Johnstown Town Board shies away from sign moratorium

JOHNSTOWN – The majority of the Town Board on Monday gave a cold shoulder to a potential moratorium on flashing signs.

However, the board appears willing to consider suggestions about how to improve the language the town code uses to help people interested in putting up a new sign for their business.

“I think the determination of the terms need to be elaborated. I think that there’s specific words that need to be clarified. This is what … flash means. This is what … transition means. Just the clarity, I think the clarity would solve a lot of issues,” board member Tim Rizzo said.

At the Town Board meeting Monday, board members discussed a proposed six-month flashing sign moratorium.

Supervisor Jack Wilson previously suggested discussing LED and flashing signs.

On Monday, Wilson asked for an open discussion regarding the potential moratorium.

Walt Lane, a board member, opposed a moratorium. He said the board should revisit the language to stay up-to-date.

“In where we live right now in 2016, stuff is changing so fast. What we thought was OK two years ago is so old and old fashioned now – it’s crazy. We need to make the language simple, so that everybody who reads it understands,” Lane said.

Other board members said flashing signs were beneficial to the town’s success.

“I think these are the signs of success. We have them on both sides of us, in every community around us. If you see those signs, you want to stop and eat at those places. If one person has it, I think the guy next store deserves to have it too,” board member Daryl Baldwin said.

“If a company makes a sign so annoying that people don’t like looking at it, then they aren’t going to go there. I don’t think they need to be addressed. I agree with Daryl that people use them to increase their sales. They seem to be working,” board member Jim Westover said.

Lane asked the board members if they would at least consider letting Rizzo and Wilson come back to the board with suggestions regarding the language for signage in the town. The board informally agreed.

“We aren’t going to sit and there and dictate how a sign is designed and built. I think what we are going to try and give clarity to is how it’s being used into the public,” Rizzo said.

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