Free-standing signs advertising businesses that typically litter the downtown Powell area will soon be a thing of the past.
Powell City Council last week voted 5-1 in favor of permanently banning the use of signs for advertising purposes. The ban will take effect next month.
The ban has been in the works for nearly a year and replaces a city law that allowed temporary signs to be displayed for up to 42 days.
According to City Manager Steve Lutz, many businesses kept temporary signs in rights of way on a permanent basis.
“It had certainly gotten out of hand,” he said.
Lutz said one count of the the temporary signs along Powell Road found there to be about 80 along the right of way.
“Over time there had been concerns expressed regarding the number of signs being placed out on the right of way,” he said.
Before making the change, city officials sought to consult with local business leaders, according to spokesman Megan Canavan.
“Council did want to hear from the business owners before making any type of decision,” she said.
Few business owners reached out to city officials, however, something that surprised city officials.
“We thought there would be interest in the business community,” said Lutz.
Council “did have a few business owners that showed up to speak out on possible changes,” according to Canavan.
But council ultimately decided to follow the lead of nearby Dublin and Worthington, both of which have already banned temporary signage within their boundaries.
“Several of the communities around us ban temporary signs,” said Canavan. “We’re not alone in doing that.”