Maricopa City Council on Tuesday discussed possible changes of rules governing temporary signs, including those for open houses, garage sales, flying banners outside commercial businesses and other nonpermanent signs.
The council reviewed a seven-page document containing amendments that outlined criteria and limitations on the signs to “eliminate confusing, distracting and unsafe signs” and to “minimize visual clutter,” according to a presentation during the meeting.
Two proposals that generated discussion from real-estate agents and council members concerned limiting the distance between signs to 10 feet, and that signs may be displayed for only one hour after an event.
Andrea Jackson, a real-estate agent, said consideration should be given to the fact that the signs are only temporary.
“If I put my sign out for a 10 a.m. open house and someone comes for a 12 p.m. open house and puts (their sign) five feet away from mine, is my sign going to be taken?” Jackson asked.
Code Compliance Supervisor Wes Moss stressed the primary concern for increasing distances between signs was public safety.
“When it becomes five, six, seven signs together at an intersection, people aren’t reading that one sign. They’re trying to read all of them rather than concentrate on the roadways,” Moss said.
City Manager Rick Horst also stressed the city’s priority would lie in re-education rather than enforcement.
“Our goal here is not to enforce anything,” Horst said. “We’re not going to have people out there with stopwatches timing. We’re not going to have people out there with measuring sticks. The truth is, it will probably rarely be an issue and if it is it’s going to start with a re-education process.”
Council members agreed to reducing the distance between signs to five feet and increasing the display time to two hours after an event ends.
Officials have not stated when the council will review and finalize revisions to the amendment.