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City Council schedules public hearing regarding sign ordinance

WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar intends to amend its sign ordinance to reflect the most current sign technology.

The Willmar City Council has set March 15 for the public hearing to consider an amendment to the sign ordinance that would allow animation in electronic signs but would prohibit rapid animation so as to not distract or mimic any emergency vehicles.

The amendment was recommended by the Planning Commission.

The amendment would better align the sign ordinance with current sign technology, explained Bruce Peterson, director of planning and development services.

Council member Ron Christianson asked who decides or determines if animation is rapid or not. Peterson said the question was discussed at length by the Planning Commission.

"I don't know that there is a good way to define it. I don't know if there's a good way to judge it. It's one of those things -- you'll know it when you see it -- and I think it will be pretty clear. We've talked to some other communities and they've got some similar language in their sign ordinances,'' said Peterson.

"It'll definitely require common sense on the part of staff to enforce it,'' he said.

"Like most cases, we work with property owners to make sure that everybody understands what the issue is and I don't really anticipate any problems out in the marketplace dealing with businesses in regulating these signs.''

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150