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County sign designed to keep residents informed

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By Tracy Harris

A new sign in downtown La Grange has some residents confused about local regulations — and there’s plenty to be confused about.

As part of improvements around the county government buildings at the corner of Ky. 53 and Ky. 146, a previously temporary sign structure has been made permanent.

Now, a wooden frame gives county officials a place to post signs announcing county events and notices.

But questions have been raised about if the sign is permissible under the county’s two sign ordinances.

The La Grange Historic District has its own ordinance, which encompasses most — but not all — of the Main Street corridor from Sixth Street to Cedar Avenue, along with several other property clusters.

The district does not include the Fiscal Court Building or the public parking lot where the sign is located, although it does include the Jail Annex and PVA buildings.

That means the sign falls under the county’s ordinance, a 22-page document which is often difficult to follow, according to Planning and Development Director Jim Urban.

The regulations are part of the county zoning ordinance, which will be reviewed after a comprehensive plan is finalized later this year.

The sign is part of an effort to improve communication between the county government and residents, said Judge-Executive David Voegele.

Several signs have been placed around the county, with one in Buckner and another in Crestwood.

Voegele said he would like to find a location for a similar sign in North Oldham as well, and hopes to make all of them permanent.

The signs have helped promote recycling events and drug take-back programs, which have seen record participation since being advertised on the signs, Voegele said.

And several new clients enrolled at Tri-County Community Action Agency’s adult day center after a sign in La Grange advertised services.

The sign is permitted, according to Urban, although he says the ordinance doesn’t require government agencies to have permits.

Public signs and notices are exempt from the ordinance, which only applies to “businesses, private entities or individuals.”

But, Urban said it is always good to have an official record of approval for future reference.

Many people don’t think to check local regulations before installing a sign, but Urban said there are few signs that don’t require a permit. He advises anyone displaying a sign – other than yard sale, real estate or political signs – to contact planning and development at 222-1476.