SIOUX CENTER—The Sioux Center City Council unanimously approved a series of changes to its sign ordinance in a third and final reading at its May 27 meeting.
The purpose of the changes, effective immediately, is to further regulate temporary signs as well as to update the code’s language to include digital signs.
Before the ordinance update, there was nothing in the code about digital signs, which have become more popular options for temporary signage.
City code enforcement director Josh Dorhout described temporary signs as any portable commercial or noncommercial “sign, banner, pennant, streamer, inflatable sign, valance, bag or banner covering a permanent sign or advertising display constructed of cloth, canvas, light fabric, cardboard, vinyl, wallboard or other materials, with or without frames, intended to be displayed for a short period of time only.”
“Those would be ones like you’d see on the street corners of busier intersections or businesses with a special sale or a special event or something like that,” he said.
Commercial signs include sale signs for specials or event advertisings, including signs for yard sales. Those are considered regular temporary signs. Digital display boards and arrow signs, while commercial, are also considered special temporary signs that would now require a permit from the city.
“This will help establish when the signs will be erected, taken down and who is responsible for the sign,” Dorhout said. “This permit will be applied for and granted through the Sioux Center website and will not carry a fee.”
Permanent signs have always required a permit.
Under the ordinance rules, commercial temporary signs may be displayed for up to six months.
Examples of noncommercial signs include political and campaign signs. Noncommercial signs can be displayed for 14-day periods up to four times a year.
Existing signs will be grandfathered in, but the previous time frames for displaying temporary signs would still apply.
A property in a residential zone may have six noncommercial temporary signs at most, each with a maximum area of 4 square feet and set back 5 feet from the curb. The same is true for a property within a commercial zone, except that each sign can have a maximum area of 32 square feet.
Another change to the ordinance allows for pole signs to be erected in the highway commercial, general industrial and industrial park zoning districts, but they must have a wrapped or architecturally detailed to have a high-quality, finished appearance. The poles must be a sum of 20 percent of the sign face’s dimensions.