ORDINANCE # 4-2007








1.01          Purpose and Applicability


The citizens of the Town of Holland, acting through the Town Board and Plan Commission have indicated their strong desire to maintain the rural character and scenic beauty of the Town.  To that end the Town has participated in the comprehensive planning and zoning of La Crosse County.  This ordinance builds on those efforts by providing additional protection not available under La Crosse County regulations.


Depending on their size, number, and character, signs either provide useful information or detract from the quality of life for residents and attractiveness of the area for visitors.  Large and tall signs may reduce tourism and the location of certain business with high paying jobs.  Large and tall signs destroy rural character and threaten scenic beauty.  Since large and tall signs are out of proportion with small rural roads they distract motorists and thus pose a threat to public safety.  Therefore to protect public health, safety, and general welfare, and specifically to promote the safety of public travel on public roadways, this ordinance prohibits the construction and reconstruction of outdoor signs that are excessively high or excessively large.  This ordinance, authorized by Sec 60.23 (29), Wisconsin Statutes sets those standards to protect and promote the safety of public travel on public roadways by minimizing distractions and obstacles to clear views of the road and of directional or warning signs.


1.02          Authority


This ordinance is enacted pursuant to Sec. 60.23 (29) and Sec. 60.61, Wisconsin Statutes.




A.        Banner:  A sign without a permanent structure containing a time-bound message and used in aggregate no more than seven days in any calendar year on any private parcel.

B.        Office:  The Town of Holland office that has been designated by the Town Board as having responsibility for administering this ordinance.

C.        Governmental Sign:  A Sign authorized and erected by this municipality, another governmental body, the State or Wisconsin, or the federal government.

D.        Highway: Any roadway that is accessible to the public and maintained by the town or by the county for purposes of vehicular traffic.

E.         Owner:  A person owning a sign.

F.         Person:  Any individual or entity, including a firm, partnership, association, corporation, Limited Liability Company, trustee, and their legal successors.

G.        Sign:  An object of any size, including a structure, wall, image, or movable device displaying any message visible to the public.  Notices legally placed on public property and removed on a daily basis are not considered Signs.  Letters individually painted on or attached to a building that merely identify the owner or occupant or name of the establishment are not considered signs, except that they shall not exceed thirty two square feet in aggregate size or ten percent of the surface on that side of the building, whichever is greater.

H.        Special Event Sign:  A Sign for events such as grand openings, displays, craft shows, benefits, fund-raisers, festivals, and other limited term events and that in aggregate are used no more than 15 days in any calendar year on any private parcel, which include commander boards. 

I.          Warning Sign:  A Sign, less than three square feet, that warns the public about trespass to private property, presence of pedestrians, dangerous conditions such as an aggressive dog and unusual hazards such as drop-offs, high voltage, fire dangers and explosives, or rules pertaining to parking.




3.01          Prohibited Signs


Except as specifically permitted by this Ordinance or conditional use permit, no outdoor sign may be placed or constructed in the Town of Holland unless placed within land zoned Commercial unless that sign was in existence in that specific location on January 1, 2007.  No outdoor sign may exceed 32 square feet in area nor may multiple signs collectively exceed 32 square feet in area unless that sign was in existence in that specific location on January 1, 2007.  Such pre-existing non-conforming signs may not be altered, repaired or reconstructed in any way except for repainting or changing of the advertising on the sign.  Except as permitted in Section 3.02 of this ordinance or in the case of an existing non-conforming sing, no sign may be lighted or exceed eight feet in height.


3.02     Exemptions to the Ordinance


The following signs are exempt from the provisions of this Ordinance:

A.        Governmental Signs and Flags

B.        Banners

C.        Warning Signs

D.        Special Event Signs

E.         Real Estate signs less than three square feet in size

F.         Political or religious signs less than 32 square feet within 60 days of an election or 3 days after in areas not zoned residential and 3 square feet during said time period in locations zoned residential.

G.        Signs less than three square feet in size stating the name of a business on that site.

H.        Any sign temporarily authorized by the Town Board.  A temporary permit for this purpose shall specify any limits on the size, location and length of time the sign may be placed.




4.01     Enforcement


This ordinance may be enforced by the Town Board, any local or state health official, or any law enforcement official authorized to act within the Town.  The Town Board, by resolution, may also designate such other officials or individuals as the Town Board deems appropriate to enforce this Ordinance.

4.02     Penalties

Each person or entity found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall for each offense be punished by a forfeiture of not less than Twenty Five Dollars ($25.00) and not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and in default of payment thereof imprisonment not to exceed Thirty (30) days for each violation.  Each day of a continuing violation shall be deemed a separate violation.  The standard forfeiture for violation of this ordinance shall be $100.

4.03     Injunction:  Additional Remedy

The operation or maintenance of any device, equipment, instrument, vehicle, or machinery in violation of any provision of this Ordinance, or any other violation of this Ordinance, shall be deemed and is declared to be, a public nuisance and may be subject to abatement by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. 




5.01     Severability


This Ordinance and its individual provisions are declared to be severable.  If any section, clause, provision, or portion of this Ordinance is declared invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, this decision shall not affect the validity of the Ordinance as a whole.  All parts of the Ordinance not declared invalid or unconstitutional shall remain in full force and effect.


5.02     Conflict. 


If any part of this Ordinance is found to be in conflict with any other Ordinance or with any other part of this Ordinance, the most restrictive or highest standard shall prevail.  If any part of this Ordinance is explicitly prohibited by federal or state stature that part shall not be enforced.





Following passage by the Town Board, this ordinance shall take effect the day after the date of publication or posting as provided by sec. 60.80, Wis. Stats.


Adopted by the Holland Town Board of the Township of Holland, La Crosse County, Wisconsin, this 11th day of July, 2007.


George Hammes, Town Chairman

Attest: Marilyn Pedretti, Town Clerk

Date Published: 7/20/07

Amended:  8/8/12