Knox City Council Discusses Ordinance Regulating Outdoor Merchandise Displays

Knox City Council

The Knox City Council this week tabled an ordinance because of some confusion over how to proceed with approving it. The council had previously discussed the ordinance, which provides deadlines that outdoor seasonal displays must be removed and provides a fee for allowing them, but an issue arose. Mayor Rick Chambers explained the ordinance had to be revised because it did not provide actual dates before which seasonal displays must be taken down.

Now, however, Chambers said the ordinance provides exact dates. Spring outdoor displays would be required to be removed by July 1, and the other seasons would follow the seasonal calendar dates. This ordinance applies to outdoor seasonal displays for marketing and sales, such as firewood displays, mulch, antifreeze, or any other item that is on display outside of a business.

This ordinance does not apply to pop machines or ATMs, nor does it affect car lots. The ordinance has been approved by the Plan Commission, but because City Attorney David Matsey was unsure of how to approve the ordinance – whether with a three-quarters vote or a majority – he said he will do some research and return at the next meeting.

The ordinance also affects temporary structures, such as greenhouses, that are used to display items for sale. Permanent structures used for storage are not affected.

The ordinance also lays out the requirement for a seasonal fee of $25 to sell anything outdoors.