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Sign law discussion takes a turn

Town to address signs on private property, not public lands

— “With regard to signs, our zoning law does apply to Route 32,” said Town Attorney James Potter. “Every election season we see a proliferation of signs and now that’s an enforcement issue.”

Existing law rarely enforced

Morelli said to his knowledge no one has ever been brought to court over temporary signs. Most often, the organization putting up the signs is called to take them down or the town removes them and calls someone to come pick them up. A judge could impose a fine, but Morelli said it would be a rare occurrence.

Signs that are allowed on town property include those for events put on by the town, according to Potter and Kuhn. Potter added he was unsure if signs could be posted on town property for events happening at that particular location, like the town park. He believed those would still be illegal and said he would look into the matter.

Some were not entirely satisfied with the direction the town is taking.

Kim Lawler, co-chairwoman of the Hamagrael Elementary PTA, said signs on private property are not the issue.

“There are people coming into the town that you want to see those signs (for fundraising events). That’s the money you’re looking for because you can only go to the well so many times,” she said. “Yes, it’s about supporting our own community, but we’re trying to get that outside traffic to help support our community even more with all of these budget cuts.”

Marcy Corniel of the Bethlehem Garden Club said she hopes some type of compromise can be found.

If the language of the law is changed, those holding fundraising events or community activities could ask residents or business owners to places their signs on the private property of others to help gain the attention of people coming into the town.

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