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Zoners Lend Support to Political Sign Regulations

The specifics of the sign regulations will be brought before the Woodbury Zoning Commission at its January meeting.

 

Twenty-seven months of deliberation on political signs in Woodbury nearly came to a close at the Tuesday, Dec. 11, Zoning Commission meeting.

Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of leaving language in the draft zoning regulations regarding political sign regulation. But after a discussion on constitutionality, commissioners decided to use the term "non-commercial signs" instead of "political signs," per a recommendation from town planner Brian Miller.

"It would be content neutral just to say non-commercial speech," according to the December 11 draft minutes from the meeting. "Non-commercial speech would be regulated. Political sign and non-commercial speech would have the same regulation and definition."

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So How Many Signs Can One Person Have on Their Property?

If the draft zoning regulations are approved as they are presently written, here's what Woodbury residents could have and/or see in people's yards:

- An unlimited number of three square foot signs
- One 6' by 4' sign per property

"I think we've agreed as a commission there is a rational, reasonable, publicly accepted way to control signs in Woodbury," Zoning Commission Chairman Martin Overton said.

Miller said he will draft language on the matter and have it available for the commissioners to vote on at the Tuesday, Jan. 8, meeting at the Senior Community Center. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Additional Coverage

  • Woodbury Continues Hearing on Sign Regulations
  • Political Sign Regs — Or Lack Thereof — Topic of November Public Hearing
  • Political Sign Regulations: How Strict Should They Be? [POLL]
  • Zoning Commission Hosts Public Hearing on Zoning Regulation Revisions

Opinion Pieces

  • Why the Political Sign Situation Matters
  • Current Political Sign Regulations Poorly Drafted
  • Sign Regulations Should Be Equal For All
  • Do What's Best For Woodbury
  • The Heart of the Political Sign Issue
  • Let Your Voice Be Heard
  • Thoughtful Revision Over Radical Repeal
  • Woodbury Was the Envy Of Other Towns
  • Political Sign Update Shared By Resident
  • Read All Proposed Zoning Amendments
  • Don't Give Up Control Over Signs
  • Limit the 'Loudness' of Visual Messages
tom arras December 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM
This latest idea being kicked around by the commission is simply another attempt to save face and continue to limit Constitutional rights. One problem that persists is that they still attempt to restrict political signs more than other types within the community. The "Zeeburger" signage given a permit in the middle of this issue is a perfect example. That business was permitted to erect a 42 square foot roof sign along with the lower "tags" of approx. 10 sq. ft. each. If 42 sq. ft. is allowed for commercial, it's certainly allowed for political expression! This ongoing gamesmanship is just one more example of why I think Overton is an embarrassment to the community and that he should resign. The only definite thing that came out of the deliberations regarding political expression is that the issue is guaranteed to go into its 28th month of meetings. How ridiculous! Read the Constitutions of both the United States and Connecticut and either abide by them or change them!
Sean M December 14, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Not one qualified attorney commented to do anything other than repeal 7.5.10.I Constitutional Law Attorney Deb Stevenson explained why repeal was required. Former Atty General candidate Martha Dean wrote a letter and explained why repeal was required. I read the information that the CT ACLU posted on political signs. Repeal was urged. The key in all this is reading IN CONTEXT the two legal opinions from Richard Roberts. The first one from November 9, 2010 was general in nature. The second ended with advising to do what Mansfield did, which was remove restrictions. I have posted both of these for your viewing pleasure.
Sean M December 14, 2012 at 02:19 PM
The other huge problem Zoning now has is it has already dropped enforcement on the Overturn Overton sign, which is 32 sq. ft. It has by doing so declared that these signs are not illegal. The Commission contradicted itself yet again. This is why Overton played the games he did and stopped the meeting to prevent me from speaking. He only wants information out that fits his agenda. His abuse of his position AGAIN rears his ugly head. His lackey Bob Clarke has been enabling this for a while. Cosgriff, Green, and Tietz have allowed this to continue by refusing to remove him from the chairmanship. None of them will take the chairmanship and will not step aside to allow someone else to do so. They are just as much of the problem as Overton. They do not read up on the rules of conduct for zoning, they do not understand basic procedures, and it shows. They are just as guilty as Overton and Clarke for all the nonsense going on in Zoning.
joe_m December 16, 2012 at 04:15 PM
To the Woodbury Zoning Commission, please read our state Constitution. If you cannot read, please let me know, I'll be happy to read it to you.
joe_m December 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM
In addition, pleae state your authority, in the State Constitution, where you have the right to limit political speech or limit our right to publish.
tom arras December 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Our Zoning Commission members have demonstrated that they will ignore the Constitution despite having sworn to uphold our laws, and that they instead want the matter to go to court - possibly costing Town taxpayers into the seven figure $ range. The CT Constitution is SIMPLE to understand on this subject, yet we have 3 regular commission members being led around by the nose by chairman Overton and his lackey Clarke. Those other 3 commission members don't have the backbone to do what they should under the law, and do not benefit the system or the community by acting this way. I have been frustrated that we have been through 27 months of meetings so far, and that the commission obeys the "rules according to martin"- I guess he's a legend in his own mind. It should also be understood that an important commission ignoring as important a document as our Constitution does nothing for Woodbury's image and appeal to those who would consider this as a place of residence or business. Messrs. Overton, Clarke, Tietz, Green, & Cosgriff would do well to follow the Constitution and the advice of the attorneys rather that martin's advice. An illegal regulation is an illegal regulation!

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