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Halfmoon Town Board to take comments on sign law

The Town of Halfmoon will hold an open discussion on the town's sign ordinance on Tuesday, May 19. Officials are encouraging those with an opinion to help the Town Board decide whether a change is in order.

The town hasn't modified its sign ordinance since December of 2002, when there was a debate about billboards in the town. In recent months, complaints from residents and business owners alike have become more common, highlighting the need for a public forum, said Supervisor Mindy Wormuth.

The people who are most concerned about it should be able to come to the Town Board to talk about it, she said.

Largely at issue is the use of temporary signs to be used by businesses to advertise sales and the like. Stores that sit in shopping centers or far back from the road might want more exposure during the slump, but temporary A-frame signs that are commonplace in other municipalities aren't allowed in Halfmoon.

"We have some of our business owners that find it cumbersome to work within," Wormuth said of the ordinance. "They feel they need every advantage they can get to draw business in."

Some townspeople have complained of small business signs popping up in residential areas, too.

According to the town's sign ordinance, no sign located in a residential district may be more that 250 square feet. As for businesses, banner and pennants may be displayed for only 30 days and as part of a grand opening. Signs can be located higher than the building or on the roof.

There is a special sign overlay zone along Route 9 that relaxes the rules in recognition of the town's commercial area. Signs there are limited to 672 square feet and subject to rules controlling sign density.

The board will not make any changes on Tuesday, but it will use the meeting as a barometer for public opinion. If any changes are made, there will be a formal public hearing before a future vote.

The discussion will be held at 6 p.m. at Town Hall for one hour before the regularly scheduled Town Board meeting.""

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