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Proposed Changes To Sign Ordinance in SF

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The rules regulating signs in Sioux Falls could be changing, and many business owners have mixed feelings about it.  The current city sign ordinance hasn’t been updated in nearly 30 years, so a study group is trying to come up with a new city code.

“How you do your signs today is probably how you're going to do your signs in the future,” says Jeffrey Schmitt, Chief of Planning and Zoning in Sioux Falls.

We see them everywhere, on businesses and along city streets. But what we may not realize is that every sign and banner must comply with the city code. For several years now Sioux Falls Planning staff and area business owners have been working on a new proposed ordinance they unveiled Tuesday afternoon.

The current rules do not regulate how many signs a business can put on their windows, and it's illegal to post temporary signs, like rummage sale signs, on public property.

The new proposal however, makes some big changes. Businesses would be allowed to cover 25 percent of their windows in signs for free, and would have the option to buy a permit if they wanted more signs.

But, some business owners are not on board. Many felt because they owned the business, they should not be told how what they can and can't do with their signs. Other felt it wasn't fair to issue permits.
As far as other signs, temporary signs would be allowed on public property for up to 21 days as long as the sign includes a contact. Also, if for some reason you were to be fined for a sign, you would have the opportunity to appeal the violation which currently is not a possibility.

While there are still plenty of kinks that need to be ironed out before the proposed ordinance is brought before the city council, for some this is a step in the right direction.
Schmitt says, “I can honestly say everything the citizens and the people have asked for, we have added to the sign code.”

Planning officials hope to present the new proposal to the city council sometime in late December or January.
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