WALLINGFORD — The Planning and Zoning Commission voted Monday to extend a moratorium on LED signs to give the town more time to revise regulations for electronic signs and message boards.
The commission voted unanimously to extend the townwide moratorium, first enacted in February, by an additional nine months.
The temporary prohibition was approved in February by the PZC in response to complaints about the brightness, size and movement of some LED signs, including those along Route 5.
Existing electronic signs are still permitted, but business owners are prohibited from posting new electronic signs. Businesses have to get a permit from the town to display any exterior sign.
The moratorium is meant to give the town time to review current sign regulations and create new rules for LED signs, Town Planner Kacie Hand said. The current regulations were last revised before LED technology was developed, Hand said. LED lighting is considered much brighter than neon lighting.
“As electronic message boards have become more prominent in town, I think it’s become more apparent that we need regulations that specifically addresses the electronic message boards because our regulations right now really don’t” address certain aspects like brightness, Hand told the PZC on Monday.
PZC member Jim Fitzsimmons said that by keeping the moratorium in place, “we’re not going to have any additional new LED signs in town until we're able to properly craft regulations.”
Hand said the nine-month moratorium was extended an additional nine months because moratoriums are typically extended by their original length. The moratorium was set to expire later this month, which is why the commission voted to extend it Monday.
Since enacting the moratorium in February, Hand said the PZC has only held one workshop to address the issue because the commission has been preoccupied with addressing new regulations for the town center and Transit Oriented Development Zone.
Fitzsimmons said he hopes this is the last extension for the moratorium, adding “this should be ample time.”
Once the new regulations are approved, any existing signs will be “grandfathered in" and allowed under the new regulations, Hand said.