Commission seeks input on town sign regulations


Over the past several months, the Planning and Zoning Commission has been conducting an extensive review of the Wilton sign regulations. The sign code, which is administered through the town zoning regulations, contains design standards and parameters which, among other things, govern the location, size, height and number of allowable signs on commercial and institutional properties throughout Wilton. As with any land-use regulation, the commission believes it is important to review its regulatory policies from time to time and, when appropriate, engage the public to determine the need or desire for change.
With assistance from the news media, the commission has reached out to both the business community and residents of Wilton seeking input with respect to Wilton’s sign code. The Wilton Chamber of Commerce has also been contacted in an effort to gauge opinion and solicit advice and suggestions from its membership. Moreover, the commission has undertaken a thorough examination of sign regulations from other communities throughout Fairfield County. A detailed spreadsheet has been compiled providing a comparative analysis between Wilton’s sign regulations and those of neighboring communities. Based on research to date, it appears that Wilton’s standards are for the most part, consistent with its neighbors with some communities opting to be more restrictive while others less restrictive.
Signs provide businesses and other service providers with identity and afford a means a communication that is essential for competing and thriving in today’s marketplace. Clear and effective signage benefits the motoring public as well by providing necessary identification when traveling our busy thoroughfares. These benefits, however, must be carefully balanced against the broader public interests, namely public safety and aesthetics. We have all traveled through communities littered with excessive signage; sometimes resulting in a visual condition that is confusing, distracting and unattractive. There are also instances of signs, usually temporary in nature, being placed within the public right-of-way in a manner that creates dangerous travel conditions, particularly when obstructing visibility at road or driveway intersections.
Maintaining uniform standards and requirements that reflect the tenor of our community is important. To this point, the commission will be soliciting public comment and feedback for its consideration between now and July 1. Wilton’s sign regulations can be downloaded by visiting the front page of the Town of Wilton website at wiltonct.org.
Suggestions and constructive commentary can be either e-mailed to the commission at signcomments@wiltonct.org or mailed to the Planning and Zoning Commission c/o Planning and Zoning Department, 238 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT  06897.