Whitefish may tighten campaign sign rules

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The Daily Inter Lake

 

A proposal to tighten restrictions for campaign signs in Whitefish is the focus of a public hearing Thursday before the Whitefish City-County Planning Board.

At a recent City Council meeting it was pointed out that Whitefish is the only incorporated city in Flathead County that allows campaign signs to be displayed for more than 30 days. Both Kalispell and Columbia Falls restrict political signs to 30 days. 

Whitefish’s regulations currently allow campaign signs for up to 90 days prior to an election, but the city has proposed reducing the time length to 30 days.

“With both a primary and [general] election in a calendar year ... under the current regulations, campaign signs could be displayed for a full six months,” planner Wendy Compton-Ring said in a Planning Department staff report. “That seems excessive and making our sign regulations consistent with neighboring communities makes sense.”

The board also will consider a recommendation to limit the size of campaign signs placed in residential and resort residential zones to 16 square feet, similar to regulations used in Kalispell and Columbia Falls. Additionally, Whitefish proposes to limit to one the number of signs displayed per frontage lot.

Up to 32 square feet would remain the limit for campaign signs on private commercial or industrial properties.

The Planning Board’s recommendation on campaign sign changes will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration on July 2.

Two other hearings at Thursday’s Planning Board meeting deal with requests for accessory apartments from Martin Schwartz at 121 W. Second St., and Cris Coughlin at 80 Montana Ave.

The board meets at 6 p.m. at Whitefish City Hall.

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