City of Homer
Planning & Zoning Telephone (907) 235-3106
491 East Pioneer Avenue Fax (907) 235-3118
Homer, Alaska 99603-7645 E-mail Planning@ci.homer.ak.us
Web Site www.ci.homer.ak.us
TO: Mayor Hornaday and Homer City Council
THRU: Walt Wrede, City Manager
FROM: Rick Abboud, City Planner
DATE: March 15, 2012
SUBJ: Draft Ordinance 12-01(S)(A), Sign Ordinance
Since the City Council had last seen this ordinance it has been on the Planning Commission worksession and regular meeting agenda each twice and EDC has reviewed it twice, once before the PC amendments and once after.
Items for review
After reviewing the motions made by the City Council, I broke down the item to consider:
In all the reviews it was concluded that the provision in code regarding the placement of temporary signs adequately addressed safety and that added measures of enforcement should be all that is necessary.
This is basically a non-starter subject with either commission. The PC was unable to pass a motion supporting 32 or 24 square feet maximum per sign and the EDC did not address the subject.
Temporary Commercial Signs (sandwich boards)
This obviously is the subject that had the most debate. Both commissions took around an hour of time for each conversation. One thing is for sure though; each and every alternative has its plusses and minuses. This is why the conversations went on for so long.
First after exploring many options, the EDC ended up unanimously supporting the original ordinance that banned temporary commercial signs. This may have been a result of being overwhelmed when considering all of the effects of the various alternatives. It really takes a lot of time and effort to examine the benefits and effects of the various alternatives.
Next, it came to the PC. Several options were suggested and the four votes necessary to pass a motion did not materialize. Finally, a motion was passed to allow for the display of a temporary commercial sign (e.g. sandwich board) for up to 14 days out of a ninety day period with a sign permit. Consideration that contributed to the motion included:
Commercial vs. Non-commercial
This is NOT profit vs. non-profit. Many non-profits are involved in commercial activity. These terms refer to the message and a commercial message “directly or indirectly, names, advertises, or calls attention to a business, brand, product, service or other commercial activity” and a non-commercial message does not. I would be hard pressed to not consider the Nut Cracker Fair or the Street Fair non-commercial activities. No allowance for commercial temporary signs means no temporary signs for community events such as these.
Allowing the display for 14 out of ninety days maintains the option of commercial messages. It is still a temporary display that may be used for non-routine sales or commercial events. It is the current option that would be reinforced and explained when businesses obtain the permit now required.
Review changes and consider recommendation of the EDC. If any other changes are made or suggested, they will need to be crafted and reviewed again. Changes in policy will need to be considered for the impacts that they will have and it would be very difficult for me to take it all under consideration without some time for reflection and some back and forth conversations with the body, preferably in a worksession atmosphere.
1. Draft Ordinance 11-01(S)(A)
2. Memo EDC 2.3.12
3. Minutes EDC 2.14.12
4. Memo EDC 3.12.12
5. Staff Report 12-09
6. Minutes PC 2.15.12
7. Staff Report 12-10
8. Minutes PC 3.7.12