Scenic Michigan announces new sign guidebook

Scenic Michigan has released the second edition of its Michigan Sign Guidebook. Like the celebrated first edition published in 2011, the 2021 edition is designed as a go-to resource about local sign regulation as communities consider the legal defensibility of their existing sign regulations and make needed updates.

Most sign ordinances currently in place in Michigan and around the country are outdated, leaving communities vulnerable to costly legal challenges. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert significantly impacted local governments’ approach to sign regulation. The case’s application of the content neutrality doctrine rendered most of the local sign regulations in Michigan unconstitutional. Additionally, recent Sixth Circuit court decisions challenge local governments’ ability to continue with longstanding modes of sign regulation, such as utilizing on-premises and off-premises designations. In addition to legal developments, the continued advancements in digital sign technology present even more challenges.

At 271 pages with illustrations, the Michigan Sign Guidebook is clearly organized in easy-to-read chapters for quick reference for communities facing these challenges. Directed toward professional planners, zoning administrators, municipal attorneys, local government staff, elected officials, and citizen planners, the Michigan Sign Guidebook can also be of use to business owners and stakeholder groups seeking to understand how local sign regulations function. Written by Brian J. Connolly with contributing authors Andrew L. W. Peters & Lindsay K. Lyda, the guidebook has a clear style that anyone can understand. While the guidebook is Michigan-focused, it may still prove useful to those in other states as well. The guidebook is available for sale in digital download format ($50) or hard copy ($85) from scenicmichigan.org.

In partnership with Michigan State University Extension, Scenic Michigan is also proud to provide companion overview training on May 12 from 10:30am-12:30pm and May 24 from 6:30-8:30pm.

Registration for either webinar can be completed here.

Registration is open to the general public and no advance preparation is required. Registration for the webinar includes a digital copy of the guidebook.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on May 23, 2021