Planners stand pat on sign law revisions

July 16, 1993|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Staff Writer

The Baltimore County Planning Board failed to make any recommendations last night to the County Council on a controversial proposal to regulate temporary real estate directional signs.

During more than two hours of discussion, the board rejected by a tie vote a motion to recommend that current county law regulating the signs be left intact.

The board also rejected by a tie vote a motion to consider certain changes in the proposed legislation.

The council had asked the board for recommendations before the council introduced legislation regulating the signs.

The proposal now goes before a regular planning board committee for more study.

Fourteen of the 15 members of the planning board voted on the issue at last night's meeting. The 15th member had to leave. Both votes were 6-6 with two abstentions.

County law and zoning regulations prohibit placing real estate signs, directing potential clients to retail and rental residential subdivisions, on county property or rights of way.

The signs are put up on weekends. But a 30-year-old policy allowed the practice to go on.

Members of the real estate industry had asked the county for legislation that would clarify the contradiction. They contended the signs are vital for sales and employment.

The proposed measure, drafted by the county Office of Zoning Administration, would limit the number of directional signs for a development to 36 within a three-mile radius.

It also would allow the signs to be displayed only between 4 p.m. Fridays and 11:59 p.m. Sundays, and require that homebuilders provide zoning officials with a map showing the exact location of their signs to help with enforcement.

But an opinion by the county Office of Law raised concerns that the proposed measure could be unconstitutional because it would allow one industry to post the signs and deny that right to other advertisers.

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