Goodwin said Friday the amended ordinance would be beneficial to nonprofit groups while still restricting illegally placed signs. Otherwise, they would not be able to advertise their festivals and craft fairs.
“Nonprofits are an important part of our community,” he said. “But we also don’t want them littering the landscape with temporary signs.”
The proposal has drawn criticism from Lang, who believes the town should allow the posting of signs for the weekly farmers market. She said the market is a valuable community service that brings fresh produce to residents.
Lang has consulted with Goodwin about the amendment. She said she hoped to provide input for the proposal, but it was crafted without her help. The farmers market is not included among the organizations that could advertise special events twice a year.
“I was told they would try to do whatever they could to make it work,” she said.
Town planning director Ross Moldoff, whose department drafted the amendment, said while most organizations would be pleased with the change, the farmers market would be an exception.
“You can’t do something just for the farmers market,” he said. “You would have to do it for everybody.”
SalemFest organizer Betty Gay, a critic of Salem’s sign regulations, said the town should allow signs in rights of way. Gay said she was not given an opportunity to provide her input for the amendment and is considering filing a citizens petition.
She said the town doesn’t do enough to enforce the current ordinance, allowing some illegally placed signs to remain while others are removed.