MOUNT VERNON — Although there are official signs in place to regulate traffic flow, there are times when individuals feel it is necessary to supplement those official signs with notices of their own. That recently occurred on Edgewood Road when traffic volume increased markedly due to the construction on Coshocton Avenue.
Residents were concerned about the potential danger of cars exceeding the 25 mile per hour speed limit along Edgewood. After becoming concerned with the increased speed of motorists, a couple of residents erected homemade signs to remind motorists to slow down and drive safely. Some people objected to the language on one sign, which was subsequently removed. The resident, and neighbors, said the sign had been effective in that traffic did slow down on Edgewood.
Mount Vernon Safety-Service Director Dave Glass said, generally speaking, signs are not permitted in residential areas, with the exception of very temporary signs such as yard sale notices. Those that are erected need to be outside of the street right of way and there are various scenarios in the zoning rules about temporary signs, which can be accessed on the city website.
Monitoring signs is not a police function, said Glass, as he is the zoning enforcement officer. He said a conversation with the landowner usually resolves a signage issue.
Centerburg village administrator Phil Lohmeyer said Centerburg doesn’t have much of a problem with regard to individual signs in the village. He said there are sign ordinances that deal with the placement and size of permanent signs, and time limits are specified for non-permanent signs.
“If you are putting up a garage sale sign, or election sign or something like that,” said Lohmeyer, “they have to be on your side of the sidewalk and they can only be there for a short period of time. All that information about what you can and cannot do is in our zoning regulations, which can be found through the village website.”
With regard to content, Lohmeyer said common sense should be the guiding rule. He said if a sign did have profanity on it or had degrading content, the village attorney would most likely become involved.
Things may be a little trickier for people living outside a corporation limit. Darrel Severns, director of the Regional Planning Commission, said there are no countywide regulations regarding signs, so there are inconsistencies across the county. He said each township has its own rules about the size, number and placement of signs. The biggest consideration countywide is that the sign does not infringe on visibility at intersections. If a sign is in the right of way along a state route, Severns added, the Ohio Department of Transportation has jurisdiction.