Officials deadlocked over signsFargo city commissioners have deadlocked over a three-month ban on new electronic signs.
FARGO (AP) — Fargo city commissioners have deadlocked over a three-month ban on new electronic signs.
Commissioner Brad Wimmer could not be reached to vote Monday, leaving a 4-4 tie. Two motions to ease the moratorium failed on a 2-2 vote.
The ban on LED signs that advertise businesses not on company property was prompted by neighborhood fears over safety and light pollution. City planners recommended the ban be limited to signs within 300 feet of residential property.
So-called “off-premises” signs such as large billboards are not affected.
Bernie Dardis, the chief executive officer of Indigo Signworks, said he has three clients who bought LED signs but would be unable to install them because they are within 300 feet of apartment buildings. He asked the commission to consider limiting the moratorium to LED signs within 300 feet of property zoned for single-family homes.
Otherwise, Dardis said, most of the city would be off limits for the signs.
Mayor Dennis Walaker and Commissioner Tim Mahoney voted in favor Dardis’ recommendation, seeking to allow some new LED signs for the summer.
“That’s our construction season,” Walaker said. “It’s an important three months.”
Commissioners Mike Williams and Dave Piepkorn voted in favor of the planners’ recommendation.
The issue will be reconsidered June 15.
“There will be five of us then,” Mahoney said.
“There better be five of us,” Walaker replied.