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Signs / billboards What the heck does this mean???

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Our zoning ordinance states the following about existing signs:

If the sign is an off-premise sign, it shall not advertise any business, activity, or use, except a business, activity or use located on the premises for which such sign advertises on the effective date of this chapter.

What does it mean, who the hell wrote this, and what were they thinking?????

Actually, I just need some help interpreting this....

Thanks in advance!
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I think you hvae a typo ;)

I think the word "off-premise" is supposed to be "on-premise", then it makes sense as a prohibition of off-premise signs.

????
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
OHHHHH....

ok, it *does* make sense that way. But, our piece of crap ordinance actually says 'off-premise'.

Another question... suppose it is meant to say 'on-premise'. It is under a section titled 'Existing Signs'. So that means anything existing at the time of the ordinance. Therefore any new signs would not be regulated under this section, correct?

Don't know what my problem is...can't think today.......
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Now my head hurts!

I would suppose yes, that only signs existing as of the date of the ordinance adoption would be addressed by that section.

BTW - sounds like you copied our ordinance!
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
Now you know how I feel ....

I get a headache whenever I look at this thing.

Thanks for the interp. :) After reading it about a hundred times it all begins to run together ya know?
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
oops.

S'posed to be reply to bturk. I always click on the wrong damn thing.

Moderator note: Threads merged.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,130
Points
63
Good intent, crappy langauge. It means a billboard can't be used as an on-premises sign. Let's say, in a city that hasn't banned billboards yet:

* Billboards are permitted the C-2 district.

* Billboards must be spaced at least 2,000' apart. They cannot be taller than 30', or larger than 300 square feet.

* On-premise freestanding signs are limited to one per lot. The maximum size is 64 square feet; maximum height 15'.

* McDonalds (or any other business) builds on a C-2 zoned site that happens to be abut 2,500 feet awat from the nearest billboard.

* McDonalds can't use a 300 square foot, 30' tall sign on the site to identify the business. They're limited to 64'^2/15'.

Permitting McDonalds to build an excessively large on-premises sign, under regulations that regulate off-premises signs, give it an unfair competitive advantage over other businesses.

Yikes! Lemme' change that. I just saw the "on this date" language. Rereading, it seems like a very convoluted way of banning off-premises advertising.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Hey SW MI,
I had your zoning code when I came here. Last total revision in the 70s. Typos galore. Mis-placed provisions? Nothing compared to the conflicting ones!

Our comprehensive plan came from the same era. I had to choose between doing the plan or zoning first. Should be the plan of course...but that meant delaying the code for a couple of years, and the code was a hourly problem. I revised zoning without an up to date comp plan. Guess I'll not get the FAICP thingy now--but the zoning office certainly runs better.

Here is an interim suggestion. When you find several "errors", take them to the Board of Adjustment for interpretation. Kind of like the staff filing an appeal against the code.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Oh I see that now too, thanks Dan. As a ban-er of billboards, that thought didn't surface.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
So confusing.....

What if our ordinance has a separate section that deals with just billboards though? Is it implied that the above section is not applicable to billboards, since they are in two different sections? There is so many different conflicting area, that it is hard as heck to figure somethings out.

Thanks for the suggestion Mike. Problem: our zoning board of appeals is VERY liberal (approve like 98% of variances and pull stuff out of their rear for a motion). Even on things that are cut and dry they do the weirdest stuff. I think the best thing for me to do is interpret it as I see fit, then if someone wants to contest it. THEN take it to them. Gotta love small rural towns :)

I am SO not trying to make this more difficult than it should. Just for some reason, I can't make sense of anything today! Thanks to everyone...
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,415
Points
32
To me, it looks like it bans off premise signs, and grandfathers existing ones.

It's sick that I can understand such language so easily
 

sal95

Cyburbian
Messages
65
Points
4
Agree

I agree with Giff, I think it bans off-premise signs and grandfathers the existing ones. To make it easier the second part "except. . ." should be taken out since any existing off-premise signs at the time the ordinance was approved would be grandfathered.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
We have essentially two sections - new/proposed signage, and existing. If the above statement is under the section of "Existing Signs", can it still prohibit NEW off premise signs?

Why can't the people who write these simply state that existing off-premise signs that exist at the time of the ordinance are grandfathered, and new off premise signs are prohibited? Why does it have to be so difficult?

Hmmm....I think I have an idea for the 'oxymoron' thread....
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I wouldn't try to interpret this. Get the Plan Board to place a moratorium on all signage for one week while you write a new sign ordinance.
 
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