot be advertisement, only artistic.

Commission members agreed sign rules tend to be controversial, so now members Jay Fiddler, Barry Jeskewich and Steve Kimbley will probe the details and bring recommendations back to the full commission who will then make recommendation to the Bedford City Council for approval.

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