Saturday, June 10, 2000

Residents want better sign laws

Codes crimp tradition

By Sara J. Bennett
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FOREST PARK — For eight years, ribbons congratulating graduates from Winton Woods High School have flown from a fence along Winton Road.

        But Forest Park's current sign code crimps that tradition, supporters say. It limits the length of fence the ribbon display can occupy, and it prohibits signs nearby.

        Residents have called for a change in Forest Park's sign law, and city officials are responding. They'll consider revisions at meetings Monday and Tuesday nights.

        The changes are needed not just for the ribbon project, but to advertise community events throughout Forest Park, residents say.

        “According to the law, you can't stretch a banner across the road, so we have to turn to Greenhills to support our community projects,” said Rogie Vollmar, a Forest Park business owner and ribbon project organizer.

        The project is done entirely by volunteers. Each graduate gets his or her name on a 36-inch-long ribbon that flies on the Winton Road fence for a week each spring.

        The ribbons must be crammed into a 300-foot space. A banner has to be hung on private property, and organizers this year weren't allowed to have two signs.

        Forest Park's current sign code prohibits any signs from being placed in street rights of way.

        Councilman Jim Lawler will meet with the Community Development Committee on Monday to discuss revisions that would allow the project to use the entire length of the Winton Road fence and allow banners on Winton Road.

        Forest Park's planning commission will meet Tuesday to consider revisions proposed by the city's community development department. The proposal expands the fence space the ribbons may occupy from 300 to 600 feet. It allows banners to be stretched across city roads in certain areas, but excludes Winton Road because of traffic volume, limited access and higher speed limits.

        Whatever form the revisions ultimately take, they will have to be approved by City Council after a public hearing.


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