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Rules for temporary signs finalized, placed on Salem ballot

SALEM — After months of ironing out the details, the Planning Board has given final approval for an ordinance regulating temporary signs.

At a second public hearing on the ordinance, the Planning Board quickly approved a handful of changes that were suggested at the first public hearing at the end of December. The measure will now appear on the March town election ballot

“We talked about quite a bit at that meeting, and the board made what we consider to be relatively minor changes,” said Town Planning Director Ross Moldoff. “But the Planning Board wanted to send it back to the Board of Selectmen and give the public a chance to speak.”

Officially called the qualifying event sign ordinance, the ordinance allows qualifying nonprofits and charitable organizations to place temporary signs, with a permit, on private property for events such as fundraisers and craft fairs.

Signs are limited to 9 square feet in size, and no more than two signs are allowed per property.

The signs may go up two weeks before an event and must be removed within 48 hours after the event is over. Originally, the board was looking to have the signs removed within 24 hours.

Signs may be placed on private property with the permission of the property owner and written permission is not needed.

The temporary signs may be used for events that take place no more than three times per year. The original proposal limited it to two events per year.

The Planning Board unanimously approved sending the revised ordinance to the town election ballot.

“I feel that the changes that were made make it easier for the public to put up signs,” said Planning Board member Paul Pelletier.

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