Dillon’s ‘restrictive’ sign codes up for debate | SummitDaily.com

Dillon’s ‘restrictive’ sign codes up for debate

Kathryn Turner
Summit Daily News
Daily file photo Dillon is looking at its sign code, with an eye on making temporary signs like this maybe more allowable.

In light of a few unique situations encountered in the last few months, the Town of Dillon is considering modifying its “somewhat restrictive” sign codes.

The recent addition of Einstein Bros Bagels to the town’s lineup seems to have been the motivation for a Tuesday night council discussion, as the business sought to use a banner to cover the Blockbuster ticket sign, a blimp and numerous balloons for its grand opening – all things not allowed by code.

As the code currently stands, new businesses are only allowed to have a temporary sign banner for 14 days, a grand-opening banner for 30, and no grand-opening celebration “attention-getting devices” (like the blimp), among other rules. In a memo to the council, town engineer Dan Burroughs proposes allowing temporary sign banners for 60 days – in place of a permanent sign, as long as they have applied for one – “now open” signs in addition to grand-opening signs for 45 days from opening, and “attention-getting devices” for up to two consecutive weekends.

Temporary banners for existing businesses – like ones advertising big sales – are currently only allowed for 14 days per quarter. Staff receives a lot of complaints from business owners who say the duration isn’t long enough, and community service officers enforcing code experience the most violations with these banners, Burroughs wrote in his memo. They are up too long, don’t have a permit, have too many banners or are installed on a public right-of-way, among other issues.

Burroughs recommends allowing one temporary banner to be put up for a maximum of 75 days per year.

“The goal is to bring these issues to you because we have issues with enforcement,” he said.

Dillon police chief Steve Neumeyer confirmed to council that community service officer Sam Wilcox spends a lot of her time focusing on enforcing sign codes when there are better things she could be doing.

Wilcox told council she gets a lot of “push-back” from businesses, and wants to enforce the codes, but worries about being too harsh.

“These are things we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis,” Burroughs said. “From a town staff standpoint, we want a little more leeway.”

The town wants to be there for a business at its ribbon-cutting, and not go back five days later to tell them they have to change something, councilman Jason Smith said.

Council decided to consider changes to code, and revisit Burrough’s suggestions at a later date.

“I’m glad we’re doing this because it’s much more business-friendly,” Mayor Ron Holland said.

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