Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Rockwall Reporter
The City of Rockwall passed an ordinance banning free-standing signs and banners on non-profit and church properties.
The City of Rockwall passed a new ordinance that has upset some church members and residents.
With a split 5-2 vote, the Rockwall City Council decided to ban non-profit groups from hanging banners and other free standing signs on their property, unless they hang from buildings.
For churchgoer Barbara Chriswell, the city’s latest decision is anything but praiseworthy.
"I think it's crazy, I think a church ought to advertise or put up anything on their property,” said Chriswell. "It's their property they ought to put what they want in their yard."
Rockwall councilwoman Michelle Smith said it’s about maintaining the city’s image.
"We needed to give them some kind of guidelines, setback rules, a certain amount feet from the road, so that we... you know safety and perspective,” said Smith.
Smith voted against the ordinance.
"I do believe in the role of limited government and I think if we're really truly going to believe in that then we need to be careful with these ordinances that limit citizens private property," said Smith.
What is allowed: signs and banners made out of hard plastic called coroplast, supported by T-posts on each side, and no longer than 32 square feet in size.
Some Rockwall residents are worried the new ordinance will hurt budgets for non-profit groups.
"I think it's stupid," said Charles Johnston, Rockwall resident. "Putting signs on buildings is expensive and it costs these people money, extra money that they can use elsewhere."
The ordinance goes into effect on October of 2013, churches and organizations have until that date to adjust their signs.