It’s now up to
the Burns Harbor Town Council to decide whether new off-premises signs,
including billboards, will be banned from the town’s central core.
the town’s Advisory Plan Commission forwarded a favorable recommendation on
proposed zoning ordinance changes regarding signs and fuel/convenience
The latter would
be prohibited in the Residential/Commercial-2 zoning district although a use
variance could be sought. Fuel/convenience stores will be allowed in the
Downtown and Business Park districts. The ban would affect new stores, not
The sign changes
would ban off-premises signs on any parcel located on or adjacent to U.S. 20
from the westernmost boundary of Burns Harbor east to Lions Drive, or on any
parcel located on or adjacent to Indiana 149 from the town’s southernmost
boundary north to U.S. 12.
The town’s Board
of Zoning Appeals currently is considering separate petitions for two new
billboards south of Interstate 94 west of I-94’s Exit 22.
ordinance revisions also update zoning regarding dynamic signs, including
those using LED technology, that can be changed from a remote location; the
sign cannot create a public nuisance or unsafe driving conditions, or its
face not contain images that flash, scroll, turn, twinkle or have any type
The glare and
light intensity emitted from dynamic signs also is regulated.
During a hearing
Monday at which no one from the public commented, commission member Marcus
Rogala inquired about additional sign changes that would ban business signs
affixed, painted, attached or displayed on a motor vehicle or semi-trailer
intended primarily as advertising. He questioned whether such language would
affect people who bring home identifiable company vehicles.
attorney Charles Parkinson said no because those vehicles move and their
sole purpose isn’t to advertise a business on that property. He noted
enforcing the rule, if adopted, would be up to building commissioner Bill
Arney, and whether the vehicle is currently plated/registered.
“It’s going to be a case-by-case basis.”
member and former building commissioner Gene Weibl said there’s a difference
between advertising a four-day sale with a sign on a box truck and a
semi-trailer painted with advertising messages parked for months at the same
location. Parkinson said a vehicle can’t be moved around at the same
location if the primary intent is its use as a sign.
vote on the proposed ordinance changes was 5-0 with Jim McGee and Jan Hines
business, the commission unanimously accepted an extension of the letter of
credit until September, 2013 for Trail Creek subdivision on South Babcock