By Sue Moore
A rewrite of the Village of Vicksburg sign ordinance was proposed to the village council by the planning commission at its December meeting. The changes have been in the works for nearly a year and have been led in large part by members of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA).
Village Councilman Chris Newman, who serves on the Planning Commission, supported the measure at the meeting with commission Chairman Bobby Durkee. The changes have been reviewed and approved by the village attorney.
“This was a review and cleanup as required by our master plan,” Newman said. “There were lots of outdated wording, some gray areas with some potential for abuse in the old version. Modern signage is needed so it can be enforceable and cover all the bases that technology has brought about. We used a common-sense approach that is more in-depth, eliminated a lot of gray areas, while keeping the character of the town without having a sign fiasco. A big change is that overhanging signs will be allowed.”
“Interpretation of the amount of square footage was a gray area,” Durkee pointed out. “Signs can be larger, up to 100 square feet,” he said.
The ordinance requires the village manager to grant or deny a permit within thirty days after an application has been submitted. If the permit is denied, a business could seek a variance or a special land use permit. Signs that are already in place that do not fit the requirements will be grandfathered in as non-conforming, but if any change is made to them, they will not be allowed.
Adoption of the ordinance is set for the council’s January meeting.