Second FASI Scholarship Awarded to Texas A & M’s Madeline Hunter

The Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry (FASI) has awarded its second $1,000 scholarship to a college student who is pursuing sign-related studies. Madeline Hunter, who is in her first year as a Master of Urban Planning student, will assist Dr. Dawn Jourdan, Executive Associate Dean of the school’s College of Architecture, in researching the sign-code development process. Hunter will interview planners nationwide about their creation and revision of sign codes.

FASI previously awarded a scholarship to Stephanie Onwenu, a junior at Michigan State University. FASI is offering these scholarships to member universities of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education.   

FASI Executive Director Wade Swormstedt Named AACSRE “Friend”

FASI Executive Director Wade Swormstedt has been named a “Friend of AACSRE” (The Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research & Education). The AACSRE Board of Directors includes 13 representatives from its university members. In addition, AACSRE appoints “Friends” to serve in an advisory capacity.

In a press release, AACSRE stated, “With the interdisciplinary nature of the field of signage study, AACSRE often looks to professional knowledge leaders for inspiration relating to emerging issues and ‘hot topics’. Given the importance of this knowledge, as well as the interest of these professionals in engaging, AACSRE created a special category of membership. These individuals, recruited in the same fashion as their academic counterparts, are identified by the Executive Board and, after consideration by the full membership, are invited to become a Friend of AACSRE. Wade Swormstedt and researcher Jennifer Klena have been appointed as Friends, and both participated in the Fall 2016 AACSRE Board meeting held October 13 at Gemini Inc. (Cannon Falls, MN).”

 

 

Reed v. Gilbert Session at APA Convention Attracts 500 People

The following article was written by FASI Board Member Alan Weinstein, who participated in the American Planning Association session.

The American Planning Association (APA) recently announced attendance figures for sessions at its annual National Conference held this past April in Phoenix, Arizona.  The session that focused on the Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling on sign regulations, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, AZ.  organized by ISA’s James Carpentier, ranked #4 in attendance out of 170 sessions, and drew nearly 500 attendees.

James worked with the APA Arizona Chapter Host Committee to have the session proposal submitted on behalf of the Host Committee, which helped to ensure the session would be accepted.  The session, which James moderated, featured four speakers:

  • Mark White Esq., Principal in White & Smith, LLC, a law firm in Lee’s Summit, Missouri;

  • Wendy Moeller, Principal in Compass Point Planning, a planning consulting firm in Blue Ash, Ohio;

  • Professor Alan C. Weinstein, a member of the FASI Board, holds a joint appointment in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio;

  • and Karen Melby, Senior Planner for the City of Sparks, Nevada.

White led off the session with a review of the factual background of the Reed case and an analysis of the legal rules established by the case. He focused on Justice Thomas’ majority opinion that established that any regulation which, on its face, requires that government consider the content of a sign in order to determine its regulatory treatment, is content-based.

Next, Weinstein, who also serves on the Board of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research & Education, discussed how courts have been applying the Reed decision in challenges to sign regulations. Professor Weinstein noted that, after Reed, some courts have struck down, as content-based, regulations that had been found to be content-neutral before Reed.  He also noted that no court had yet applied Reed to regulations of commercial signs and, while most courts had ruled that Reed did not apply to regulations that distinguished between on-site and off-site signs, one federal district court had found such a regulation to be content-based under Reed.

Moeller, who also serves as a Trustee for The Signage Foundation, next discussed how local governments can revise their regulation of temporary, non-commercial signs to come into compliance with Reed. This is precisely the type of sign at issue in Reed, so, unquestionably, the case calls into doubt any content-based regulation of such signs. Moeller’s advice on this issue can be found in a recent APA publication she co-authored with Professor Weinstein: “Practice: Temporary Signs,” in the February 2016 issue of Zoning Practice.

The final speaker, Melby, discussed how the City of Sparks, Nevada, had recently adopted a content-neutral sign code. Her remarks focused not only on what the code contained, but also on the process the city had used to bring stakeholders together to reach consensus on the content-neutral approach.

FASI Board Member Prof. Alan Weinstein Addresses APA Conference about Reed v. Gilbert

Law professor Alan Weinstein, a board member of the newly formed Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry, was one of three people associated with sign-industry groups who spoke at a session on sign regulation at the American Planning Association annual conference, April 4, in Phoenix, Arizona. Speakers at  the session, entitled “Regulating Signs after Reed v. Town of Gilbert,” also included Wendy Moeller, AICP, a board member of the The Signage Foundation, and James Carpentier, the Director of State & Local Government Affairs for the International Sign Association.

Weinstein holds a joint faculty appointment at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, and also serves as director of the colleges’ Law & Public Policy Program. A recognized expert on planning law, he has written more than 80 articles/books on this subject. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201508/index.php#/66 includes his observations on Reed v. Gilbert’s ramifications, and he also wrote an article about this for The Signage Foundation (SFI), http://www.thesignagefoundation.org/Portals/0/SFI%20Analysis_State%20of%20Sign%20Codes%20After%20Reed.pdf

Weinstein twice presented at the National Signage Research & Education Conference (NSREC) at the University of Cincinnati. NSREC is presented annually by SFI. Weinstein also serves on the Board of Directors of the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research & Education (AACSRE), a group of 17 universities with a common interest in sign-related research.