Directional signage resolution discussed, approved

TIPP CITY — A resolution authorizing a directional sign program for Tipp City was discussed among council members and residents at the Tipp City Council meeting Monday evening.

Tipp City had a directional sign program in 1993 where some of the businesses downtown that were hard to find were able to pay for signs to be placed downtown. Maintaining a directional sign costs $40 per year for a business and owners would pay to have their sign fixed, were it to be damaged.

“So far, Trophy Nut approached us to get their sign back up. When they did a (scenescape), they took their old sign down, and they’d like theirs back up, so we’re moving forward with that. So let’s just kind of, clean up the language they had before, and hopefully make it a little more simple,” Tipp City Manager Tim Eggleston said.

Council Member Frank Scenna asked if all the old directional signs would be removed at one time once the new directional signs were made and started going up. Eggleston clarified that there are no longer any old directional signs downtown and that they had been removed.

Tipp City resident Abby Bowling wanted to know if the concern was only with signs on Main Street, and how the directional signs would interact with the sign ordinance.

“There is no sign ordinance to cover these signs, so the sign ordinance is not relative to these types of signs. It’s not written in there. We passed the ordinance back in 2014, these weren’t included,” Eggleston said. “There’s a separate ordinance for (directional signs), so there’s no need to add them.”

“We’re talking about a sign on Main Street that’s pointing all the way to the park, with Trophy Nut. Are there going to be others that will do the same thing, or are they all going to be located in like the DORA area?” Bowling said.

Eggleston clarified that directional signs will be on corner posts, and that there will only be two signs per post, as well as signs on Main Street.

Mayor Joseph Gibson inquired about directional signage and whether or not it could be considered advertising, due to the fact that the signs would be posted on public telephone poles. Eggleston clarified that the signs are for ease of traffic flow and that, due to regulation, there will be no logos on the signs, they will only say the name of the business and an arrow pointing in the direction of that business. Additionally, signage is currently on a first come, first serve basis.

Gibson expressed additional concerns that currently, the directional signage specifications sounded a lot like regular signage, and that directional signage was exempt from the sign code as a result despite the fact that council would be regulating the size of the sign and what type of sign it would be. He suggested that the sign code could be amended to officially include that directional signs are exempt from regulations and codes that other signage has to follow, so that confusion and conflict can be avoided in the future.

“Our existing code does actually address this type of signage. It specifically states that ‘signs that can be installed and maintained by the city of Tipp City, that may contain either a commercial or non-commercial message as part of a wayfinding program through which space is made available on a non-discriminatory basis, in accordance with seperately published criteria and payment of a fee.’ And I believe that this resolution provides the criteria,” Tipp City Community Development Director Matt Spring said.

The resolution was passed in a 6-1 vote, with Gibson voting against the resolution.

The following resolution and ordinances were also discussed and voted on:

• A resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a professional services contract with GPD Group of Akron for professional design services for the Substation No. 4 Project at a cost not to exceed $554,500. The resolution passed with a unanimous vote.

• An ordinance amending and modifying the 2020 annual operating budget to appropriate additional monies for various unanticipated events, which occurred during the course of the city’s 2020 fiscal year. The ordinance passed with a unanimous vote.

• An ordinance approving a re-plat of part of inlots 1466, 1467, 1468 and part of outlot 42 and the dedication of right-of-way for Wunderwood Drive. The ordinance passed with 6 votes with council member Kathryn Huffman abstaining.

The next city council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18. There will also be a Capital Improvement Plan meeting at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12. The meeting is open to the public and anyone is invited to attend.