Planners give thumbs down to allowing contractor signs at project sites

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Even with changes, the Plan Commission couldn’t support a return to allowing contractor signs at building and remodeling sites.

The commission made some changes Thursday to the proposal to allow the signs, then voted to recommend that the City Council defeat the ordinance.

“I have had several contractors come to me and say don’t change it, leave it the way it is,” Mayor Donald Pohlman said of the current ban on such signs in the city.

The ban has been in place for roughly a decade or more, but Alderperson Shawn Marcom proposed lifting it last fall. That ordinance was sent to the Plan Commission for its consideration and recommendation to the council.

Commission member John Nelson suggested changing the ordinance to limit the signs to 15 days instead of 30, either during construction or after project completion, and limiting them to one sign per contractor.

That amendment was approved by the commission by a 5-1 vote, with Pohlman voting no.

Several on the commission questioned how the ordinance would be enforced if it is adopted.

“Who’s going to count 15 or 30 days,” Pete Rammer asked.

Building Inspector Pete Scheuerman said he would be responsible for enforcing the rules, the same as for other sign codes.

“When the abolishment came about, there was an excess of (contractor signs), but the real problem was that they stayed up,” Scheuerman added.

Pohlman repeated that he had heard from several local contractors who told him they had no problem with the ban on project signs.

“Until this (proposal) came up, there were no questions about this,” he stated.

Rammer then moved that the commission recommend to the council that the ordinance not be adopted, which passed unanimously.

Because of the commission’s negative recommendation, it will require a supermajority of the council – six votes – to go against the recommendation and adopt the ordinance to allow contractor signs again.

The commission approved a site plan from Masters Gallery Foods for a 12-foot by 48-foot addition to the rear of their building on County PP.

The addition will be to the existing mechanical machinery room. It will allow the company to replace aging existing machinery with new equipment.

The commission gave final approval for a site plan to convert a single-family home at 619 Alfred St. to a two-family dwelling.

The approval came with the requirement that the existing two-story garage be removed and that vehicle access to Mill Pond Court from the property be blocked.

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