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Brightness-Only Digital Sign Restrictions in Washington, MO

Council opts for case-by-case regulation



The Washington (MO) City Council has adopted a measured approach regarding regulation of digital signage within its jurisdiction. As reported in the Missourian, city council members have stated their preference not to impose strict limits on digital signs, instead opting to deal with proposals for new digital signs on a case-by-case basis. The city council also voted not to restrict message-change intervals for digital signs. Referring to nighttime operation of digital signs, Councilman Jeff Patke said, “The only thing I want to see is restrictions on brightness.” The council concluded that it prefers a wait-and-see approach, reacting to any related problems as they arise, rather than imposing restrictive regulations in advance of any demonstrable need.

The city’s position on digital signs emerged in connection with Washington’s recently completed, comprehensive review of its zoning and development codes. These efforts have spanned a 2-year period and represent the city’s first, comprehensive code update in nearly 30 years.



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