Oneida County Sign Ordinance Proposal
To: Oneida County Planning & Development Committee
Scott Holewinski, (Chairman)
Gary L. Baier
Chairman Holewinski and Fellow Committee Members:
The Northwoods Association of REALTORS is a non-profit membership organization of over 325 REALTORS who operate in five Northwoods counties including Oneida County. Our members have always appreciated the freedom afforded them by our local governments to market their properties using whatever reasonable means they feel are necessary to ensure that potential home buyers are able to locate and view their listed properties. It is especially important to help guide potential buyers toward properties these days given the challenges the housing and job markets have faced over the past several years, as well as the fact that many buyers are now doing much of the research on properties themselves before contacting a REALTOR. Moreover, the Northwoods market is unique in that many of our sales are second homes, and buyers sometimes find their “Northwoods retreat” while joyriding around the area during summer vacation.
Several of our REALTOR members have contacted us recently to advise us that recent changes to the Oneida County sign ordinance are having an adverse impact upon their ability to market properties in the Northwoods. In particular, the ban on off-premise directional arrow signs that REALTORS use to direct potential buyers to their listings has resulted in fewer contacts from joyriding vacationers that many times lead to sales. Additionally, given that many roads in our area are winding and/or difficult to find while driving down the highway, it can be confusing to those accustomed to living in an urban area where all streets run straight and perpendicular and speed limits are much lower. For these reasons, it is very important to REALTORS in the Northwoods to ensure that they may post directional arrows along numbered or lettered highways to help buyers locate their listings.
The NWAR Board of Directors appointed a committee in January to research this matter and to find solutions that might satisfy our members’ needs while respecting the concerns about protecting the aesthetics of the Northwoods that we understand precipitated the ban on directional arrows. Our committee drafted the following proposal which was approved by our Board of Directors in May to submit to the Oneida County Supervisors for your consideration:
a. NWAR will create an unbranded, standard format of directional arrow sign (no larger than 3 sq ft) that all REALTOR offices in the area may order from a local printing company for use at all lettered or numbered intersections.
b. Only one unbranded directional sign will be permitted at any time at all lettered or numbered intersections. Signs will be marked inconspicuously with the name of the office/agent who posted the sign.
c. REALTOR offices will be responsible for posting and removing directional arrow signs within a reasonable period of time after a property is off-market.
d. REALTOR offices will be expected to self-police by contacting the NWAR office to report any violations of the above rules, and offending offices will be disciplined per the discretion of the NWAR Board of Directors.
e. Custom-branded directional signs (also no larger than 3 sq ft) may be posted as needed at any non-lettered/non-numbered intersections (off the highway) to direct viewers to the property.
We appreciate your consideration of our proposal and should you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact NWAR Association Executive Matt Seegert at 715-356-3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also reach me at 715-762-3291 or email@example.com.
With Best Regards,
Mark Wagner, President
Northwoods Association of REALTORS®