Driving up a road and squinting at a tiny posted public hearing sign to find out about a zoning issue may be an annoyance of the past, at least in Crestwood. Borrowing an idea from Wentzville, Crestwood will start posting large, brightly colored billboard-type signs at any property with a proposed zoning change.
Heavy duty metal signs measuring 2 feet tall and 3 feet long will be posted, in stark contrast to the former yard signs with a printout in a sleeve. Public hearing signs will be neon yellow with a large P, and conditional-use permits will get blue signs with a large C. Variances will have purple signs posted with a large V, and others are bright orange with a Z.
Each sign will have a QR code so that anyone walking up to can take a photo with their smartphone and go straight to the project’s link on the city website. The URL will be posted, along with the city phone number and the date, time and address of City Hall so citizens can make it to the hearing.
One of the first sites that got one of the signs was the Crestwood mall, which will have a July 14 public hearing in front of the Crestwood TIF Commission (see Page 14A). The first project to get a sign was a variance. Next will be the McDonald’s.
City Administrator Kris Simpson credits Wentzville, which showed the idea in a webinar on community engagement.
“I’ve always thought public hearing signs were awful, just a way to pay lip service to satisfy statutory requirements. … They should be pretty hard to miss now,” Simpson said. “We’re excited to have them — I think they’ll do a good job of letting people know what’s going on at the city, hopefully drive up participation. At this local level you have a high degree of involvement potential, you have a high opportunity to change the outcome for something that has a dramatic outcome on your life.”