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Salem Planning Board to hold final hearing on temporary signs

SALEM — The Planning Board will hold what looks to be the final hearing on a proposed zoning amendment to the town’s rules regarding temporary signs at its Tuesday, Jan. 21, meeting.

The ordinance as originally proposed was drafted by Assistant Town Manager Leon Goodwin and Planning Director Ross Moldoff to help address issues concerning temporary signs both off and on town property.

The change would allow temporary signs for qualified nonprofits up to two weeks before special events that take place no more than twice per year. The signs could be placed without a permit from the town and would have to be taken down the day after the event.

The signs would not be allowed on fences or public right-of-ways.

The Planning Board held the first public hearing on the amendment last week. A second public hearing was scheduled after several changes to the ordinance were proposed during the hearing.

Selectman James Keller brought the issue up at Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting to see if any board members had additional input.

“There was a lot of input from the public, and that input caused the Planning Board to propose three modifications to the amendment,” said Keller.

The first modification allows organizations to have up to 48 hours to remove temporary signs after an event.

“There was some thought that 24 hours was too stringent given weather and other things that may occur,” said Keller.

The second modification removes the requirement that organizations get written permission from property owners to place temporary signs on their property. Instead, only verbal permission would be required.

The third change would allow eligible nonprofit organizations to advertise three events per year with temporary signs as opposed to two, as initially proposed.

Everett McBride, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said he was fine with moving the zoning amendment back to the Planning Board with the proposed changes.

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