DELAFIELD - The Common Council denied a proposed
ordinance regarding the regulation of sandwich boards on Monday
during its meeting.
Alderman Kent Attwell voted against the proposal.
Attwell said he thinks it is essential that people think of the
city as a whole and not just fragmented areas.
“I voted against the ordinance change because it
was written to only allow sandwich board signs in the Central
Downtown Business Districts 1,2 and 3 downtown zoning
districts,” he said.
The ordinance that was presented didn’t include
the Highway 83/Golf Road and Hillside intersections. Sandwich
board signs are allowed in all city zoning districts. Attwell
requested that this be sent back to the Plan Commission with the
purpose of rewriting the ordinance to allow sandwich board signs
in all city districts as the previous ordinance allowed.
However, he indicated he would support the newly recommended
changes on design and enforcement.
“There is a need for language clarification
related to the statement that used the word ‘permit’ when
discussing the revocation of display privilege after 2
violations,” said Mayor Michele DeYoe. She said they don’t grant
“permits” specifically for sandwich signs, it is part of the
business plan of operation process.
There have been two public hearings with 2
speakers regarding the sandwich board issue. DeYoe has heard
complaints of the signs being left out overnight, poor
materials, signs blocking the sidewalk, signs blowing over and
in the right-of-way. She said they will address this at the
January Plan Commission meeting.
Attwell said there has been very little public
comment from businesses or citizens on this topic at Plan
Commission or Common Council meetings over the last 3 months.
DeYoe directed City Administrator Tom Hafner to
have all the sandwich board signs in the downtown business
districts gathered a few weeks back by the Fire Department.
These were signs that were not brought in overnight, which was
in violation of the current ordinance.
“Per the city’s public works foreman, 2 weeks
after these sandwich board signs were picked up, less than half
the downtown business had taken the time to retrieve them,” said
Alderman Tim Aicher said there was no sense of
urgency on this matter. He said the main issue is non-compliance
with the existing ordinance and having several complaints about
signs being left out 24/7.
“These were addressed already by directing our
city planner, Roger Dupler, to act as our enforcer/educator
along with Tom Hafner’s follow-up for businesses that were not
in compliance,” said Aicher.
Aicher said the only other issue was that the
city does have a requirement in the current and proposed
ordinance. It states that businesses using sandwich board signs
in the public right-of-way must protect the city and name it as
co-insured on their liability insurance. “This is to safeguard
taxpayers from potential exposure due to an incident with a
sign,” said Aicher. He said city staff was asked to put that on
the list of enforcement and education items for the businesses
that wish to use these signs in the right-of-way.