BETHEL — A public hearing is scheduled for May 26 on several proposed ordinance changes, including one that would ban the use of trailers as advertising signs.

Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Warden cited a trailer with a company logo on it that has been parked in one location in Bethel. ‘In my opinion it’s a billboard,’ he said. ‘It’s off-premise. They don’t do business at that location.’

He proposed changing the ordinance, which allows company information displayed on ‘vehicles,’ to the more specific term ‘motor vehicles.’

Warden said that because trailers are registered ‘vehicles’ carrying advertising, ‘It’s pretty easy to get around our code.’

The change would allow him ‘a little ground to get those moved. I’ve heard rumblings that that is the next move that people are going to do – get trailers, get their logos on it, then park it at their best friend’s business with better visibility.’

Warden is also proposing to expand the sign ordinance’s allowance for ‘sandwich’ signs for businesses from one to two. That, he said, ‘is more in line with what people are doing, that doesn’t seem to upset people. At least half the businesses have, at one point or another, more than one. A lot of businesses like two.’

His other recommended changes include: changing the ways that nonconforming structures can be expanded to allow more flexibility; and repealing the Shoreland Zoning requirements on timber harvesting in those areas in favor of adopting the state law. By going with the state law, he said, the Forest Service would have the authority over harvests in Bethel. ‘They are much better qualified to make rulings than I am,’ he said.

The public hearing on the proposed changes starts at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

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