Council amends sign ordinance
By Kaitlin Vanderpool
Local business owners will have an easier time displaying proper signage after the Carmel City Council adopted amendments to the city’s sign ordinance earlier this month.
According to Eric Seidensticker, city council member and chairman of the Land Use, Annexation, and Economic Development Committee, the original ordinance was just too complex.
“It was very difficult for the generic business owner to understand what hoops they had to jump through, what they could do, and what they couldn’t do,” he said.
The initiative to make the ordinance more user-friendly began over a year ago when several members of the Carmel Chamber of Commerce began reviewing it line by line and “picking out the things that made (the ordinance) cumbersome in order to make it easier to have a sign outside a business,” Seidensticker said.
And while the changes were numerous, and dramatic from simplicity’s standpoint, he said it certainly wasn’t rocket science.
“The greater benefit in signage is important to everybody when they are trying to figure out where they are trying to go,” Seidensticker said. After the amendments, business owners will now be able to have more signs and in different places so that visitors can be sure they are in the right place.
“Municipalities are very talented at writing ordinances with so many hurdles to go over that it can get really complicated,” he said. “It is distilled down to a much clearer document for businesses and sign companies.”
In fact, he said, the original ordinance was amended down from 50 pages to nearly half of that. In addition, a visual guide was created in order to make the process of applying for permits that much easier. Seidensticker said the guide will be made available online very soon.
For more information on the amendments, business owners can visit the City of Carmel’s website at www.carmel.in.gov, or contact the Department of Community Services at 571-2417.