Changes being considered for tents, yard parking, signs
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Possible changes to city ordinances in Rhinelander will be part of “strategic planning” the Planning Commission will be conducting, said city building inspector Terry Williams, who is also Rhinelander’s fire chief.
Williams noted at Tuesday’s meeting of the city’s Protection of Persons and Property Committee – which has also been considering possible city code changes as they relate to tent structures, parking in front yards and the sign ordinance – he would be going over the current ordinances with the Planning Commission, which would then make the modifications or changes.
“Hopefully then we could have a working document on each ordinance, and that could be then submitted to the city attorney for review,” he said. “I’m hoping in the next month or so that we have updates on these for you.”
Currently the city code allows tents or other temporary structures to store vehicles or other materials for a period not exceeding 120 days, which typically would be for the winter months. A citywide inspection Williams conducted last summer, however, found about half of the 43 properties with “ordinance issues” had tent structures up without a permit.
The current city sign ordinance, Williams said, authorizes him to hire someone to remove a sign that isn’t taken down when a business closes, because the city doesn’t have the liability insurance to do that itself.
“That being said, I don’t have the budget to pay a sign company to remove a sign,” he said. “I would like to see the ordinance say that if after a warning it’s not taken down, we can issue the property owner a citation through the police department, because a citation would at least let them know that, ‘Hey, we mean business,’ and usually it gets things done.”