Fiscal Court puts amended sign law on hold
Published 7:56 am Thursday, January 12, 2017
A week after city officials suggested a number of changes to a revised sign ordinance, the Clark County Fiscal Court voted to table the issue until another revised ordinance is ready.
The Fiscal Court already voted for the first reading at its last meeting, but that was before the Winchester Board of Commissioners meeting last week.
The proposed amendments are designed to bring the joint city-county ordinance in line with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling which struck down ordinances based on the content of signs. Called “content neutral” ordinances, the goal is for ordinances to be based on size and location rather than content, such as election signs or church-related signs.
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“I don’t think we’ll ever have a perfect ordinance, but one that’s less likely for us to be sued,” Planning Director Robert Jeffries said Wednesday.
One proposed amendment would remove language concerning political campaign signs and replace it with regulating temporary signs allowed within the timeframe of established elections.
Jeffries said there was a provision for signs placed by real estate professionals within their job duties without specifying realty signs, he said.
The city commissioners did not vote on a first reading last week, but discussed it at length and proposed several changes, including lengthening the window for temporary signs at election time to allow for absentee voting and reconsidering the ban on digital billboards.
The fiscal court also approved the second reading of a policy change for the county road department to drop the requirement for a high school diploma or a GED. Under the new policy, road department employees without a diploma will not be eligible for promotions or raises.
The measure was approved with a 6-1 vote. Magistrate Pam Blackburn cast the dissenting vote.
In other action, the Court:
— reappointed Beverly Daugherty to a three-year term on the Clark County Cemetery Board.
— reappointed Harry Enoch, Martha Miller, Roberta Newell, Carol Anne Oliver and David Gravett to two-year terms on the Clark County Cemetery Board.
— reappointed Sheila McCord to a two-year term on the Winchester-Clark County Heritage Commission.
— reappointed Robert Blanton to a two-year term on the Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation Board.