Katara Simmons/News-Sun Existing pole-mounted signs in Avon Park's historic downtown will be allowed to stay, under changes to the city's sign ordinance, as long as the current owners stay in that building. Once the business is sold or moves, the building's sign will have to comform to the code.
published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Pole signs OK in downtown AP, for now
By PHIL ATTINGER
AVON PARK -- Changes to the city sign ordinance will allow existing pole-mounted commercial signs in the historic areas of Main Street.
However, if the business owner sells or moves, then those old signs will have to comply with the code.
Any new signs downtown will have to be monument signs mounted close to the ground on a solid base or on posts no more than 3 feet tall with an overall sign height of no more than 5 feet.
Changes to the ordinance will take effect Thursday.
City Manager Julian Deleon said the change came after business owners weighed in on proposed changes to the ordinance.
As a result, city staff asked Jennifer Codo-Salisbury, planning director with the Central Florida Regional Planning Council, to expand the use of pole-mounted signs along U.S. 27 and other high-traffic commercial areas.
Business owners told Deleon, Codo-Salisbury and city staff that motorists have trouble seeing monument signs at the highway's in-city speed limit of 45 mph, so a move to have monument signs there was abandoned.
Codo-Salisbury said she has amended the code to allow the total surface area of signs for a single business to be up to 200 square feet, except for shopping centers.
The code also allows more than one sign for any business that has 250 feet or more of frontage along a single roadway.
She also said businesses on corner lots would be allowed to have a sign on each street, one per 250 feet of frontage.
Any business with less than 75 feet of frontage, however, would only be allowed a sign mounted on the building, Codo-Salisbury said.
Pole signs, where they are allowed, would need to be set 10 feet back from the road, set between 10-15 feet up and have no more than 64 square feet of display space, she said.
If there are disputes about the city decisions on a sign design, an applicant can appeal to the Board of Adjustment, Codo-Salisbury said.
The Avon Park City Council approved of the changes unanimously on Sept. 9. Despite there being a public hearing on the matter, there was no public comment.
The only question came from Administrative Services Director Maria Sutherland, who asked if the changes would affect minimum maintenance standards, especially in the Southside area of the city.
Codo-Salisbury said those standards were not affected by the change.
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