Issue of: May 20, 1998  


Council adopts right of way resolution

Illegal signs must come down

Express Staff Writer

City officials are no longer turning their heads away from Ketchum merchants that have ill-placed signs or awnings that encroach on the city right of way.

The Ketchum City Council voted on Monday night 3-1 to approve a resolution that outlaws signs projecting into the city’s right of way in its downtown core.

Businesses along Main Street and Sun Valley Road, however, are exempt from these encroachments standards because these streets are considered heavy tourist thoroughfares.

"We’ve been talking about it for three months, but grappling with it for four years," said Councilman David Hutchinson. "The wording of the resolution allows us to be objective and clean up all non-conforming signs."

About 30 businesses will have to reapply for encroachment permission under the new resolution, said city planner Lisa Majdiak, who added that owners will all be notified by the city about how to conform with the new standards.

Projecting signs or awnings must be at least eight feet above the ground and are allowed a maximum of eight feet of advertising space.

Awnings may be at any location within the downtown core, provided the owners ensure the "dripline" does not cause a danger to pedestrians when conditions are icy.

According to the proposal, illegal signs not previously approved by the council will need to come down within one year.

Owners who had received permission to put up signs that are now illegal under the new standards will be given two years to remove their signs.

Several other changes to the adopted resolution will affect businesses that already have right-of-way encroachment permission.

If a business requests a building permit over $20,000, for example, the existing encroachments will have to comply with city standards.

And all existing balconies must apply for and receive a right-of-way encroachment agreement in one year.

"This is not as broad and sweeping a change as we thought, but it will make our job easier," said Hutchinson.


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