Sign Ordinance Changes

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College Station's new city council members were sworn in Thursday. Lynn McIllhaney and David Ruesink took their oath of office.

McIllhaney takes over Place 4, Ruesink Place 6. The council also said good bye and thank-yous to out going members Susan Lancaster and Nancy Berry. Lancaster made an emotional speech and said she would still be very active in city government.

The new members jump right into work. The city council discussed proposed changes to the sign ordinance. Residents weighed in on the issue during a public hearing.

The way signs are seen in College Station could be changing. As part of the Unified Development Ordinance review, the council will consider some revisions to the city's sign ordinance.

One change could be to restrict political signs to private property and polling places. The current ordinance prohibits signs in the states rights of way. If the changes pass, it would also make city rights of way off limit.

" There's some restrictions as far as how long a political sign can be out and there's also some language that limits the size of the political sign," said Lance Simms, Acting Director of Planning and Development Services.

Another possible change would allow neighborhood groups to hang banners for special events for up to 14 days at no charge. Currently, only businesses have that option and are required to pay $200.

" We're opening up signage somewhat for neighborhood groups. Neighbor hood groups really don't have a way to advertise events," said Simms.

A new community spirit signage program will also be considered. If passed, the city would allow signs and banners that promote spirit throughout the community.

" Another thing is sign removal. We have some areas in town where the building was completely demolished, however the signage was left and so it kind of looks out of place," said Simms.

A provision calls for the business signs to be demolished as well. Some city leaders say they want to keep the sign ordinance strict to preserve the appearance of the city.