By Michael Howell
The Ravalli County Commissioners voted unanimously last Monday to change the county’s Sign Ordinance to allow larger off premise signs than are allowed in the current ordinance, which was adopted in 2000.
The proposed changes would allow a sign up to 672 square feet (about the size of 21 plywood sheets) to be placed along Highway 93. The current limit is 32 square feet (about the size of one sheet of plywood.) The proposal includes a restriction of 336 square feet (about 10 plywood sheets) for signs in the rest of the county.
Over a dozen written public comments were placed in the record, all in favor of leaving the ordinance unchanged and the current size restrictions in place. The five citizens who spoke at the meeting also all supported the current ordinance and were against any change.
No commissioner actually spoke for or against the proposed ordinance changes, but they all voted in favor of it. This was only the First Reading of the new ordinance which must also be approved on Second Reading to be adopted. That meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 15.
Asked who initiated these changes, Commission Chair Suzy Foss said that they received telephone calls from concerned citizens asking for the change. Those callers were not identified and no public record was made available of their comments.