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Sign law moves ahead

Councilman wonders if rules becoming too complex

— The late hour of the discussion meant most resident had left before the public could speak on the matter, but a handful stuck around.

Amanda Fallon, a member of the Hamagrael Elementary School PTA who first brought her concerns of missing fundraiser signs to the board, thanked board members for tackling the issue. Meanwhile, John Behiri, owner of Johnny B’s Glenmont Diner, said he was angered because the town made him remove his new banner.

“What’s the rational?” he asked, explaining that the sign was new, aesthetically pleasing and flush against the side of his building.

Clarkson said he did not know why the town had a rule against permanent banners and he would look into it.

The proposal passed 4-1, with Kotary casting the dissenting vote. The proposal is not yet a law. Both the town and county planning boards will need to review the changes before it is sent back to the Town Board for a final vote. A public hearing will also need to be scheduled.

When asked about enforcement issues, both Clarkson and Kuhn said they knew it has been a problem in the past and that’s why additional town officials were given jurisdiction over the signs. They also said something might be added to the law so illegal signs aren’t given back to their owners, as is the current practice. This could prevent signs that were in violation from being reposted.

“Generally people try to follow the law and not skirt their way around it once they can understand what the law is,” Kuhn said.

Town Building Inspector Gil Bouchard said he agreed with the changes. He also didn’t foresee the law creating a bigger problem by condensing all of the signs into specific areas because most political and event signs are small.

“Most of those signs are low to the ground so drivers can see over them,” he said. “I think for the most part the law was an aesthetics thing.”

Previous stories:

December 16 story by Greg Fry.

February 16 story by Marcy Velte.

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