Wilton’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) is discovering there’s more to Wilton’s commercial signage regulations than casual observers might expect.

A business wants a sign outside. A wall sign could be attached, a marquee, a canopy or a window. What if the sign is projecting off the wall? What if it’s portable, or on a pole? Signs etched on a window are allowed, but not a neon sign in the window? Is a banner a wall sign?

And when does a business owner need to obtain a permit for a sign? (Answer: always — unless it’s a real estate sign, in which case rules and standards still apply.)

Those are just a few of the topics the EDC is sorting out as it attempts to help the Town improve signage regulations for Wilton businesses. Last December, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice asked the commission to develop a set of recommendations for the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider when P&Z updates the signage regulations.

Progress Update

The EDC continued its work at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Two subcommittees have been approaching the EDC’s task on different fronts: one to review current regulations and another to obtain input from business owners via a survey.

Commissioner Peter Squitieri gave an update on the regulation review subcommittee’s work to compile a single document that easily — and visually — summarizes the array of signs and pertinent regulations.

Squitieri had consulted Director of Planning & Land Use/Town Planner Michael Wrinn for additional insights on the many distinctions between sign types and the differing standards for each type outlined in the current regulations.

EDC Chair Prasad Iyer says he envisions the document the EDC is compiling would ultimately be posted on the Town website “as a resource” to business owners “to simplify what they need to know and what the process is.”

Commissioner Marty Avallone updated the Commission on the work of the survey subcommittee, which included some preliminary question areas for Wilton business owners to measure their awareness and understanding of Wilton’s signage regulations and to identify their needs and wants.

Avallone said he also plans to consult Wrinn for feedback on the questionnaire content since Wrinn often fields questions from business owners when it comes to signage and can help identify common concerns and issues.

The timing for the survey of business owners was not discussed. Nor has the EDC yet begun drafting a questionnaire for a survey addressing residents‘ attitudes about signage, as recommended by Vanderslice at previous meetings.

The next EDC meeting is scheduled for March 8.

Can’t wait for the survey? Business owners or residents may email their questions and comments about Wilton’s signage regulations to the EDC.