Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ketchum reconsiders sign ordinance

Council members less enthused than P&Z about tough regulations

Express Staff Writer

If the Ketchum City Council were to approve an amended sign ordinance in its current, proposed form, many existing signs would be out of compliance unless grandfathered in.

Councilwoman Nina Jonas presented a slide show to fellow council members during their meeting Monday, revealing the extent of differences in what is versus what could be.

Signs for Java on Fourth, Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta and Giacobbi Square, among dozens of others, would be out of compliance due to proposed restrictions on size, color, proximity to the city right of way and other restrictions.

Recommendations made by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission incorporated more regulation of aesthetics than Jonas was comfortable with.

"It stifles creativity so boldly, it frightens me," she said.

Less-restrictive amendments also would facilitate wayfinding, she said, which the city is struggling to provide. She said the lack of directional signs makes it difficult for visitors to find businesses, and for businesses to let visitors know where they are.

"Our goals should be to promote community and to do it in a somewhat uniform and fair method that ... doesn't stifle creativity," agreed Councilman Larry Helzel.

The council is scheduled to again discuss the revised ordinance at a special meeting on Tuesday, June 14.

Rebecca Meany:

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