Contractor yard signs stay forbidden

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Trucks, vans and trailers, yes; signs, no.

Following the lead of the Plan Commission, the City Council Tuesday voted not to lift the ban on contractor project signs on residential properties.

“I didn’t feel the change was going to affect commerce in the city,” Alderperson John Nelson said in explaining his vote against the ordinance that would have allowed the project signs.

“My feeling was it probably has very little net effect on business. Generally contractors have a vehicle parked there (at a job site) that has all their info on it, which is pretty good advertising in itself,” Nelson continued.

The change was proposed to the council last fall and was referred to the Plan Commission for a recommendation. The commission earlier this month voted to recommend keeping the ban in place, and it would have required six yes votes in the council to overturn that recommendation.

“I know the fear was that where we have a remodeled home that has a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a flooring firm and more, all being subcontracted, you could have four or five different signs in someone’s yard,” Alderperson Jim Sedlacek said.

But he said that several local businesses had asked for the ban to be lifted, saying that such signs are not prohibited in other area communities.

The vote to defeat the proposed ordinance change was 6-0, with Alderperson Jack Fernsler absent.

The council gave permission for Keith Kesick to set up an indoor archery range in the basement of his Magokoro Martial Arts Studio at 434 E. Mill St.

Police Chief Jeff Tauscheck pointed out that indoor archery ranges are permitted in the city, but only with the approval of the City Council.

Kesick also was seeking permission to use the range for BB and soft air guns as well.

It would be part of the self-defense classes he teaches at the studio, Kesick explained.

There would be no more than 10 people in a class, and only one student would be shooting at a time, he continued. There would be a backstop and barriers to protect class members.

“The basement is a 12-inch poured concrete foundation with only one door, so there’s little to no chance of anything leaving the building,” Kesick assured the council.

“If it’s run the way it sounds, I don’t have an issue with it,” Tauscheck told the council. “I don’t have any concern as long as it’s supervised. I think it’s a safe sport. The 4-H in Sheboygan County has a BBgun firing program.

“If there would be any issues it would come to the police department,” Tauscheck continued. “IF the students or parents have an issue, they would come to the police department. If we felt it was a dangerous situation, we would come back to the council and ask you to revoke the permission.”

Kesick said any students under 18 years of age would need permission from a parent or guardian to participate in the class and fire an arrow or gun.

The permission was granted on a 5-1 vote, with Alderperson Jackie Jarvis voting no. She explained she would have preferred granting temporary approval for the archery range first and, “after a year, if the archery is going well, then open it up for BB guns.”

The council amended the comprehensive plan land use map to allow a residence at 619 Alfred St. to continue as a two-family residence.

City Administrator Brian Yerges explained that the structure, which had been a multi-family, has been vacant for more than a year but a developer is planning to rehabilitate it.

The lot is in an area zoned for singlefamily homes and, since it has been vacant, the home lost its grandfathered status and could no longer be a multi-family home until the official map was changed.

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