When driving past a business, does it help being able to see inside?

Mequon officials are looking at creating a text amendment that will regulate a business' use of windows -- specifically how much of a window can be covered and how often.  This is a task that has been underway for quite some time and has been controversial with some.

Mequon's Director of Community Development Kim Tollefson presented the text amendment to the city's plan commission Sept. 12, which covered transparency requirements of windows in a business.  The amendment covered topics such as placing logos on windows, frosting a window, blinds, and placing items in front of windows inside a business such as a product display.

It was unanimously approved to be sent to the common council.

Signage is allowed to cover up to 30 percent of a window while all other coverage is suggested at 33 percent.

Alderman Robert Strzelczyk suggested also coming up with a percentage regulating the tinting of glass as well.

"If we're going to change it we need to change it with parameters," said Strzelczyk.

It was also discussed how the amendment would cover special situations. A few examples include the American Legion building, which had security concerns with having their windows so visibly open as well as a dental office requiring privacy for tenants.

Not all officials in Mequon are in favor of a high level of window regulation.  At a previous meeting, Alderman John Wirth spoke to such regulation being like big government, saying it was going too far.

Mayor Dan Abendroth wanted to keep the regulations very direct, saying it's better to focus on what's allowed and what's not.

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