The effort to keep Pierce County’s roadways clear of signs continues to evolve with the County Council’s 6-1 passage Tuesday (Aug. 19) of legislation concerning signs that provide directions to open-house events.
Road crews have been removing all signs, including signs directing drivers to open houses, from county rights-of-way ever since the council last year voted to step-up enforcement of the county’s existing sign code. However, Realtors and building industry representatives believed the blanket removals hurt residents who were selling their homes.
“There had to be a reasonable way to help home sellers and still keep our area clear of unsafe, unsightly and unlawful sign clutter,” said Councilmember Roger Bush, who in 2007 spearheaded the enhanced sign-code enforcement effort. “We don’t want to undo the progress we’ve made toward making our community more beautiful.”
Sponsored by all seven councilmembers, the proposal approved yesterday (2008-56s) adopts interim regulations authorizing the placement of temporary portable signs in the county right-of-way under certain limited conditions. Home sellers hosting an open house may place two signs in the right of way directing the public to those events – while they are occurring – for no more than 20 hours in any week. The interim regulations take effect Oct. 2 and sunset on April 1.
It also asks county departments to study how best to allow kiosks that contain multiple signs directing drivers to various subdivisions, public facilities or commercial establishments. Councilmembers acknowledged that allowing a specific type of sign has angered those who want none, while limiting the size and location of permitted signs isn’t enough for some wanting to ease difficulties facing home sellers.
“I think it’s fair to say that neither side is happy with this compromise, which means that it’s probably about right,” said Councilmember Calvin Goings.
“This council continues to support the effort that Councilmember Bush began to clean up our rights of way,” said Councilmember Shawn Bunney. “Willy-nilly signs in the right of way are still not acceptable.”