Open house signs now allowed in streets
Despite the potential damage to snow removal equipment, the Town of Mt. Crested Butte is now allowing real estate open house signs to be placed in the town’s right of ways.
The issue was brought up during a meeting on February 19 by Town Council member Bill Babbitt, whose open house signs recently caught the attention of the Mt. Crested Butte police.
Most signs are not allowed in the town’s right of way, according to town manager Joe Fitzpatrick, because the signs could potentially damage snow removal equipment. "If a sign should get buried and scooped up in a snow blower it will damage the equipment… In summer it’s no-plowing season and it’s not really an issue," Fitzpatrick said during a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 4.
By town code, the Town Council is allowed to authorize certain kinds of signs in the town’s right of way without a public vote, including open house signs.
For the Tuesday meeting, Fitzpatrick and town attorney Rod Landwehr drafted a motion allowing open house signs, with several stipulations.
The requirements include obtaining a sign permit from the town; limiting signage hours to between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.; ensuring signs are freestanding; owner’s assuming of the risk of damage to the sign; and owner’s taking responsibility for any damage the sign may cause to town equipment.
Landwehr said there were other potential provisions to add, such as a situation in which another company’s equipment is damaged by a sign.
Council member Tom Steuer quipped that the motion could go so far as addressing a situation where a sign that gets picked up by a snow blower could get thrown into nearby cars or buildings. Steuer said it was best to leave the motion as presented. "We’d have a three-page amendment here if we considered all the contingencies," he said.
The council voted five to one to approve the sign code change, with council member Mike Kube dissenting. Council member Wendy Fisher was absent.