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TDRs for signs?


Has anyone heard of an instance where a community uses a purchase/transfer of development rights strategy with respect to allowable signage?

In our community, it has been suggested that anyone requesting to use a pole sign (subject to current standards) be required to come to an agreement with the owner of an existing nonconforming sign for its removal or modification.

Any information would be appreciated.

mike gurnee

I think it would work with billboards, which can be separated as a specific land use. Pole signs may be more difficult to rationalize. It can be argued that a business has a 'right' to advertising on a pole sign (within your city's guidelines). If it is a right, I am not sure you can force the business to 'purchase' a nonconforming sign from someone else. Following the TDR concept, you could propose a dual standard such as: 50 sq ft as of right; 100 if a non-conforming pole sign in the same zoning district is removed or made conforming. An inventory of the nonconforming signs would probably be needed.