County neutral on sign law changes

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Planning Board last week saw no regional implications for proposed amendments to the town of Mayfield’s zoning law as it relates to signs, remaining neutral on the matter.

The action by the county board was taken during a state General Municipal Law-mandated review of the proposed changes at the Fort Johnstown Annex.

“The town of Mayfield has decided to greatly simplify their sign regulations,” county Senior Planner Sean Geraghty told the board.

Geraghty said proposed sign law amendments are currently going through the Mayfield Town Board. The town wants to change its zoning law, he said.

He said that the new language will greatly simply parameters for sign placement in the community. Signs erected along a state highway will have to abide by sign guidelines established by the state Department of Transportation, he said.

Geraghty said one of the problems the town of Mayfield found when new regulations went into effect was there were many non-conforming signs. He said the situation caused much more administration and enforcement, so the town reduced the pages of regulations to one or two.

He said the town will now only regulate signs “off of the state routes.”

Mayfield’s proposed town law – Local Law No. 1 of 2014 – would amend a 2005 zoning law’s handling of signs. Town Supervisor Rick Argotsinger said in February the town received a number of complaints, “mostly about political-type signs.”

The new law will require all property adjacent to state highways to follow the New York state rules and regulations enforced by the state Department of Transportation regarding signs, and all property not near state highways would follow the new law.

According to the new law, signs would need to be in good condition or they will be removed by the code enforcement officer. Signs cannot illuminate or shine light directed toward a public street or property.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.