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City reviewing sign ordinance

The Hudson Plan Commission is looking to make changes to the city's ordinance on temporary signage.

Council Member Randy Morrissette made the request, after it was brought to his attention by a real estate agent.

"I'm not looking to reinvent the ordinance," Morrissette said.

Instead he wants to inject new wording into the ordinance that would allow real estate agents to put up open house signs.

Currently the sign ordinance dictates that signs like these must be on private property only, and are not allowed in city right-of-way.

Community Development Director Mike Johnson said signs that have stakes put in the ground are one of the big factors they want to address, especially in regard to fiber or cables that are buried underground.

"That's a concern especially when you're on the Carmichaels of the world," Johnson said.

He said the city has seen one incident in the less than a year that he has worked there.

Mayor Rich O'Connor agreed the ordinance should be relaxed, not just for real estate signage but for other businesses to advertise as well.

'I would like to be able to continue to support a business like that," he said.

Commission Member Pat Casanova suggested the ordinance should have a distinction between professional signage, and signage for personal events like yard or garage sales.

Johnson said that is still difficult for staff to enforce.

"Because you have to have somebody who's going out," Johnson said.

Morrissette said the city could address the issue if it's abused, rather than having staff enforcing regularly.

"I don't expect you or public services or the police department to go chasing after yard signs," he said.

Education on the ordinance, and whatever changes are made, would be an important step. Johnson said the city probably hasn't done enough community outreach with the issue.

"Just to get everybody on the same page," Johnson said.

Continued discussion and draft language will be at the February plan commission meeting, and Johnson said he has asked a couple housing developers to be present as well.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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