Legislators Propose Changes To Sign Regulations


Screen-Shot-2013-05-21-at-6.46.14-AMBy Terry Rogers

The City of Milford moved one step closer to obtaining approval from the State of Delaware on the gateway signs which were approved by Milford City Council several months ago. The sign, which was the brainchild of Scott Angelucci of Angelucci Gallery, will be placed on Route 1 to encourage those traveling toward area beaches to visit the downtown area. However, in order to obtain approval from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), state legislation has to be changed.

On January 29, Senator Gary Simpson, R-Milford, presented SB-159 to the Community and County Affairs Committee to approve a change to Title 17 of the Delaware Code to allow gateway, slogan or related graphic signs to be erected along state highways in order to promote non-incorporated towns and political subdivisions in the state.

The genesis of this bill started with a request from Broadkill Beach for a welcome sign in their community. That request was initially denied by DelDOT, but after discussion with the Department, was later approved. Broadkill not only wanted a welcome sign to their community, but they also wanted a sign with artwork that featured a horseshoe crab as well as a slogan that depicted Broadkill as a horseshoe crab sanctuary. That request was denied by DelDOT.

“This particular bill allows for a new classification of sign called a gateway sign that allows incorporated areas such as Milford as well as non-incorporated communities such as Broadkill and several others throughout the state to be able to have such a sign with artwork and slogan,” stated Senator Simpson.

The Community and County Affairs Committee voted to send the bill to the Delaware Senate for approval, and Senator Simpson was able to have it placed on the Senate agenda on January 30, 2014. The bill was passed unanimously, and will now be sent to the House of Representatives, where Representative Harvey Kenton, R-Milford, has agreed to sponsor the bill in that legislative branch.

“Small towns are very proud of their attractions,” said Representative Kenton. “This legislation is to allow those small towns to place signs on highways welcoming visitors and to add a logo, or a picture of a horseshoe crab or a piping plover to attract people to come visit.” Representative Kenton says that there should be no opposition to the measure in the House, just as there was no opposition in the Senate.

“Everyone of us has unincorporated towns in our jurisdiction,” Representative Kenton said. “We want them to thrive, and I do not see how anyone could look at this change as a bad thing. I know that this will help Milford’s downtown area with the new gateway sign they want to install, so I am very pleased that I will be sponsoring this bill in the House.” Representative Kenton said that the House would send the bill to their committee and hope to present it to the House of Representatives for vote sometime in March.