The Oro Valley Town Council approved a change to the town’s sign code at its Wednesday, Dec. 17, meeting.

The unanimous vote, with member Paula Abbott absent, was to bring town code in line with recent changes to state law.

The State Legislature changed laws regarding human signs, the sort often seen at major intersections to advertise store closings or sales.

The law also allows people to advertise using sandwich-board signs.

The council also changed the code to allow stand-alone A-frame signs. Those sorts of advertisements were previously restricted in Oro Valley.

The council attached a list of stipulations on the revised code, including limiting use of the human signs to daylight hours, mandating 10-foot buffer of signs from the edge of the roadway and limiting a business to one sign per 90 days.

Councilman Bill Garner asked that the town forbid human signs from wearing costumes while holding advertisements.

“This is an issue because it becomes a distraction to drivers,” Garner said.

Town Attorney Tobin Rosen advised against adding such a prohibition because the town could find itself in contradiction of the First Amendment. 

Defining a costume could prove difficult in such cases.

In addition, other clothing items, like T-shirts, could cause confusion.

The council approved the changes with instructions for the planning and zoning commission to work on more detailed changes regarding how far from a business the signs can be used.

New appointees named, nixed

The council also approved the appointments of three residents to the Art Review Committee.

Residents Zev Cywan, Andrea Fowler and Matthew Moutafis were appointed to two-year terms beginning in January.

A fourth candidate, Jonas Hunter, was denied appointment because he does not live in the town.

Hunter works for the Greater Oro Valley Art Council.

His appointment was offered to represent the arts group on the volunteer commission.

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