By: Jen Russon
A workshop held on Wednesday to address a new sign code ordinance may lead to future limitations for a real estate agent’s signage on public roadways and easements.
The ordinance could ban open house signage, requiring any signs to be placed on the parcel of land for sale, and not on public property. Other stipulations include limiting the number of signs to five, as well as being made with code approved materials.
After the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, where the city of Gilbert was sued for the manner in which signs were displayed in public places, temporary signs are no longer allowed to be displayed at right-of-way locations.
Coral Springs Municipal Prosecutor Nick Noto told the audience, consisting mostly of real estate agents, “This is an overhaul of the entire sign code, so we’re trying to be creative in crafting an ordinance that won’t hurt realtors or property values.”
Michael Longo of Blue Realty said, “That’s how we make our living, doing these open houses. I could burn through five signs in one small area easily. I worry that the typical buyer, driving around on a Saturday, will look for signs that aren’t there and assume my open house is over.”
Cindy Brief, President of the Coral Springs Regional Chamber requested that ideas proven to work in other cities be adopted.
Asking the city to consider creating an online registry for realtors who need to advertise their open houses, Karen Johnson with Keller Williams, suggested a four to 24 hour period.
Susan Hess Krisman, Director of Developmental Services thanked those who spoke out and said their ideas would be taken into consideration.
“We liked our sign code the way it was, and we understand your reservations,” she said. “We don’t want to be a city with its head in the sand. We have to comply with the ordinance, and make sure our city’s signs meet constitutional guidelines.”
The meeting closed with Commissioner Joy Carter, a Realtor at Keller Williams, asking agents to return when the commission meets in one week.
“There’s a lot of passion in this room, so I would ask that when we have a public hearing about this on July 18, you send your best representatives to come and speak for what’s best for our businesses and the people of Coral Springs.”
The public hearing will begin at the city commission meeting on July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at city hall and will cover a first reading of the sign ordinance.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.