Slowing economy impetus for change
Auburn, Calif.- In a recent decision, the Placer County Board of Supervisors agreed to relax county ordinances relating to the placement of signs for county businesses. The Board also removed time limits for the placement of banners and window signs.
The slowing economy of the past few years has resulted in reduced local business revenue. Business owners are increasing their marketing and outreach efforts in order to expand the visibility of their businesses. Previous restrictions in the County’s Sign Ordinance limited business owner opportunities to expand outreach.
During 2010, business owners consistently shared their concerns with Board members and County staff regarding the limitations that sign restrictions placed on their ability to reach potential customers. After hearing these concerns echoed by business owners throughout the County, several Board members asked staff to develop Zoning Text Amendments allowing for a temporary relaxation of sign requirements. This in turn will assist the Placer County business community by providing additional tools to help increase visibility and revenues.
Sign restrictions remain to address sign issues that affect health and safety, such as conflicts with vehicle traffic and sight distance, and aesthetic issues, such as overuse of portable and bright signs, and clutter.
The approved ordinance includes requirements regarding allowable timeframes, the number of signs, location, and size for each permissible sign. For example, in addition to maintaining the existing requirement that no sign can be located within roadway easements or in the accessible path of travel, the approved temporary ordinance sets forth maximum number of signs for each business. Additionally, the ordinance specifies size requirements for each of the different types of signs, including limits on the allowable height. With these specific requirements, staff will be able to identify violations of ordinance is any complaints are received.
Violations of the proposed Ordinance will be handled through the County’s Code Enforcement Division.
Prior to being approved by the Board, the ordinance came before the Planning Commission. They adopted a motion to approve the ordinance with changes that added specific language about the size and number of signs. Those changes were included in the ordinance approved by the Board.
Signs affected by the new ordinance include:
- “A”-frame Signs
- Animated Signs
- Hazardous Signs
- Inflated/Lighter-Than-Air Signs
- Obsolete Signs
- Off-premises Signs
- Portable Signs
- Signs on Public Property
- Signs on Natural Features and Other Structures
- Signs Without Permits
- Simulated Traffic Signs
- Vehicle Signs