If the Northglenn City Council passes its updated sign code as is, residents will be limited to where they can place garage sale or other temporary signs in public rights of way.
Council is scheduled to vote on the first reading of the ordinance June 10.
Council discussed the code during its May 13 regular meeting, but did not vote on it because staff needed to make some changes the council wanted made.
Ward IV councilman Gene Wieneke raised several issues about the new code, one of which divided council — banning limited duration signs (which include garage sale and open house signs) from being placed in public rights of way within 50 feet of both streets at intersections.
Wieneke said that in the code now there was no specific distance.
“The reason council adopted the other policy previously was because we knew it was not smart to go out and try to outlaw garage sale signs,” he said. “And now you’re trying to push them back to make them more impractical as far as advertising, getting people’s attention.”
Wieneke suggested council put the limit to 10 feet.
City attorney Corey Hoffmann said keeping the distance farther back may create an additional layer of insulation for the city if there is an accident caused by a distracted driver reading signs.
“I can tell you the public safety reason for having them farther away from the intersection is to, as best you can, avoid folks making last minute decisions at intersections to make turns to go to one of the locations where there is a limited duration sale,” he said.
A couple council members suggest a 25 feet distance but there was no consensus for that number.
Mayor Joyce Downing, Mayor Pro Tem Susan Clyne and Ward 1 councilwoman Carol Dodge liked the 50 feet setback.
“I don’t mind leaving it at 50 because people are always going to abuse it,” Dodge said.
“If you put 10, they’ll put it at 5; if you put 50, they’re going to put it at 10. They’re going to put it where they want to anyway, so why not cover us in the meantime? I just don’t see the issue.”
Wieneke pointed out that staff picked up 81 illegally posted signs in April
“If code enforcement is picking up 81 now, just imagine what’s going to happen with all the garage sales over the next 10 years how many signs they’re going to be picking up because they’re closer than 10 feet, let alone what that would be if they were closer than 25 or 50 feet,” he
The mayor decided the distance would remain at 50 feet since there was no consensus for another number.
Another issue Wieneke had regarding the limited duration signs in public rights of way was that in the updated code, there could be no more clustering of signs, they would have to be 10 feet apart. Also, the signs could not have any attachments, including balloons or streamers.
If council approves the first reading of the ordinance on June 10, a second reading and public hearing will be set.
To view the entire draft sign code, visit webdocs.northglenn.org/file/57599/packet/index051313.html.