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December 15. 2013 8:05PM

Selectmen approve rules for temporary signs

SALEM — Selectmen are supporting a change in the town’s temporary sign ordinance proposed by Assistant Town Manager Leon Goodwin.

The new ordinance will allow registered nonprofits to use temporary signs to advertise special events, provided the signs meet several guidelines. There will be no permit fees charged for the temporary signs.

However, the ordinance will not allow signs in the public right-of-way and will limit the signs to events that take place only once or twice a year.

The Salem Farmers Market appeared before the board earlier in the fall requesting temporary signs in the public right-of-way to advertise the market. Several selectmen stated they considered the market more of a commercial venture than a nonprofit because private vendors make money through their sales.

However, Selectman Stephen Campbell said the farmers market could place temporary signs on private property if it were advertising a special event taking place at the market.

Signs covered under the ordinance can be no more than 3 feet in height and 9 square feet overall. The signs cannot be illuminated, and there can be no more than two signs on one property.

Signs on private property other than where the event is taking place must have the permission of the property owner, according to Goodwin.

“The signs can be up for two weeks prior to the event and during the duration of the event, and then have to be removed within 24 hours after the event ends,” said Goodwin.

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