Hillsdale Officials Reconsidering Sign Law
The borough Council voted to temporarily stop enforcing the law while a new planner looks over the ordinance.
Hillsdale business owners upset over the borough's latest sign ordinance will have a temporary reprieve from the law.
The borough Council voted to stop enforcing the law for 30 days during their meeting Tuesday night. During that time, new borough planner Maser Consulting of Clifton — who officials voted to hire at the same meeting — will look over the ordinance to suggest possible changes.
Hillsdale officials have had trouble enforcing the 16-page law since it was passed in October 2011. To date, the law has only been officially distributed to 36 of the more-than-300 businesses in the borough.
Councilman Larry Meyerson said the process was moving like "molasses."
Councilman Jason DeGise said he believed some language in the law should be reworded to make it less severe.
"I'm not looking to reinvent it" DeGise said. "I'm looking to make it better."
Many of the business owners who were notified they were in violation of the new ordinance have been reluctant to make changes, officials said. DeGise said that those who had corrected their violations had only minor issues, like newspaper articles taped up in windows.
"The store owners are our backbone to this community and they're having a real problem with it," DeGise said.
Meyerson said he believed more business owners would need to be consulted if any changes are made.
"You're asking only 10 percent of the businesses to speak for the other 90 percent," Meyerson said.
Mayor Max Arnowitz said that he had previously gone door-to-door to notify business owners along Broadway that officials were working on a new ordinance. They showed up to one meeting, but never came back, he said.
The process of writing the ordinance took "seven or eight years," according to Arnowitz.