The Hillsborough Township Committee updated its 15 year old sign ordinance in March of 2007. Less than a year later, it looks like there may be some more changes.
The ordinance adopted last year had many improvements designed to help businesses - larger free-standing, wall-mounted and ground signs, larger tenant directory signs, and off-site signs within a half-mile of the business. The use of temporary signs, however, was made to be more restricted - generally permissible for 90 days after application for a permanent sign permit. The idea was that better permanent signs would eliminate the need for temporary signs.
Some business owners have been cool to that plan. John Sala of Hillsborough Landscape & Supply on Route 206 has been fighting the township over his temporary signs, which he deems necessary for his business.
Business signs really serve two purposes. Obviously they are a means of identification - helping a customer quickly find the location of the store. They are also important for advertising. Much of the advertising that Hillsborough businesses do is seasonal or sale-related - two uses not conducive to permanent signs.
The township Planning Department is beginning to understand this as well, and is looking into ways to ease the temporary sign restrictions. It is good to see that the township is seeking to improve this ordinance just 10 months after it was first adopted. It shows that they are listening to the business community,
The only problem I foresee with Hillsborough business signs is how are they going to possibly be seen by anyone when all of our traffic is diverted onto the Route 206 bypass!