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Updates, changes made to PR city sign ordinance

By Anna Erickson

Thinking about adding a new sign outside your business in Park Rapids? You better check with City Hall first.

The Park Rapids Planning Commission has proposed several changes and updates to the city’s sign ordinance after working with community members for more than a year.

Major changes to the ordinance include:

Temporary event signage. Temporary off-site community and special event signage will now be allowed as long as the signs meet certain provisions.

Definitions. There were additions and clarification to the definitions section to further define certain types of signs and also to eliminate redundancies or obsolete information.

Exempted signs. There were small changes made to the exempted signs chapter for clarification purposes and to add provisions for community and special event signage.

Dynamic displays and changeable copy signs. Language was added to the dynamic display sign regulations to include changeable copy signs, which include any signs that have lettering that needs to be removed or changed manually.

Two sections were removed regarding signs permitted in the agricultural and public/quasi-public zoning districts. These sections were redundant and were added to a new section, which requires signs in these districts to be reviewed on a case by case basis.

A new chapter was created regarding temporary sign regulations, which include portable signs, banners, sandwich board signs, garage sale signs, feather flags and temporary community event signage.

Multi-tenant and corner properties in the B-2, general business district will be allowed to increase the total site signage to 200 square feet with an approved comprehensive sign plan.

A first reading of the ordinance changes was approved at Tuesday’s Park Rapids City Council meeting. A second reading will need to be approved at the council’s next meeting before the changes go into effect.

Contact City Hall to see a copy of the ordinance.

In other business, the council:

n Approved vacating a portion of Third Street West, south of the Hubbard County Courthouse as part of the county’s plan to renovate the building.

City employees will still have access to underground utilities.

n Approved a resolution authorizing execution of a Development Agreement between Pleasant Court of Park Rapids LLLP and the city of Park Rapids.

This agreement is for the construction of a 29-unit apartment complex a few blocks south of St. Joseph’s Area Health Services between Main Avenue and Pleasant Avenue.

n Approved the purchase of a jetter/vactor for the sewer department.

With changes in how insurance handles sewer backups and to be more pro-active in sewer maintenance, staff felt the jetter/vactor would help the city keep sewer lines clean.

Now, city staff will be able to clean the sewer lines instead of hiring a company to do a small portion each summer.

The purchase of the equipment at a cost of $391,367.76 was part of the Capital Improvement Plan.

The city had been paying between $15,000 and $20,000 per year to contract sewer cleaning.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561