Columbus approves ordinance to allow yard sale signs

Published 3:34 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Columbus residents can now display up to four signs for yard, garage or estate sales. Such signs were previously not allowed within the town limits.

Columbus Town Council met Thursday, Dec. 15 and approved an amendment to the town’s temporary sign ordinance. Yard, garage and estate sale signs can be placed no earlier than 24 hours prior to the sale; they must be removed no later than 12 p.m. the day after the sale. The town will allow one on-premise sign and no more than three off-premise signs for a sale. Each sign must not exceed 3 square feet, according to the new ordinance.

The ordinance also specifies that the address of the person holding the sale must be placed on the signs.

Some council members disagreed on the timing of the signs, with councilwoman Margaret Metcalf saying she thinks the signs should be removed the same day the sale is over.

“The 12 p.m. the following day seems to be a long time to me,” Metcalf said. “It seems to me when they’re finished the yard sale the signs should come up.”

Councilman Richard Hall and the majority of others disagreed with Hall, saying giving residents until the next day is reasonable.

“I want a friendly town here,” Hall said. “I think noon the next day is reasonable.”

Columbus acted quickly in changing its sign restrictions after resident Becky Bell told council members during the town’s October meeting that her yard sale signs were always taken down while other signs throughout town were not. At the time, no yard sale signs were allowed anywhere in town. Council decided to send proposed changes for the sign ordinance to the town’s planning board.

Council held a public hearing prior to the vote on the ordinance changes, with no residents making any comments.

Residents not removing signs may be fined $10 under the revised ordinance. Police officers enforce the town’s zoning ordinance, including sign regulations.