by Cori Hilsgen
The St. Joseph City Council has approved a temporary moratorium denying any new construction or modification of any sign which is illuminated, contains digital or electric lighting and/or contains dynamic features within St. Joseph.
City council members determined that current law and ordinances have not kept pace with the digital world, electronic media capabilities or what should be considered acceptable for digital or electronic signs within the city.
The council recently extended a current special-use permit for a billboard owner who is converting his sign from standard canvas to digital.
Mayor Rick Schultz said the sign is a non-conforming use within the city and, thus, current ordinances address that issue.
The moratorium applies only to new requests and will not affect current requests before the city, including the one from the billboard owner who wants to convert his sign to a digital form.
The city’s planning commission will review current regulations, market needs and changing technology.