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City wants input on sign ordinance

The city of Rosemount is making some changes to the way people are allowed to use signs in town and city officials want to know what you think.

The city is in the middle of updating its sign ordinance. City planners have already met with business owners. They've planned an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 24 at city hall and will hold a public hearing April 28 as part of a regular planning commission meeting.

The proposed changes, which add freedom for residents to post temporary signs for garage sales and other events but put new restrictions on other types of signs, are part of an effort to bring the city's sign ordinance up to date.

The temporary signs, referred to in the ordinance as off-premise signs, are not allowed under the current ordinance but they pop up a lot anyway. There are some concerns that they create clutter and, depending on where they're installed, traffic hazards.

Planner Jason Lindahl said changing needs and changing technologies have made it necessary to adjust the ordinance. Improvements to the technology used in electronic signs, for example, have made such signs more versatile and less expensive, and that has led to an increase in the number of requests the city gets for such signs. The proposed ordinance changes would provide more opportunity for installing electronic signs in certain parts of the city.

"Part of why we got started on the process was that we were beginning to hear requests to have electronic signs and we were experiencing challenges with the administration of off-premise sign standards, which prohibit those types of signs," Lindahl said. "We're trying to catch up to technology related to electronic signs and we're trying to acknowledge that there is some need for the temporary, off-premise signs without completely opening the door to those types of signs."

The proposed ordinance would allow off-premise signs as long as they are no larger than four feet wide by three feet high and are within six blocks of the event they're advertising. The signs could only be displayed between 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Monday.

The city is required to hold a public hearing for its proposed changes. Next week's open house is an additional opportunity for residents to comment.

"We've got a two-month period here where we're trying to give people an opportunity to give as much feedback as they'd like," Lindahl said. "We're trying to go above and beyond the normal legal requirement."

For a PDF copy of the sign ordinance presentation made March 11 to the Rosemount Business Council go to