Woodbury residents will have another chance to weigh in on political sign regulations — or potentially the lack thereof — at the November Zoning Commission meeting.
The consensus of the Zoning Commission is that completely removing the section regulating political signs from the draft zoning regulations is a major change and therefore requires a public hearing, scheduled for the 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, meeting.
Zoning Commission Chairman Martin Overton told Patch the draft zoning regulations will go before the Planning Commission and the Council of Governments for review, then come back before the commission and the public.
"We can do this as many times as they want to but it's not my fault when Mr. Arras doesn't have an answer," he said, referring to an ongoing issue of a potential zoning violation on Tom Arras' property, regarding a sign that is larger than the present regulations allow.
Residents who spoke at the Tuesday, Sept. 11, Zoning Commission meeting at the largely had two opinions:
- Signage shouldn't be regulated in order to preserve free speech.
- The signs need to be regulated in order to preserve the character of the town.
Cliff Atkin said he supports removing the regulations of political signs in town.
Caroline Bossetti asked if it's ever illegal to put up a sign that attacks another person.
Overton said the Zoning Commission has no jurisdiction over content.
"What is on the sign is none of our business," he said.
Attorney Deborah Stevenson, speaking on behalf of Art McNally, said people may be offended by the content of a sign, but the law supports the right of someone to offend another person whether that person agrees with what was said.
Marilyn Aligata urged everyone to remember the character of the town.
"I moved here 25 years ago because it was a charming, beautiful town and I'm here tonight because I want it to stay that way," she said.
The Division Between Two Political Parties
Adele Taylor said she signed a complaint against a Martha Dean sign on the Crawford property years ago because she believes residents have the right to regulations that allow them to control the character of the town.
"I'd like to confess proudly that I signed a petition or a complaint against the Martha Dean sign on the Crawford lawn," she said. "At the time I was an unaffiliated voter. Before that, I was a Republican. I was not part of any Democrat conspiracy to take on anybody, Republican or Democrat. But the sign was larger than our regulations allowed."
Taylor said she does not like hate signs on Main Street.
"I find it very offensive and so do people from other towns," she said. "I think it presents our town in a poor light."
Bossetti said she sees a sad state in Woodbury.
"I believe the sadness of this wonderful village is the division between Republican and Democrat," she said.
How do you feel about political sign regulations? Should signs be regulated or should the regulations be removed?
Editor's Note: The article now reflects the correct date of the November Zoning Commission meeting. Patch regrets the error.