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Sign code is back in force

Voluntary compliance for now while city educates community on standards

The Newberg Sign Code has not been enforced since October 2013 when the Newberg City Council created the Temporary and Portable Sign Ad-Hoc Committee to review the code and make recommendations for potential revisions. At its Oct. 6 meeting, the moratorium on enforcement was lifted and will resume.

“The hope is that members of the community will take note and voluntarily move or remove any of their non-compliant signs without waiting for the city to take formal enforcement action,” said Brad Allen, code compliance officer. “My experience has been that most people genuinely want to comply with the community standards.”

The code is available online for review, but especially with the election drawing near, election signs are a concern. During an election, two extra signs are allowed on any one lot, for a total of three. They are not, however, allowed in the public right-of-way.

“Every lot may have its own configuration of public easements, but generally speaking, the public right-of-way consists of the sidewalk, street and the planter strip in between, where there is one,” Allen said.

The total area of the two additional signs cannot exceed 12 square feet as well.

“This being said, there may be other factors to consider, each situation being unique,” he said. “As you’ve probably noticed, there are several things to consider when it comes to placing portable and temporary signs on any particular lot. It’s not easy to summarize the sign code with a few general points that apply to all circumstances. I can help people figure out how and where they can place their signs in compliance with the code if they still have questions after reading the regulations.”

City Manager Jacque Betz said for now, sign code enforcement is voluntary.

“Which means Brad is not going to be out here ticketing people, it’s going to be complaint driven and allows education time for us to be able to explain to people that the moratorium is no longer in effect because there needs to be a grace period from when it’s lifted to when we actually enforce it,” Betz said.

This is largely because there is not enough time before the election for Allen to manage all the signs in the community.

“If people have it where it’s not supposed to be and someone complains, Brad will take care of it,” Betz said.

For now, Allen said people will start receiving letters or a visit from him if they have improperly placed signs.

“However, please do not wait to be contacted to determine whether your sign complies with the standards,” he said.

The code is available at www/codepublishing.com/OR/Newberg and is spelled out from NMC 15.435.090 through 15.435.110.


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