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The Rundown – City Commission updates Code for murals and signage

Post Date:11/13/2019 5:09 PM

The Rundown is prepared by the City of Newton Public Information Office to summarize the City Commission meeting and does not represent official Commission minutes.

7 p.m. Nov. 12, 2019, Newton City Commission meeting

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Commission approved amendments to the Zoning Ordinance to better accommodate artistic murals and digital signage.

In July, the City Commission requested the Planning Commission review regulations specific to murals and wall signs after the addition of several new murals around town. The Planning Commission hosted a joint work session with the Historic Preservation Commission and members of the Newton Murals and Arts Project in August and discussed possible changes to the sign ordinance.

Under the adopted amendment, artistic murals still require a permit but are exempt from any sign permit fees. An artistic mural is defined as painted graphics on a wall or fence that does not contain advertising or other references to products or services provided on the premises and does not contain text that covers more than 15% of the total surface area.

A commercial mural, on the other hand, is subject to a sign permit fee. It is defined as painted graphics on a wall or fence that either includes text that covers more than 15% of the total area or which contains a commercial message, advertising, or other reference to the products or services provided there.

The amended ordinance also creates an allowance for pole signs, murals and digital signage in residential districts through a Special Use Permit (SUP). This summer, Newton Public Schools had requested an allowance for a digital sign to be located at Newton High School, which is in a single-family residential district. Previously, the sign code did not have an allowance for such signage in residential districts, but now property owners will be able to apply to the Planning Commission and City Commission for such permission through a Special Use Permit.

Community recognition

The Commission honored Dr. Randall Goering of Health Ministries Clinic for being named to the Wichita Business Journal’s 2019 Best Doctors list.

In other action, the City Commission:

  1. Approved a request to close Main Street on Dec. 5 for the Parade of Lights.
  2. Proclaimed November as National Hospice Care Month.
  3. Approved the assignment of an existing lease at Newton City/County Airport to Sweigart Enterprises.
  4. Approved the City’s participation in national prescription opiates class-action litigation for municipalities.

For more information, please contact Director of Communications Erin McDaniel at 284-6055 or