Interesting City Commission Work Session, this evening. Discussing possible changes to local sign ordinances. Some interesting comments from commissioners and City staff.
City Commission does not want digital business signage that can act like a large tv screen. They don’t want businesses to be able to have ball games playing and other moving advertisements that could be distracting to drivers… unless it’s in Aggieville and for the Faux Patty’s Day or the New Years Eve party. Let’s ban one type of signage unless it advertises and supports our drunkfests. Nice. Sometimes I honestly believe the “conservative” members of this commission would applaud strip joints and porn shops… if they were in Aggieville and provided income for bar owners. Varney’s and other AV businesses should be permitted to do no more with signage than any other business district.
During public discussion, a citizen stated that if he put up a sign on private business property… along FRB or Anderson… advertising a boat he personally had for sale, that would be cited by Code Enforcement. City staff agreed, such signage would be deemed illegal. Then, he pointed out a local school that allows banners advertising any number of events… not all on school property… to be hung on their playground fence. He asked why that signage was okay, while a citizen could not advertise similarly in a like zoned district. City staff… he’ll probably get his hand slapped… replied, “Sometime enforcement is not politically expedient.” So… selective enforcement IS okay when it comes to City Code?? Does Code Enforcement have to get the okay of the Chamber of Commerce before citing someone for sign violations, just like the Commission gets Chamber permission to use the restroom or cross the street?
The current sign ordinance is outdated and certainly needs reviewed and modified. Again, as a citizen pointed out, not one mention was made of City staff making contact with any other municipality to deem what was done elsewhere. Seems like someone close to the Commission wants permitted for something not currently in accordance with City ordinances and the Commission will accomodate. A local sign shop provided much more statistical data than it appeared City staff had acquired. What has worked in other communities and what has not worked? What signage has been allowed and found detrimental and permitting rescinded or limited? Are we afraid that one political cronie who wants changes made wants something that might have failed in other communities? Come on. If we modify the existing code, let’s do exhaustive research to provide a rewrite that is well done. Why have City staff suffer the embarrassment of another poorly written ordinace such as was the LGBT ordinance or the Rental Inspection Program ordinance? Let’s do it correctly and let’s do it fair, across the board, showing no favoritism for specifric business owners.