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Public input on proposed sign ordinance sought

Sunnyside planners also to consider annexation request

The Sunnyside Planning Commission is opening its doors to the public next week, as the local body will be examining the heated issue of implementing a sign ordinance in the community.

The planning commission will meet next Wednesday, Aug. 10, at the Sunnyside Law and Justice Center at 7 p.m.

Sunnyside City Planner Jamey Ayling said the sign ordinance is quite inclusive. The proposed ordinance is in excess of 20 pages and covers all sorts of signs, from yard sale signs to billboards to election signs.

"We have had several meetings to find something that will work out for everyone," said Ayling of the sign ordinance.

Ayling said the city wants to ensure that everyone in the community has an opportunity to comment on the proposed sign ordinance. In an attempt to receive needed community input, the city has sent personal invitations to all of the licensed business owners in the city.

Ayling said there are a variety of issues covered in the sign ordinance. The sign ordinance goes into extensive detail with providing definitions for business owners and community members to help explain any areas of confusion. Another significant part of the ordinance deals with the different sizes of signs and where they can be placed.

This latest meeting of the planning commission is part of a five-month process the city has been going through in trying to implement a sign ordinance, said Ayling.

Ayling feels city staff is proposing an effective sign ordinance that will address issues of concern. Ayling said Mark Kunkler, who heads up the planning department, has done a solid job of putting together the proposed ordinance that will hopefully address all sorts of situations that arise.

"It makes our jobs a lot easier," said Ayling of the sign ordinance.

Depending on what happens at next week's planning commission meeting, the soonest the Sunnyside City Council would see the proposed sign ordinance for its approval would be the first meeting in September.

Planning commission members will also be considering an annexation request next week from Greg Visser and Ivan White. Visser and White are seeking to have about five acres of property, to the northwest of town near Columbia Avenue, annexed into the city limits.

Ayling said his recommendation to the planning commission will be to have Visser and White include some extra acreage into their annexation request. Ayling said the city will be requesting that the annexation include two quarter-acre lots and three acres owned by Tom Dolan. Ayling said with these additional properties included in the annexation it will help even the boundary areas.

The benefit to the city of approving the annex request by Visser and White is that it will allow for the extension of water and sewer services in the area to help with development, said Ayling.

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