Three people spoke at a public hearing on the proposed moratorium, all in favor of an ordinance that would regulate billboards and other permitted signs. Two of the speakers are in the business of placing billboards, but were in favor of some type of regulation on location.
County Manager Dan McMillan said the county could adopt an ordinance to regulate billboards and other permitted signs, but because the county has no zoning such signs could not be restricted except in certain circumstances. He encourages anyone interested in the issue to come to planning board meetings to offer input.
The commissioners asked Planning Director Zach Edwardson to present this issue for study at the next planning board meeting which was scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m. The board’s next meeting is Thursday, Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m. They meet on the first and third Thursdays of each month in the commissioners’ meeting room on third floor of Ashe County Courthouse. The meetings are always open to the public. Edwardson will ask the planning board to consider some type of ordinance to regulate billboards and other permitted signs (those with lighting, placement along a major highway, or requiring a building permit for placement).
“There are so many signs, and which ones do you consider?” McMillan said. “There may be signs we’ve not even considered that could be reviewed in this 90-day period. The planning board should come back to the commissioners with something in those 90 days. Hopefully it will be something that everybody’s looking for. During that time, the planning board will be meeting with the commissioners to say this is what we’re looking at, and if the commissioners agree then they can go forward.”
McMillan said billboards or other signs already permitted can be placed during the moratorium but no new permits will be issued.