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Supreme Court Ruling Leads Peoria To Update Sign Code

city of peoria logo
(Photo via peoriaaz.gov)

A Supreme Court ruling against the town of Gilbert prompts the city of Peoria to look at its rules. In 2015, the court sided with a church that claimed Gilbert treated its temporary signs differently than other temporary signs. That led planners in Peoria to start revising a sign code that’s been in place for nearly 30 years.

Peoria Planning Director Chris Jacques says the real-estate industry in particular is paying close attention.

“They want to make sure they can have a certain number of signs, and that we’re not restricting them too much towards locating an open house or a housing development, but on the other side, the balance for us is to ensure that on the whole we don’t have just signs all over the place and create this littered landscape,”  Jacques said.

The Supreme Court ruling against Gilbert means that sign enforcement must be based on things like safety, size and aesthetics, and not the content. Jacques said temporary signs will have different rules depending on whether they’re located in commercial or residential areas because there are different interests to the public.  

“So, we want citizens to be able to, you know, whether they want to have a yard sale or whether they want to just have a sign out there that just says ‘save the whales,’ we have to make sure we have those accommodations,” he said. “I certainly don’t want to have a code where for a simple yard sale. We don’t want to require people to have permits or go through some big process.”

Jacques said a revised draft will be shared with real-estate agents along with other stakeholders before the City Council will be asked to approve it probably by May.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.