Over the past decade the number of Cedar Key ordinances has nearly doubled in number. They are approaching number five hundred. The ordinances can be categorized as either enforced, unenforced, haphazardly enforced, or unenforceable. Over the past three years the Commissioners and their successive City Attorneys have wrestled with a commercial sign ordinance that has not been enforced, and is therefore judged unenforceable. (Among the sign ordinance problems is a provision for fees required of sign owners, but unpaid. That has resulted in lost badly needed revenue for the City.) In recent years the number of signs, like the ordinances, have proliferated. Big signs, multiple small signs, even some trashy signs.
Ordinances enacted by our Commission include a tree ordinance, a seawall ordinance, a noise ordinance, an animal ordinance, a fence ordinance and the sign ordinance.
At the May 1 Commission meeting a proposed sign ordinance came up for a vote after much legal work. A motion in favor of the ordinance failed for lack of a second. A compromise motion then failed on a three to two vote. There May be a procedural possibility of a second "first reading" of the new ordinance at the next Commission meeting, at which time there will be one or possibly two new members in office, depending on the outcome of the election on May 8.
The new Commission will have the opportunity to make the sign ordinance, the tree ordinance, and all the others enforceable and enforced or take them off the books. It is up to the voters of Cedar Key to let the Commissioners know that they want clear enforceable ordinances put into effect in an even-handed way.