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Port Orchard puts 180-day moratorium on new billboard ads

The city of Port Orchard has imposed a moratorium on new billboards until it can revise its current sign code. - Courtesy photo
The city of Port Orchard has imposed a moratorium on new billboards until it can revise its current sign code.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Port Orchard City Council on Tuesday night unanimously adopted a 180-day moratorium on the construction of new billboards within the city limits in order to re-examine and, if necessary, revise its sign code.

“The current code has a lot of ambiguity,” said Mayor Lary Coppola. “What it says depends on who’s reading it. We want to tighten that up.”

Coppola declined to say why the council took the action, which did not appear on the published agenda for Tuesday night’s council meeting and wasn’t debated by any of the members before it was adopted.

“This is to give the city a little breathing room,” said City Attorney Greg Jacoby, “to see whether the sign code needs to be amended or updated to take into account certain policy issues associated with public safety, beautification and things of that nature.”

The city’s sign ordinance was first adopted in 1953 and last amended in 1999.

By law, a public hearing on the moratorium must be held within 60 days, and the council is planning to address the question during its June 22 meeting.

“We hope by then,” Jacoby said, “to be able to present the code amendments that, if they are adopted, would allow us to lift the moratorium.”

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