Committee completes new billboard
Next up: signs
Letter: Comcast programs need to be made
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[October 08, 2008]
City of Lincoln officials kept
it simple but put in a decent night's work when they met Monday
night. The evening's discussions began at 6:15 when the ordinance
committee met to continue a rewrite of the city's signs and
Representing the ordinance committee were chairman Wanda Lee Rohlfs,
vice chairman Verl Prather and Melody Anderson. Absent were Dave
Armbrust and Marty Neitzel.
Aldermen Dean Henrichsmeyer, Kathy Horn, Buzz Busby and Jeff
Hoinacki joined the committee members in their work.
City attorney Bill Bates recommended earlier this year that the
sign and billboard ordinances become separate sets of regulations.
The committee determined that it would be best to focus their
efforts first on the simpler of the two categories: billboards.
A three-month moratorium was placed on all signs and billboards
while the ordinances were being revised. When the moratorium expired
last month, the committee's recommendation to extend the date to
Dec. 15 was defeated when it was put before the full council.
After several months of work, the billboards ordinance was
completed in committee Monday night. The new ordinance identifies a
billboard as being 100 square feet or larger. Details in the
ordinance regulate structural components, appearance, maintenance,
repairs and occupancy and would allow the zoning enforcement officer
more ability to keep billboards from becoming an eyesore or hazard.
The billboard ordinance will go before the full council for
approval at the next voting session, Oct. 20.
Now, with some experience under their belts, the committee
members will tackle the signs ordinance. They agreed that it would
be best strategically if the chairman would sit down and review the
signs ordinance with code enforcement officer Lester Last before the
committee opens the discussion.
Rohlfs said that some cities are using model codifiers. She also
planned to look at the unicodes that are available online for
purchase. Some other communities are doing this. These can be
tailored to a community's needs and preferences. This could save
time and costs, she said.
The same crew of aldermen was present for the ordinance committee
session carried over to the council's "order of business" meeting
that followed, although alderwoman Joni Tibbs and Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman
were added to the list of absentees for that meeting. With the
absence of both the mayor and the mayor pro tem, Marty Neitzel, the
council nominated Busby to conduct the meeting.
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The city attorney informed Busby that he had a choice of serving the
position with voting powers as the mayor or as an alderman. As mayor
he would only provide a vote to break a tie, or as alderman he would
vote each issue. Busby assumed the lead position as an alderman.
A letter was read concerning the operation of the local cable
television station. As a utility, the cable company is subject to
limited regulation by local governments.
The letter expressed dissatisfaction with recent programming and
price changes made by Comcast. The letter from Holy Family Parish
said that in July Comcast moved two popular programs to
higher-priced packages. The National Geographic and EWTN channels
are of special interest to shut-ins and older citizens. The letter
pointed out that these programs are the only means for some people
to see the world and are now unaffordable to the very people who
appreciate them most.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]
Past related articles
(Signs to stay under moratorium)
City briefs: Council closes the month of
July with various discussions
(No, no new signs)
City puts stop to signs
Too many signs, and billboards too big
City to take more control of billboards
City notes: Council to vote next week on