Larger ground signs could start showing up in residential neighborhoods in Bountiful.

Wednesday night, the City Council approved a change to the current sign ordinance that will allow institutions in residential zones to have a ground sign up to 6 feet high.The measure, which the Planning Commission had previously recommended, passed unanimously. Both churches and schools qualify as institutions, although schools are exempted by the state from zoning laws.

The change was requested by Bountiful Community Church, which wanted a taller sign than the 4-foot high limit set by the old ordinance.

A 6-foot high sign just down the road at Grace Baptist Church had already been constructed, prompting the council to change the ordinance.

"If that sign at (Grace Baptist Church) is really that tall, 6 feet is not an obtrusive height," Councilman Alan Johnson said, echoing the sentiments of the other council members.

Some members wondered if the provision shouldn't be extended to multifamily dwellings as well, cautioning that an exemption for institutions could "open a can of worms," as Johnson phrased it.

The council decided against any further changes for now, suggesting instead that council members review the entire ordinance.

"That (can of worms) is exactly why we need to review the whole ordinance," Councilwoman Barbara Holt said.