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Library proposal causes city to reconsider sign laws

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– A proposed electronic message board for the Solon Public Library has been put on hold while the city reconsiders its municipal sign ordinance.
Representatives of the library’s board of trustees presented a plan for an outdoor sign with a scrolling LED message board to the members of the Solon City Council during a March 21 meeting, but the sign would not comply with current city regulations and would require a variance.
That prompted city council member Steve Stange to suggest the law needed to be revisited.
“I said it last year, and I’ll say it again, our sign ordinance is too restrictive,” Stange said.
Library trustee Paula Sears explained the library has extremely limited space for additional signage. “The only real choice is the one we’re presenting,” she told council members.
But the new sign would require the relocation of a street light and would be constructed in the city’s right-of-way.
City administrator Cassandra Lippincott indicated the proposal submitted to the city was the version closest to compliance with the sign ordinance, and she addressed the only concrete concern brought up by several council members; visibility.
The sign, just over seven feet tall and about eight-and-a-half feet wide, would be situated adjacent to the entrance of the library’s parking lot, but Lippincott indicated there would be adequate field of vision for motorists exiting the library.
Stange was reluctant to allow a variance for a municipal sign, stating it would send a message to the public that the city did not have to follow its own rules. He suggested a committee be formed to review the sign ordinance and return to the council with possible revisions within 30 days.