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City Discusses Changes To Sign Ordinance

October 2, 2012, 5:58 PM by Kelly Bartnick

City Discusses Changes To Sign Ordinance

A master plan to regulate signage in Sioux Falls continues to slog along. City planners met with business owners and Sioux Falls residents about updates to the city’s sign ordinance.

It's the result of a years-long review to update the city's sign code, which dates back to the early 1980s. The new ordinance addresses all types of signs from the big ones in the sky to the ones on the lawn and even those on buildings and in windows.

“We've added sign height; we've added sign types. We've added, added, added, increased and addressed for four years, specifically over the last two years,” Sioux Falls City Planner Jeff Schmitt said.

Business owners, city planners and ordinary citizens hashed out the proposed changes Tuesday. The meeting comes months before the ordinance could hit the city council’s desk.

Many signs put up are considered illegal. Most commercial ones are not, and the city says it often only addresses issues when complaints come in.  The new ordinance would provide clarity.

Some would even require a permit, which means they would also be assessed a fee.

“Right now, they're not permitted. They're allowed, but not permitted. So with this ordinance, they would have to have the permit for them, but we would be able to track and know what's used out there if we happen to have a call or question about them,” Schmitt said.

The ordinance is lengthy, and certainly not perfect, judging from some of the push back received at Tuesday’s public meeting. Many of those with issues are business owners with issues about certain ordinance aspects including restrictions it would place on windows signs or the fees that could come with new permits.

The city council could take up the discussion late this year or early in 2013. It's part of the Shape Sioux Falls 2035 master plan.

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