08/23/2017: "Port Of Friday Harbor: “Signs Are Temporary”"
( Island Guardian photo)
San Juan County and the Town of Friday Harbor have a history of limiting signs visible from public roads, and at one point after a realtor put up a For Sale sign near a road and other real estate companies quickly followed suit, the county moved to take legal action, but ran into legal issues that stopped them cold.
However, both the County and the Town can, and did, impose reasonable (whatever that means) controlling regulations. So with that in mind, some folks were surprised, and none too happy on Wednesday to see a row of commercial signs suddenly appear on a Port of Friday Harbor fence next to Mullis avenue, a major county road.
Questions were raised: Did regulations prohibit this? Will there be billboards too? How and why did this happen?
Some of those surprised were Port officials that told The Island Guardian they were unaware of the signs, and would look into it. Turns out port property is within the Town; and that includes the airstrip running down Mullis Avenue. So if it is a legal issue, it is a Town issue.
The Town of Friday Harbor passed a sign code years ago, but at that time much of the Port of Friday Harbor airport was located in the county, but now it is part of the town, and the Port Executive Director said the signs meet Town code, in part, because the signs were of those who are sponsors of an event, and the signs would come down after the event; that is, they were a way of thanking the sponsors by providing free advertizing.
At the Wednesday Port meeting (08-23-17) commissioner Chair Barbara Marrett told The Island Guardian the question of the Port having an overlay of sign regulations on top of the Town regulations would be a future agenda item, and at that time port officials, and the public, would be able to discuss if guidelines/regulations on the placing, and the types of signs. should be imposed. Or not.