Last Spring I had brought forward on behalf of the Dennisport Revitalization Committee a proposal to establish regulatory authority for implementing a Village Wayfinding Sign program as recommended in the Dennis Port Design Charrette. The proposal met with some concerns at the Selectmen’s meeting and was put on hold while a variety of issues were worked out. Since then, I have explored resolution to many of the issues raised and offer the following:
Can a General By-law regulate just a portion of town without running afoul of establishing “zones”? The simple answer received from the Attorney General’s Office was a cautioned yes. We can create a by-law that provides special privileges or controls within one village that is different from the rest of town. However, if we start to extend this, without going town-wide, we could run into issues of whether it should be put into the Zoning By-law. This answer allows us to establish a set of standards within the Town Sign By-law just for Dennisport.
The second big issue was the height of signs. Minimum ground clearance for street signs, according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, is seven feet. While establishing this as the ground clearance for Village Wayfinding Signs might increase the opportunity for the theft of signs, I am going to recommend that we establish a firm standard that makes all Village Wayfinding Signs adhere to a minimum seven foot ground clearance. I am also recommending a maximum sign height of twelve feet, down from the twenty feet originally proposed, this is based upon the allowed height of sign elements and now establishing standard ground clearance. This will provide for a five foot “window” for Village Wayfinding Signs. In this “window” would be the twelve inch high village identification sign, the three eight inch tall slats and one eight inch tall street sign. Overall the sign components occupy 44″ of this window, the “extra” space allows for spacing that may be needed to attach them to one another.
Third, was a concern raised about the “appropriate village committee” phrase used in the original proposal. I am adding a definition that notes it is a committee that is assigned by the Board of Selectmen with creating a Village Wayfinding Sign Program.
Hopefully the changes will allow Dennisport to move forward with this recommendation from the Design Charrette. I will add a page to the blog in the next few days with the full text as well as place it on the agenda of the Economic Development Committee.