DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

January 16, 2014

Councilors OK Derry's new sign rules

DERRY — All signs now point to a final document.

The Town Council gave its OK last week, voting 7-0 to approve an updated sign ordinance, putting an end to a long process after numerous workshops and public hearings were held over many months.

Now, upgraded requirements are clearer and more user-friendly, according to code enforcement officer Bob Mackey.

He said Derry’s sign rules were originally scattered all through the main zoning ordinance document. Now, they are specifically in one section and easier to find.

“This is cleaner,” Mackey said. “We consolidated everything into a main sign chapter.”

The Planning Board spent many months on the sign project, deciding what sizes and types of signs will be allowed.

Revisions include language upgrades and clearer definitions for different types of signs in various zones in town.

A lot of emphasis was put on the size of allowable real estate signs on both commercial and residential properties.

Many local businesses and real estate agencies gave valuable input, according to planning assistant Elizabeth Robidoux.

That included Steve Trefethen of Summerview Real Estate, known for its large, colorful real estate signs. Trefethen is a regular at many workshops and hearings.

Trefethen said he was satisfied with the results.

“At the end of the day, I’m happy with it,” he said.

Trefethen said he hardly missed a workshop or meeting when the sign ordinance was on the agenda. It was important, he said, for businesses like his to hear what was planned and how it might affect what he does.

“We appreciated his input,” Robidoux said. “Other people from sign companies and businesses also came and were very helpful.”

New rules say real estate signs cannot exceed 4 square feet in residential areas or 18 square feet in a nonresidential district. Real estate must be removed immediately after a sale, lease or rental.

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