CITY HALL — A City Council committee temporarily pulled the plug Tuesday on small, unregulated digital signs.
The Zoning Committee imposed a moratorium on any new signs smaller than 100 square feet, which are not regulated under current codes, until April to study the issue.
"We need to step back to take a look at this whole area," said Rose Kelly, of the city Law Department.
Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), who sponsored the measure, said it was "time to look at how these signs affect our communities."
"These signs are a nuisance in some areas," said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).
Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) said they were visually intrusive and sometimes "like a spotlight" in the way they shined through residential windows.
Though small, the digital signs are designed for maximum visual impact and brightness, but their size kept them from council approval until now.
Spokesmen for signage associations and sign companies said the moratorium, even temporary, was an "overreaction" and an "overreach" by the council. Building Commissioner Michael Merchant called it a "reasonable moratorium," and it passed by acclamation.
The city will now consider regulations on such signs, and if they're prepared before next April the moratorium could be lifted sooner.