Sign issues accompanying Gluckstadt’s growthBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
EXPLOSIVE GROWTH in Gluckstadt has also brought non-compliance in ground-mounted sign usage. However, enforcing the county sign ordinances could clean up the problem.
In recent months, the Madison County Board of Supervisors and county board attorney Katie Bryant Snell has looked into the problem, searching for a solution.
Last September, concerned citizen Marvin Carollo addressed the board about the issue.
“I live off Gluckstadt Road in Red Oak subdivision… We’ve experienced a lot of growth. It’s great, it’s wonderful… Temporary signage seems to be popping up everywhere, even in the rights of way… It just looks horrible.”
Carollo continued to say that if the Madison County sign ordinance was enforced, most of the signage would be taken care of.
“Please just enforce the ordinances we have. It sure doesn’t look good for our community. In the meantime it’s up to the county because we’re not incorporated.”
District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter even commented that when he was running for office, he was not allowed to put any signage in rights of way.
“And they get down in the ditches and the grass grows over them. Our mowers are going to go over them and it’s going to tear up our mowers,” said District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones.
Some of the signs mentioned included ads for resumes, mosquito control, pizza, lawn-mowing services, and mattresses for sale.
Since then, Snell has looked at options for the county to enforce the policy of keeping the Gluckstadt area looking good.
“I know people have been complaining of signs on the side of the highway and stuff like that,” Snell said. “I don’t recommend we pass a separate ordinance. I think we (need to) incorporate that into our current sign regulations in our zoning ordinances.”
The county can legally remove all signs in the rights of way, and the county zoning ordinance has sign regulations listed under Article XXV (25). Permits are required for most signs.
Off-premise signs, with the consent of the property owner, require permits, as do identification signs and other types of permanent ground-mounted signs.
Signs not requiring a permit include signs for government purposes, utility, traffic and (private) parking, addresses, political campaigns, memorials, etc.
Temporary signs that do not require permits include construction signs for a single-family residence or residential subdivision, real estate, miscellaneous sale signs, commercial development, and public activities or events.
Removal of these signs is required after seven to 30 days, depending on the subject matter of the sign. Special event signs must be removed with 48 hours following the end of the event.
“We already have a regulation in our ordinances for signs and that’s some language we can include when it’s being amended. That’s the smarter way to go about it.”