Signs point to relaxed restrictions for real estate notices in Steamboat
Steamboat Springs City Council could approve code revisions for Realtors on March 2
February 28, 2010
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on the final language in a revised sign code ordinance that would relax constraints on "for sale" signs for Realtors.
Senior City Planner Jonathan Spence said this week the sign code revisions would allow slightly larger "for sale" signs, giving Realtors room to slip in name and phone number plates, sometimes called riders.
The sign code has been changed to legitimize temporary signs to promote real estate open houses, Spence said.
"We wanted to provide some assistance to the real estate community and still maintain some degree of regulation," Spence said.
Realtor Lori Thompson, of Colorado Group Realty, who served on a Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors committee that sought some of the changes, said city staff was receptive to their overtures.
The tentatively revised code allows two directional open house signs no larger that 2 square feet, with the brokerage identified, and a third open house sign on the property.
"Open house signs have never been legal" before, Thompson said.
The signs could be erected not more than one hour before the beginning of the open house and must be removed no later than one hour past the open house hours.
Thompson said the revised code also would clear the way for centrally located posts in multi-family developments where promotional and informational materials for several properties listed for sale could be collected in individual tubes, for example.
Current regulations do not allow for more than one for sale sign within those developments.
Thompson said the committee continues to work with some homeowners associations whose bylaws prohibit real estate for sale signs within their developments.
Previous to the revisions, real estate signs were not allowed to be any larger that 6 square feet. Now, to accommodate the names and contact information for the Realtors, they can be as large as 7 square feet.
Under the revisions, it still would be against the city code to place real estate signs in the city road right of way.
Spence acknowledged that in some neighborhoods, the city's right of way extends closer to structures than many property owners realize.
"On Pine Street, (the boundary) runs down the middle of peoples' yards," Spence said. "But we're not going to be proactively looking for that type of violation."
Spence added that the city's Web page includes new features that make it easier to visualize where the city right of way ends, and code enforcement officers are available to give Realtors and property owners tutorials in how to use the feature.
The first reading of the revised ordinance was part of the City Council's Feb. 16 consent agenda. No council member or citizen attendee called it up for discussion.
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