Brian Johnson‘s sign at the four corners not too large after all!

My aquisations were incorrect, it was not intentional and here is how it happened: The town zoning bylaws clearly restrict political signs to 288 square inches, see paragraph (i), and (d) of subsection 7.11:


7.11 General Restrictions and Allowances:

Any exterior sign or advertising device hereafter erected or maintained shall, except as expressly provided, conform to the following restrictions:

  1. No sign shall be so located that it will cause danger to traffic by obscuring the view of a public way.
  2. Flashing, blinking, revolving signs and similar displays are not permitted except by special permit by the Board of Appeals.
  3. No sign shall be place on or project over town property or be placed on utility poles which are located on town property.
  4. Nothing in this bylaw shall forbid property owners from erecting on their own property signs not more than two square feet in area containing the words “No Dumping”, “No Trespassing”, “Private Property”, “Beware of Dog”, “Blind Driveway” or other customary signs of similar import.
  5. One sign for each family residing on the premises indicating the name of the owner or occupant or pertaining to a permitted accessory use provided, however, that said sign shall not exceed two square feet in area, or twelve feet in the aggregate.
  6. One sign not over nine square feet in area pertaining to permitted buildings, structures and uses of the premises, other than dwellings, and their accessory buildings.
  7. Temporary signs aggregating not over twelve square feet in area pertaining to the sale or lease of the premises on which said signs are located, provided that said signs shall be permitted for a period not exceeding one year.
  8. Directional signs not exceeding two square feet in area pertaining to churches, schools, institutions and other non profit uses, or to the location of businesses, places of accommodation and professional offices.
  9. Political signs shall be allowed as a matter of right, but shall not be greater in either area or in the aggregate, than that allowed for non political signs.

To make sure that no other rules apply to political signs erected on parcels in the business district, I started to read subsection 7.13.
campaign-sign-of-Brian-Johnson-at-the-four-corners Under paragraph (a), I read “Signs shall pertain only to a use or business conducted on the premises on which they are located and must conform to the height regulations in the appropriate district.” This sentence is unambiguous and restricts permitted signs to signs that “pertain only to a use or business conducted on the premises on which they are located...” There is nothing that would indicate that there are exceptions, there is no language such as “except,” there is also no restriction on the term “signs.” It does not read, “business signs...” it just reads “signs shall pertain only to a use or business conducted on the premises on which they are located...” There was no need to read any further, political signs are not allowed at all according to the meaning of paragraph (a) of subsection 7.13.

However, I just read the entire subsection 7.13, and to my surprise political signs are mentioned under paragraph (f). Not only are they allowed, they can measure up to “200 square feet in the aggregate.” A political sign could be as large as 10 feet by 20 feet if erected on a parcel in the business district.
The word “aggregate” is a term used to describe the one-dimensional property of a group of items and not the two-dimensional or three-dimensional properties. The word is correctly used to describe the length or height of an item (sign) and not the surface in square foot. I do apoligize for jumping to a conclusion. Anybody familiar with our bylaws will agree with me that our bylaws are a mess and need to be rewritten to avoid ambigiuous interpretations and situations like this one.
Here is subsection 7.13 in its entirity:

7.13 Business Districts

In all business districts the following signs and no other are permitted:

  1. Signs shall pertain only to a use or business conducted on the premises on which they are located and must conform to the height regulations in the appropriate district.
  2. The total surface area of no one exterior sign on any one property shall not exceed one square foot for each linear foot of street frontage; however, in no instance shall the total surface area of all exterior signs combined on one premises be more than 200 square feet in area.
  3. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this bylaw, religious and public institutions shall be permitted to erect signs in the aggregate of not more than fifteen square feet, and only on property belonging to same.
  4. Illuminated signs shall be located twenty five feet or more from a residential district boundary line.
  5. No sign shall extend over public property.
  6. Political signs not exceeding 200 square feet in the aggregate.

Peter Frei

Posted on 18 May 2010, 14:34 - Category: Town Politics
Edit - Delete


Posted on 11 May 2010, 7:26 by Earl is up to his old tricks
Anyone but Brian Johnson
I hear Earl saw George Carling at the gas station and then stopped and verbally assaulted Mr Carling for trying to take his son Brians job.
Earls dirty election antics have already cost this town hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and settlement fees after he persecuted Stacy Quinonnes and Chad Brigham for having the audacity to run against a Johnson. Will he never learn?? It is against the law to intimidate and threaten those who oppose you politically Earl. How much will Holland pay for your gangster type mentality.
Call your friends and neighbors voters of Holland and remove this liability from our town payroll on June 7th.
Vote for George Carling for highway surveyor.


Posted on 18 May 2010, 14:18 by Peter Frei
In fairness to Brian Johnson, I urge the readers of the Holland Blog to read the corrected piece about Brian Johnson's campaign sign at the four corners.
I claimed previously that the sign was violating the zoning bylaws.
The zoning bylaws are ambiguous and can be interpreted in a way that political signs are allowed up to the size of 200 square feet if the sign is erected on a parcel that is zoned "business."
Brian Johnson's sign is located on property that is zoned business, Brian Johnson's sign therefore does not violate any provisions of the zoning bylaws of the town of Holland.
I apologize for the misinformation.

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