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How About Bigger Signs for Bigger Properties?

Signage, home businesses, horses and improving the excavation permit process were discussed at a hearing on updating town zoning codes and regulations.

Since Monroe wants to encourage larger commercial developments, town developer John Kimball suggested allowing signs for bigger parcels to be incrementally larger.

Gail Bunovsky, who is on the Inland Wetlands Commission, agreed, saying, "The small signs are as bad as texting when you're driving and trying to read them."

The rest of the group gathered around the table inside the Masuk High School Media Center laughed at Bunovsky's light hearted comment during a discussion on Supplemental Regulations Thursday night.

BFJ Planning and the Monroe Planning & Zoning Commission hosted a public hearing on revising and updating the town zoning regulations and codes and everyone broke up into three groups for discussion.

The other two groups included Code Organization and Districts.

At the Supplemental Regulations' table, Kimball said, "I'm a fan of advertising a location, not those directory signs. I want to get people to come in and see what's there."

On a sign for a physicians' practice for instance, Kimball said if all of the doctor's names are mentioned, it's too small to read.

Bernie Sippin, a longtime resident and businessman, added, "What John knows is, when you're leasing to a tenant, he wants his name out there."

The group also talked about the issue of farmers having to apply and pay for permits for seasonal signs. Sippin mentioned how farmland costs little in way of town services.

"How about an exemption for signs for agricultural products?" Kimball asked.

"That's the way it should be," Sippin added.

Town Zoning Enforcement Officer Joseph Chapman asked about the scenario of people selling agricultural products that are neither grown nor raised on their property.

"What about the person who buys tomatoes and brings them in and sells it?" Chapman asked.

Sippin said Chapman had a point, but noted how Christmas tree farmers and those who raise cattle often bring other trees and beef in for sale.

Home Businesses, Horses ...

Those at the Supplemental Regulations table also discussed the possibility of allowing more home-based businesses that would not hurt the owner's neighborhood, such as a floral business in which no trucks are involved.

Other topics included streamlining the excavation permit process and allowing residents to own horses on smaller properties.

"Horses were a hot topic," Kimball told everyone after the round table discussions concluded. "It seems with the five-acre minimum, maybe we're being horse-unfriendly."

Those at the table suggested: If a property owner handles a horse and its manure properly and there is access to trails, a horse should be allowed on one acre.

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