Friday, May 19, 2017


The Township's controversial real estate sign restriction that was recently eased to allow agents more room to promote their properties, but not as much as they had requested, is up for further changes, the Township Committee revealed Tuesday night.

During the regular TC meeting, Member India Larrier said a meeting of the TC Code Enforcement Committee held with some realtors had resulted in further proposed changes to the law.

You may recall last month the TC voted, 5-0, on an ordinance that altered rules slightly.

At issue were two past limits in the Township signage ordinance that regulated the traditional 'For Sale' signs placed in front of marketed homes.

The first limit only allows such properties to be promoted as "For Sale," "For Rent," and "Under Contract." These are usually placed in what are known as "riders," the small, additional part of the sign either placed on the top or hanging at the bottom of the main sign.

They also allow "Open House" riders, but only during the time of the open house.

In recent years, however, realtors had added riders that promoted the property as "Coming Soon," and even "Coming Soonish." These are placed before the property is formally for sale and as a way to garner attention sooner. But they are in violation of the current ordinance.

The second restriction allowed only one such rider to be added to a sign, a limit that was violated often in Maplewood.

The ordinance approved last month expanded the rider limit from one to two per sign. But the limits on the wording used to promote the property did not change.

Several real estate agents have since urged that the regulations be loosened further to allow more riders and other phrases. 

After the code enforcement committee met with the realtors, Larrier said new changes are being proposed that would increase the number of "riders" to three, but with only two underneath the main sign and one on top.

The wording on the top rider would be limited to the three original phrases already allowed -- "For Sale," "For Rent," or "Under Contract," as well as the limited "Open House." But the "Coming Soon" would also be allowed, with a limit that it can only be placed within two weeks of the house being put on the market.

But the riders will not be allowed to be a promotion of the realtor unrelated to the specific property on which it is placed.  

The newest provisions will be written up on a revised ordinance likely to go before the TC for approval next month.

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