January 30, 2013 Sign Bylaw Study Group Meeting

January 30, 2013 Sign Bylaw Study Group Meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sun May 12, 2013 1:56 pm


A meeting of the Sign Bylaw Study Group was held on Wednesday, January 30,
2013. Mr. Preston called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM.
PRESENT: Richard Preston, Ernest Marks, Michael Zwicker, and William Cundiff
(Town Engineer). ABSENT: Tracy Sharkey

The meeting began with a review of the history of the sign bylaw along with a review of
the information contained in each members packets. The packets contained the existing
sign bylaw (General Bylaw); The proposed May 2011 amendments to the general bylaw;
a Memo from the Town Administrator dated May 9, 2011; A memo from the Central
Massachusetts Regional Planning agency (CMRPC) dated July 30, 2012 and revised
September 27, 2012; and an email with an attachment from Richard Preston dated
January 21, 2013.

A summary of the general items under consideration for discussion are the following: 1)
General Bylaw vs. Zoning Bylaw; 2) Temporary Signs; and 3) Administration and

Mr. Cundiff summarized concerns that the Building Commissioner brought forth, which
included the following: 1) Sign size was previously put forth by the Board of Selectmen
by consensus with a maximum of six (6) square feet. The proposal shows thirty-six (36)
square feet, and 2) Under the proposed section, temporary signs would not require
permits and therefore may cause safety problems if placed in poor locations.

The committee moved on to discuss where the bylaw is most appropriate – general bylaw
versus zoning bylaw. After discussion, the committee agreed that it makes the most
sense as a general bylaw given the fact that Section permits grandfathering for
lawfully erected signs prior to the date of this proposed bylaw.

The committee then discussed temporary signs and it was recognized that the bylaw may
not identify all instances of what may be a temporary sign. The example cited pertained
to a tow-behind LED sign that was not illuminated. It may allow for usurpation of the
bylaw. The consensus was that all types of signs could not be anticipated but the intent
of the bylaw was clear.

The committee agreed with changing all instances of District to Use. The Committee
agreed to change the minimum sign size from six (6) square feet to thirty six (36) square
feet. The committee agreed that there should be a minimum timeframe after a function
that a temporary sign must be removed. The committee agreed that there should be no
minimum number of temporary signs. The committee agreed that there should be an
appeals section for residents to seek relief. The committee felt that sign size
requirements shall be the same regardless of the district. The committee did not want to
use a summary matrix table in the bylaw.

Lastly, the Committee wanted to allow relief to certain types of signs to extend beyond
the temporary sign limitations set forth. Some examples of these types of signs include
Seasonal home business (firewood, vegetables, eggs, etc.) or real estate (home for sale).
Town Counsel to provide some suggestions.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Respectfully submitted,
William J. Cundiff
Mary Wright
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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