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Thread: L.E.D. signs, what does your code say?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    L.E.D. signs, what does your code say?

    We're having a wave of L.E.D. signs requests coming in but our sign code does not directly deal with LED signs. Do you consider LED signs to be the new change panel sign? Do you have specific wording to limit the number of times the sign can change?

    I'm stumped. In some cases I don't think it looks awful, i.e. gas prices, although when it crosses the line from general announcement (Church Services at 9 and 11 a.m. Sundays) to advertisments (Free milk with purchase) I think there needs to be wording to limit what applicants can exhibit and number of times the sign can change.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Perhaps limiting motion/animation no matter the medium would be better.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I was instructed to give this some thought and here is what I came up with after reviewing sign by-laws available on the web and some other resources.

    Sign, Electronic Message Board means any sign that uses changing lights, or other electronic media, to form a sign message or messages wherein the sequence of messages and the rate of change is electronically programmed and can be modified by an electronic process.

    ELECTRONIC MESSAGE BOARD
    5.4.11 Electronic Message Board signs shall be permitted in the Highway Commercial (HC), Shopping Centre (SC), Institutional (IN), University Community College (UC) Mixed Use (MU) and all Industrial Zones, subject to the following:
    a) not exceed 8.0 square metres in total area;
    b) there be no scrolling or flashing of any portion of the message;
    c) each message, or portion of message be displayed for no less than one minute;
    d) that the maximum length of time between changes of messages, or portion of messages be not more than two seconds;
    e) shall be located no closer than 100 metres from any illuminated traffic control device; and
    f) may not exceed more than one per lot.

    Please note that this has been approved by our lawyer, but not enacted as law.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Thanks you two. Donk, are you going to go forward with that wording as an amendment to the sign code?
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  5. #5
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    A portion of an ordinance recently approved by our Board:

    "(5) Moving, rotating, or flashing signs or parts thereof are prohibited with the exception of time and temperature displays."

  6. #6
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Originally posted by donk


    b)there be no scrolling or flashing of any portion of the message;
    I like that part the best. I dont think that Austin has much in the way of regulations in this subject. There is a nightclub by where I work that has a sign such as this, theirs is in color though and flashes and shows girls in bikini's when advertising the weekend's wet T-shirt contest.

  7. #7
    We are somewhat strict on LED and message boards. Here are some highlights from our code:

    Computation of sign area for changeable copy and electronic message signs shall be a part of the total permitted sign area and integrated into that sign, whether it is a free-standing or a wall sign:
    (1) Where changeable copy or electronic message board signs are permitted by use, they will be governed by the following restrictions:
    a. There shall be only one (1) changeable copy or electronics
    message sign on each lot or parcel of land.
    b. One-half of the permitted sign area may be used for changeable copy or electronic message board signs.
    c. If free-standing, the sign may be double-faced.
    d. Each sign shall be permanently installed or located.
    e. Electronic messages may not be animated or flash continuously (blinking) in any manner.
    f. Electronic message boards will be allowed a maximum of three (3) screens with each screen holding for a minimum of four (4) seconds. The total message cannot change copy at intervals of less than ten (10) minutes.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by FueledByRamen
    IThere is a nightclub by where I work that has a sign such as this, theirs is in color though and flashes and shows girls in bikini's when advertising the weekend's wet T-shirt contest.
    Of course, there should be exceptions to every rule.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    All our clout with LED signs went out the window after we put up a big tacky one ourselves at a city park right on a busy street. Luckily no one else has tried for one yet except for the usual bank time & temp signs.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Originally posted by Habanero
    Thanks you two. Donk, are you going to go forward with that wording as an amendment to the sign code?
    It is sitting in a file, probably never to be looked at again.

    The reason I was instructed to look at the sign provisions of the By-law was that we lost an appeal related to an electronic message board sign. The good news was that we were able to argue to the appeal board that if we lost they should set terms and conditions related to safety and the travelling public. The terms they assigned the applicant said were to onerous. So a loss is a win kind of.


    If you want a copy of the revisions I did for the sign portion of our zoning By-law PM me and I'll email them to you.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Our sign ordinance prohibits motion or "apparent motion" (remember all those flashy silver disks that would blow in the breeze usually at used car lots?). This would apply to scrolling lettering, too.

    Our sign ordinance allows one change of electronic message each 60 seconds, and the change must be complete in one second. This allows a reasonably accurate time advisory, and the changing copy should not be a distraction for motorists for very long.

