JOLIET – Joliet plans to have new regulations in place for electronic messaging signs in December.
The city will add a requirement for automatic dimming technology for future signs.
The requirement is being added to deal with the problem of signs that are too bright at night, Michael Schwarz, director of planning for Joliet, said to the Joliet City Council Land Use and Legislative Committee last week.
Automatic dimming reduces brightness during the night or under cloudy conditions.
Schwarz told the committee that automatic dimming would not be required for existing signs that don’t have it. But when new signs are installed at those locations, the requirement will apply.
The city has had a moratorium on permits for new electronic signs while current rules have been
The moratorium ends Nov. 2. The new sign regulation is expected to go to the full City Council for a vote Dec. 5. The committee plans to meet again in November to review a final version of the new rules, including procedures for sign approval.
The new rules would be the first addition of an electronic messaging sign ordinance into the city codes. Sign companies previously obtained zoning variance to put up the signs.
Variances have been approved for 66 such signs in the past seven years, Schwarz said.
Local sign companies participated in the development of the new regulation.
Eddie Hartsell, owner of Express Signs in Shorewood, had told the committee in June when the new rules were first considered that a requirement for automatic dimming should take care of the problem.
“I’ve put a lot of them in Joliet in the last 28 years,” Hartsell told the committee last week. “Previously, I’ve never received a complaint.”