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Town of Hudson approves ordinance that addresses electronic signs

The Hudson Town Board has approved a new sign ordinance, but not before St. Croix County officials chimed in with a few potential changes.

Those tweaks have been made, and now the County Board also has OK'd the final version.

Town Chairman Jeff Johnson said that many changes that were made involved electronic message centers and making sure clauses do not impede freedom of speech.

These are some of the noteworthy changes:

--Electronic message centers may not be bigger than 6 feet high and 16 feet wide, the equivalent of four tenet parcels. Temporary advertising information, such as for sale items, Amber alerts or community events, may not be shown for more than 21 calendar days.

--Signs with electronic message centers require site plan approval.

--Off-premise signs count toward the total amount of permitted signs allowed on a parcel.

--No signs may be posted in rights-of-way, with exceptions that include church or recreational signs that are directional, or rural address signs.

--Portable, internally lit signs are considered temporary signs and may only be erected for three months.

--Wording was introduced saying that substitution in signage content of "non-commercial speech" for commercial speech, such as a business name, may be done without getting additional permits or approvals.

--A provision that campaign yard signs be limited to 24 square feet was canceled.