The big banners that line the city's main thoroughfares each fall to mark the start of Silverado Days have been saved from the bureaucratic trash heap by the City Council.
In a 4-to-1 decision Monday night, with Councilwoman Rhonda J. McCune dissenting, the council adopted a temporary sign ordinance that puts restrictions on a variety of signs, but gives the banners special consideration.
"It has been a long, hard road to get here," Councilman Donald L. Bone said about the drawn-out study to find out what, how and where signs can be placed in public places. "It looks like we have something that is workable."
The ordinance allows the Silverado banners and others that announce community events at six specific locations. In addition, it specifically spells out limits on a variety of other signs.
Real estate signs are limited to 6 square feet in size and one per property. But the council, acting on a request from the local board of realtors, added an amendment that allows an additional sign if the home for sale borders a major street.
This addition caused Councilwoman McCune to vote against the proposal.
"I don't believe we should make decisions based on current market conditions," McCune said before voting no.
Under the new rules, signs cannot be placed in medians or on trees on any public property. The ordinance allows political signs in the public right of way, provided that they do not exceed size limits and are put up 30 days in advance of the election.
The vote brings to a close more than a year of talks about the signs. Last November, the council approved a plan only to reverse itself two weeks after Bone argued that the Silverado Days banner would not be allowed because they were too big.
A special sign committee, which included Mayor Don R. Griffin and Councilwoman Donna L. Chessen, was set up to find a solution that was approved Monday night. Final adoption of the sign ordinance is expected later this month.