Brett Walker, a planner with Greeley’s Community Development Department, says the City will revise its sign code in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2015 Reed v. Town of Gilbert (AZ). In the ruling, the Supreme Court held that the sign code of the town was unconstitutional because it regulated various types of signs differently depending on their content, based on 23 categories of signs set forth in the code. In particular, “temporary directional signs” were regulated most rigorously, political signs were regulated somewhat less strictly, and “ideological signs” were provided the most favorable treatment. The ruling understandably made some observers worry that real estate signage could be affected but NAR says the ruling is actually a win for REALTORS because it did not set a precedent for other types of sign restrictions.
Walker said the decision to update the code was based on advice from the City Attorney, who wants to avoid potential lawsuits stemming from the Gilbert decision. The code may need drastic revision to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling but the changes will relate more to definitions of sign types than anything else. Walker hopes to begin gather community input on the proposed changes this summer.