Church signs off-limits for city regulations
Janesville's Plan Commission is fielding complaints about the brightness of an electronic sign near the interstate, but since the sign is owned by a church the city cannot regulate it.
Building and Development Services Manager Gale Price says federal law prevents the city from regulating churches in a way that would deter them from going forward with their church mission. Price says when a different church put up an electronic sign, the city tried to discourage them from doing so because the city wasn't comfortable with it fitting into the area. It was the city attorney's opinion that the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) preempts the city from regulating the signs.
Price says city staff members will contact the church to see if they will voluntarily adjust the brightness of the display.