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Supreme Court case prompts sign review

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Delta city attorney David McConaughy reviewed with the Delta City Council a draft of possible revisions to the City of Delta's sign regulations at the council's work session Sept. 1.

McConaughy's advice to the council to review Delta's sign regulations was prompted by the June 18 decision in the case of Supreme Court of the United States v the Town of Gilbert, Ariz.

A church in Gilbert, which had no church building, held its services in different places.

The church placed signs around town to notify people where services would be held. The church's informal signage system conflicted with Town of Gilbert's sign regulations.

The Supreme Court's decision stated, "The sign code's provisions are content-based regulations of speech that do not survive strict scrutiny."

McConaughy's draft ordinance reads, "The Delta City Council directed the city attorney and planning staff to recommend any revisions to Chapter 17.68 of the City Code in order to ensure compliance with the First Amendment as well as taking the opportunity to update and improve sign regulation and enforcement generally for the city."

During the review of the draft ordinance, the councilmembers found they wanted to receive citizen comments on several points, including size of signs, size of flags, how long signs can be placed, political signage, whether signs should be restricted in certain zoning districts, illumination of signs, and other points.

Signage is a zoning matter and the Delta Planning Commission will be required to hold a public hearing before the proposed ordinance comes before the city council at a regular council meeting.

The planning commission will hold a work session immediately before its next meeting at which time McConaughy will go over the draft ordinance. After that work session, the planning commission will schedule the public hearing.

The planning commission will meet Monday, Oct. 5, at city hall. The work session with McConaughy will begin at 6 p.m., with the planning commission meeting to follow at 7 p.m.

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