Sign ordinance sent to council

Gray Hughes

The Hill City Planning and Zoning Commission voted to send its revised sign ordinance to the Hill City Common Council during the commission’s meeting Monday.

The vote passed unanimously 5-0 and the council will discuss the revisions at its regular meeting Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m.

“This has been a methodical process and I want to applaud the staff for their work,” said Rollie Noem, a member of the commission.

The commission had been working on the revised sign ordinance since January. The commission held 15 meetings where the revision was discussed, including three that were “highly advertised” by Dani Schade, the development service coordinator for Hill City.

If approved by the common council during its meeting Nov. 12, digital and electronic signs will be banned; however, so-called “reader board” signs would be allowed.

Further, the maximum height of signs and size of future permitted freestanding signs was lowered from 40 feet to 35 feet and from 200 square feet to 100 square feet.

If passed, there will also be a year-round temporary sign permit. That was passed by the commission 5-0 during its meeting on Monday, as well. The price for the temporary sign permit will be $120 for the year (spanning from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31) with prorating the price prohibited. In other words, even if one gets a sign permit in December, it would still be $120.

The ordinance sent to the common council would also allow for the city to order the removal of deteriorating signs and it would eliminate the need for a temporary sign permit for feather flags with no advertising.

The proposed ordinance was sent to the city attorney for its approval during the Oct. 7 meeting. The attorney sent back his comments with little revision.

At Monday’s planning and zoning meeting, the commission also set the date for a public hearing for the tax increment financing proposal needed to move forward with the affordable housing project undertaken by the Heart of the Hills Economic Development Council.

That public hearing — as well as the next Hill City Planning and Zoning Commission meeting — will take place Nov. 19 at 5:30 pm.

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