  12. #12
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    We have been inundated lately with requests for LED reader boards and signs...not multi-message billboards. We actually have a couple and they aren't oo bad. The billboard regulations are pretty stringent so we are not bombarded with requests for billboards; however, everyone one on earth seems to want a TV for a sign.
    I need to know how other jurisdictions are addressing them. Anyone with regulations and suggestions PLEASE e-mail me at rdoveton@mbpz.org

    I am not totally opposed to them but I believe there should be limitations on size, number, intensity of the diodes, how long it holds its message and how quickly the messages transiton.

    Any help is appreciated. I need to provide my supervisor a matrix of how others address the issue and she needs no later htan Monday (2-8-2010)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    Our sign ordinance prohibits motion or "apparent motion" (remember all those flashy silver disks that would blow in the breeze usually at used car lots?). This would apply to scrolling lettering, too.
    At my last position I tried to enforce the ordinance this way. An LED reader came in and all of a sudden 1 week after it was installed, flashing, simulating rotation, and other tricks were on the screen. I sent them a nice letter outlining the requirements. They instead called the county supervisor to wit he got the dept. supervisor on my case to argue for the company! Needless to say I had to drop it and got sick of explaining the zoning code to the dept. supervisor, a former personnel manager.
    @GigCityPlanner

  14. #14
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by quailton View post
    We actually have a couple and they aren't too bad. The billboard regulations are pretty stringent so we are not bombarded with requests for billboards; however...

    I am not totally opposed to them but I believe there should be limitations on size, number, intensity of the diodes, how long it holds its message and how quickly the messages transiton.

    Any help is appreciated. I need to provide my supervisor a matrix of how others address the issue and she needs no later htan Monday (2-8-2010)
    Not to say your community is it, but I used Southern Georgia and Northern Florida as justification to redo our Billboard / Electronic Message Center portion of the sign code. I believe that any electronic billboard is a hazard to drivers, with the intention to distract. I think it is pretty well documented that you can regulate based on speed of text change, movement, sound, and brightness.

    By regulating the number of messages (6 per minute), transitions (the entire message must change at once, no flashing, blinking, scrolling, animation, or any other special effects other than words or numbers), and the way they work (must be used in conjunction with a non-electonic sign), we have had great luck creating a better environment. We have a max set at 20 s.f. We also do not allow electronic signs above 10 feet on a wall or above 25 feet on a ground sign. Our sign code is already strong, so these have to fit within the requirements already in place such as monument sign style, etc.
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  15. #15
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Here's how our ordinance addresses the issue.

    10. Off Premise electronic signs. The following additional regulations and restrictions shall apply to electronic signs.

    a. The static display time for each message is a minimum of six seconds.

    b. The time to complete change from one message to the next is a maximum of two seconds.

    c. The change of message shall occur simultaneously for the entire sign face.

    d. The sign shall contain a default design that will freeze the device in one position if a malfunction occurs.

    e. The sign shall have no revolving, flashing, moving, rotating, or similar intermittent lights.

    f. Electronic signs shall not exceed a maximum illumination of 5000 nits (candelas per square meter) during daylight hours and a maximum illumination of 500 nits (candelas per square meter) between dusk to dawn as measured from the signís face at maximum brightness.

    g. Electronic signs shall have an automatic dimmer control to produce a distinct illumination change from a higher illumination level to a lower level meeting the above illumination standards for the time period between one half-hour before sunset and one half-hour after sunrise.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally posted by Habanero View post
    We're having a wave of L.E.D. signs requests coming in but our sign code does not directly deal with LED signs. Do you consider LED signs to be the new change panel sign? Do you have specific wording to limit the number of times the sign can change?

    I'm stumped. In some cases I don't think it looks awful, i.e. gas prices, although when it crosses the line from general announcement (Church Services at 9 and 11 a.m. Sundays) to advertisments (Free milk with purchase) I think there needs to be wording to limit what applicants can exhibit and number of times the sign can change.
    Watch out guys, a sign is a sign no matter if it is electronic or static. It still falls under the First Amendment as Commercial Speech. Those signs really work and bring in the business to their owners. You can't regulate the copy on a sign that's a big NO NO. The message that flashes too often can be obnoxious, and will drive away customers if done wrong, but sign codes become unconstitutional if you try to regulate the copy in any way.

    Later

    slsigns

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