O’Reilly Rancilio Drafts Groundbreaking Sign Ordinance For Sterling Heights

At its Council meeting on July 19, 2016, the Sterling Heights City Council adopted a content-neutral sign ordinance to regulate the use and placement of signs within the City in order to address the nationwide issues raised by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in 2015 declaring the Town of Gilbert, Arizona’s sign ordinance unconstitutional because it regulated signs based on content.

Firm shareholder, Donald P. DeNault, Jr., who has represented the City of Sterling Heights for more than 20 years, worked closely with City officials to prepare a new sign ordinance to bring the City into compliance with the Supreme Court’s opinion. The new ordinance relies heavily on content-neutral criteria to regulate the use and placement of signs within the City but also utilizes function-based distinctions to balance the City’s interests in allowing residents and businesses to use signs to meet their communication needs while achieving the City’s interests in maintaining property values and achieving aesthetics and traffic safety goals.

The new ordinance is one of the first municipal sign ordinances in the nation that has been specifically tailored to address the Supreme Court’s decision.