The Crow Wing County Board was not ready to make a decision on placing a moratorium on off-premise signs along Highway 371 throughout the county Tuesday.
A moratorium was placed on off-premise signs in Crow Wing Township and last month board members drafted a letter to all townships and cities in the county seeking input on signs.
What initiated the discussion on placing a moratorium on off-premise signs was a letter from the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. The commission asked the county board to change its off-premise sign ordinance because it is not restrictive enough along the designated portion of the Great River Road on Highway 371.
The board has only heard from three townships and the city of Crosslake.
"I would support a full moratorium but can't without the proper feedback," said Commissioner Terry Sluss. "We need more information from the other townships."
Commission DeWayne "Dewey" Tautges said the signs are important to businesses, the question is just where to put the signs.
In 1996, Crosslake determined that the majority of the citizens preferred that no new billboards be installed within city limits. Existing signs are legally nonconforming and may remain for the life of the sign in the city.
Jenkins Township agreed that the county ordinance should be changed, especially for the 371 bypass route. Jenkins Township officials also said they wouldn't mind having the moratorium extended throughout the county.
Gail Lake Township would like to see no new off-premise signs on any local or state roadway and Oak Lawn Township would like the bypass to stay as natural as possible.
If board members would have placed a moratorium on off-premise signs on the rest of the Mississippi River Scenic Byway Corridor it would have placed a barrier up for Stanley Dobosenski of Brainerd. Dobosenski will be requesting a conditional use permit to relocate an off-premise sign from Business Highway 371 to the new 371 bypass in Fort Ripley Township. The Crow Wing Planning Commission will consider the application at 5 p.m. Thursday during a public hearing in the planning commission meeting room at 204 S. Fourth St.
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