Council considers sign regulation
Proposals to amend city regulations governing signs and to designate a private contractor to handle emergency sewer line repairs will top the agenda during an unusually light meeting of the City Council.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Lawton City Hall, Southwest 9th and C.
Proposed amendments to Chapter 18 of Lawton City Code, which include regulations for signs, were designated for review by a special committee in an effort to make those regulations content neutral. A 2015 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which clarified that municipalities may impose content neutral regulations on their signage, was taken after an Arizona town was sued by a church that claimed the town imposed stricter limits on signs advertising religious services than it did on political or ideological messages.
The ruling prompted Lawton and other municipalities to review their sign ordinances to ensure they were "content neutral," meaning regulations are not based on contents. But, Lawton officials also took the opportunity to update city regulations.
The results, recommended by the City Planning Commission in September, remove all content-based restrictions, but impose changes that define on-premises and off-premises signs, and modify regulations and requirements on things such as size, number, placement, materials, duration of placement and permitting of on-premises temporary signs.
Significant changes were made for temporary signs, defined as those placed for a limited period of time and tied to a specific event or occasion, such as theatrical performances, business promotions and elections.