WADSWORTH: The Planning Commission Monday recommended City Council adopt more stringent legislation concerning the removal of signs when a business property is vacated by a 4-1 vote.
At a discussion on this issue at the Sept. 9 meeting of the commission, Mayor Robin Laubaugh said this legislation originated because the city has signs that have been left behind for 30 years and the structure has been demolished.
Planning Director Jeff Kaiser, at that same meeting, noted the city inherited a problem on state Route 261 for a structure that was designed to hold two boards with 330-square-foot signs, which have not been used since 1965.
Currently, the ordinance requires all signs associated with a business be removed within 60 days of ending operations. The ordinance proposed by the commissions includes that regulation but adds "Freestanding signs that been vacated or unused for more than 365 consecutive days shall be removed within 90 days after receipt of a notice from the zoning inspector ordering the removal of the freestanding sign."
It also adds that removal of a sign shall include the face, sign frame and supporting structure. Also, the utilities are to be capped at the base or foundation to which the supporting structure is attached.
Kaiser acknowledged that if a party wants an extension of the 365-day limit, an appeal can be made to the city's Board of Zoning Appeals.
Commissioner Andy Graham voted against the proposal on the grounds that the pole on which the sign is mounted is part of the infrastructure of the business and the city should not tell a business to tear down infrastructure.
The commission also approved a lot split and consolidation of that land with the acreage at 802 High Street, the site of a Sunoco station. The new site is expected to be developed as another business.