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111313 Lakeport Planning Commission - Temporary signage discussion

111313 Lakeport Planning Commission - Temporary signage discussion

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Published by LakeCoNews
The Lakeport Planning Commission will discuss enforcing time limits for temporary commercial signs at its meeting on Wednesday, November 13, 2013.
The Lakeport Planning Commission will discuss enforcing time limits for temporary commercial signs at its meeting on Wednesday, November 13, 2013.

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Published by: LakeCoNews on Nov 11, 2013
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06/14/2014

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 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Meeting Date: November 13, 2013 Page 1 Agenda Item VI. B.
CITY OF LAKEPORT PLANNING COMMISSION
 
MEMORANDUM
RE:
 Enforcement of Time Limit for Temporary Signs
MEETING DATE:
 November 13, 2013
SUBMITTED BY:
 Andrew Britton, Planning Services Manager
PURPOSE OF REPORT:
 Information only Discussion Commission Action
WHAT IS BEING ASKED OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION:
Continued discussion regarding enforcement of the time limit for the display of temporary commercial signs and recommendation to the Lakeport City Council.
SUMMARY OF THE ISSUE:
This issue was previously discussed at the September 11, 2013 Planning Commission meeting. At that time the Planning Commission discussed the issue of temporary signs, particularly the feather-style signs that are now popular and being used by numerous Lakeport businesses. The Commission agreed that feather flags are a form of temporary signage as defined in Planning Commission Resolution No. 54 and are therefore subject to the display time limit of 30 days per calendar year set forth in the Resolution. Some of the Commissioners expressed concern about the appearance of the feather flags when they are displayed for extended periods, as is the case with most of them. Concerns were also expressed about the long-term use of typical banners and the use of banners as permanent signage in lieu of a typical permanent sign. Although the Planning Commission expressed a desire to begin addressing the long-term display of temporary signs, it was agreed to continue the discussion until the November Planning Commission meeting.
DISCUSSION:
Planning Commission Resolution No. 54 sets forth the regulations for the display of temporary signs in the City of Lakeport. The resolution states that temporary signage
includes “any
 sign, banner, pennant, valance or advertising display constructed of cloth,
canvas, light fabric, cardboard or other light material.”
The resolution also indicates that
temporary signs are “intended to be displayed for a limited period of time not to exc
eed thirty days in each calendar ye
ar (January through December).”
The resolution adds that
“only one type of temporary sign shall be allowed during the identified time period.” This
final restriction was intended to address the display of a cloth banner for thirty days, then pennant-style streamers for thirty days, and then another form of temporary signage for another thirty days, etc.
 
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Meeting Date: November 13, 2013 Page 2 Agenda Item VI. B.
The Community Design Element of the Lakeport General Plan addresses commercial signage and includes a policy (Policy CD 7.6, Pg. V-
16) intended to “facilitate the installation of attractive and functional signs.” This policy also includes a related program
(Program CD 7.6-a) recommending that an updated sign ordinance address the quality of signage, prohibited signage and temporary signage. Regarding prohibited signage, the General Plan (Pg. V-
17) states “promotional banners, balloons or similar promotional
devices should not be allowed, except when used on a temporary basis to celebrate a specific event approved by the C
ity.” Our existing sign regulations, including Planning
Commission Resolution No. 54, address the display of temporary signs and establish a time limit. Community Development Department staff canvassed the City in early November and logged all of the businesses that are currently displaying some form of temporary signage: lightweight banners, feather flags and/or pennant-style signs. The results are detailed on the attached table (Attachment 1). Page 3 of the attachment includes a summary: a total of 83 businesses are displaying temporary signs, 24 businesses are using a temporary sign as a permanent sign, and 71 businesses appear to be displaying temporary signs on a long term basis. Staff advised the Planning Commission in September that we are open to considering other strategies to address the long term display of temporary signs. Based on the total number of businesses that appear to be in violation of the display time limit, complete enforcement will be a significant challenge due to limited enforcement staff and other work assignments. Staff has developed several options for consideration by the Planning Commission: 1.
 
Amend Resolution No. 54 to increase the allowable time limit for temporary signs from 30 days to 60 or 90 days or longer.
Comment: The majority of the temporary signs noted by staff appear to have been displayed for longer than 90 days. Extending the display time limit will only delay the need for enforcement action.
2.
 
Develop a form letter to be sent to all businesses displaying temporary signage advising owners of the 30-day display limit and requesting voluntary compliance beginning in 2014. The same letter would also include information regarding the long term use of a temporary sign as a permanent sign with an indication that active enforcement will begin in 2014.
Comment:
This may be the most “business friendly” option. The use of banners,
feather flags and pennant-
 style flags are often used to supplement the business’
permanent sign. The suggested letter would request voluntary compliance with the 30-day display limit in 2014. The letter would also advise business owners relying on temporary signs as their permanent signage that they will be required to install a permanent sign in 2014. The City will gladly work with business owners who need more time to purchase and install a permanent sign provided they commit to installing a permanent sign.
In staff’s opinion, the use of a temporary sign as a
permanent sign on a long term basis is an important matter and should be a higher enforcement priority.
3.
 
Prepare individual letters to be sent to all businesses displaying temporary signage with specific information detailing the existing sign ordinance violations and requesting compliance. This letter would also include information about the
 
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Meeting Date: November 13, 2013 Page 3 Agenda Item VI. B.
potential penalties (Administrative Citation) that can be imposed for violations of
the City’s regulations
.
Comment: This option would require a great deal of staff time and has the potential
for being considered a “heavy handed” enforcement strategy.
 However, based
on staff’s experience, it may be the most effective option to achieve compliance.
4.
 
Prepare letters to businesses who are displaying feather flags in excess of the 30-day limit and request compliance with the 30-day display limit beginning in 2014.
Comment: The recent proliferation of feather flags in our community prompted bringing the temporary sign enforcement issue to the Planning Commission in September. It may be appropriate to require the timely removal of feather flags only, beginning in 2014. The City could also consider the adoption of a new Planning Commission Resolution specific to feather flags with a different display time limit than used for other types of temporary signs.
5.
 
Enforce the temporary sign regulations only if the City receives a citizen complaint regarding
the temporary sign’s appearance or length of display.
 
IMPACTS/PROS AND CONS:
As described in the memorandum that was prepared for the September meeting, the enforcement
of the City’s sign regulations
 can be a very emotional issue for business owners. The Lake County Chamber of Commerce has provided input suggesting that some businesses credit the use of feather flags and banners for increasing their sales. The City is very sensitive to the needs of our local businesses. However, the long-term display of signs intended to be displayed on a temporary basis or the use of temporary signs as permanent signs is
an aesthetic issue and can detract from the City’s overall
appearance. Staff will forward a report to the Cit
y Council detailing the Planning Commission’s
recommendation(s) regarding the enforcement of the temporary sign regulations. Staff will request additional direction from the City Council.
OPTIONS:
See the options listed in the Discussion section above.
SUGGESTED MOTION:
See options listed above.
The motion would state that the “Planning Commission directs
staff to forward Option #___ to the Lakeport City Council regarding the enforcement of temporary sign displays and also directs staff to request additional direction from the City
Council.”
Attachment:
 Table of Lakeport Businesses Displaying Temporary Signs as of 11/4/13

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