Over the past few weeks, progress has continued on improving the Doc Mitchell Athletic Complex at Kewaskum High School. Workers started laying artificial turf on the football field, and plans for the district’s new 312-square-foot video scoreboard are moving forward.
The village’s Plan Commission last week approved a new location of the new scoreboard. The plan is for the scoreboard to be situated on the north end of the field, rather than the northeast corner of the field as previously proposed.
“That makes more sense. Now people will be able to see it from both stands,” Village Trustee Jim Hovland said at the July 24 meeting. The electronic scoreboard is being donated to the school district by local companies Drexel Building Supply and Smith and Hatch Insurance.
The school district plans to sell advertising on the scoreboard to raise funds to support upgrades to the athletic fields. However, until the village’s sign ordinance is changed, the new scoreboard will not be able to advertise for area businesses because the ordinance currently prohibits off-premises advertising.
That means as it currently stands, a sign can only advertise for the business or organization that is established on the property where the sign is. Businesses/organizations are currently not allowed to advertise for other businesses/organizations not located at that property. “I love the idea of the school having a video board. We just need to update the ordinance so that off-premises advertising is allowed for other businesses as well,” Village President Kevin Scheunemann said.
At last week’s meeting, the Plan Commission gave its stamp of approval to proposals for an updated sign ordinance. The changes to the village’s ordinance must be approved by the Village Board before they can go into effect. Because the sign ordinance is part of the zoning code, a public hearing is required before changes can be made.
State statute requires that notices be published for two consecutive weeks before the public hearing can be held, Village Administrator Matt Heiser reminded the commission. Off-premises signs are currently permitted only on adjacent properties with proper permission from said property owner(s) and are subject to Plan Commission review and approval.
In addition, official signs, temporary rummage sale signs and signs located at village boundaries identifying civic or other nonprofit community service organizations located within the village are currently exempt from the provision.
The proposed changes to the ordinance include the following exceptions to the restriction on offpremises advertising: – Athletic venues, parks, memorials and other institutionally zoned facilities that are sponsored may display signs of the contributing businesses. Design and location of these signs shall require a sign permit and Plan Commission approval.
Approval will be based on the compatibility of such signs with the adjacent land uses and the character of the neighborhood. Scoreboards and other facilities without commercial logos or advertisements at schools and parks are allowed in such districts and do not require a sign permit.
– Electronic Message Centers (video screens). Electronic message centers are allowed and regulated in [village ordinance] 95-95. Electronic message centers must be permitted by the business occupying the parcel and cannot be on a vacant lot Electronic Message centers may contain video advertisements for off-premise businesses.