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Thread: Secondary signs on businesses

  1. #1
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Secondary signs on businesses

    Working on a new sign ordinance here and am getting down to the final drafts and creating the interpretive graphics. I've run into a question though and must pick the throbing brain of Cyburbia for some guidance.

    Lots of businesses now include secondary signs on their facades, especially big grocery stores, Walmart, Home Depot, etc. To clarify what I'm talking about, here are a few listed below and my thoughts on them:

    Entrance
    Exit

    Garden Center/Nursery: is this directing people to the garden center entrance or just advertising that they have one? It is near an entrance to that area...
    One Hour Photo: Service offered inside without an exterior entrance...
    Food Center: similar to the Garden Center/Nursery one...
    Tool Rental Center: like Garden Center/Nursery...
    Optomitrist: usually has an exterior entrance, so is this sign directing people to that?

    I really don't know how to treat these signs. Do you set them aside as a separate type of sign? Do you even allow them? Do you have separate standards for attached directional signs marking entrances? Do you allow them as long as they don't push that facade beyond the allowable sign area for attached signs? Do you permit them seperately? Do you have an optional sign permit for a comprehensive sign package?

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    i like the keep it simple approach. they all count to the total amount of signs and area allowed per facade.

    Regardless of how they are sub-catagorized, they have the same effect of conveying a message to prospective customers on public right of way or off-premise.....except for entrance/exit signs which identify entrances but don't achieve an advertising goal.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I Agree

    I agree with what the person above me thinks. Secondary signs should be treated just the same as the primary signs because they are adding just as much clutter to the building. Directional signs should be treated differently such as the entrance and exit signs though. It is up to the business or sign contractor to come up with an intelligent design that conforms with the city's code while still advertising the business in a tasteful manner.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    i like the keep it simple approach. they all count to the total amount of signs and area allowed per facade.

    Regardless of how they are sub-catagorized, they have the same effect of conveying a message to prospective customers on public right of way or off-premise.....except for entrance/exit signs which identify entrances but don't achieve an advertising goal.
    Unfortunately, we've been after McDonald's many times for their entrance signage. Now instead of just a yellow arrow with "Welcome" in the middle, they have a different sign copy with an arrow outlined in yellow and an advertisement for a sale on a particular food item inside that "outlined" arrow. They've complied when cited. But they do it relentlessly.

    There's also the business that may have a vacant lot next to it, so they use the wall facing the vacant lot for signage. Our ordinance reads that wall signage is only allowed when the wall faces a public ROW.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mique28's avatar
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    make part of total sq. ft. allowed

    Working on a new sign code here too. Our intended approach would be to treat these signs as boiker described. They would be included in a computation of the number of wall signs and square footage allowed per business. Recognizing that there may be other signs beyond just a business name our community proposed limits of 200 sq. ft of gross surface area for wall signs which could be distributed among a max of three different signs... the business then has to choose how they wish to divide the sq. ft. allotment.
    Our code then deals seperately with smaller signs (or what will be forced to be smaller) such as "entrance", "exit" or even something like "ATM". They are defined as "on-site operational signs", part of our list of signs that don't require a permit. There are no limit to the amount of such "on-site operational signs" but they must be no larger than 5 square feet maximum and 4 ft. height max if anchored in the ground. We have placed some trust in our building board to limit the profiliferation of such signs during their review.

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mique28
    Working on a new sign code here too. Our intended approach would be to treat these signs as boiker described. They would be included in a computation of the number of wall signs and square footage allowed per business. Recognizing that there may be other signs beyond just a business name our community proposed limits of 200 sq. ft of gross surface area for wall signs which could be distributed among a max of three different signs... the business then has to choose how they wish to divide the sq. ft. allotment.
    Our code then deals seperately with smaller signs (or what will be forced to be smaller) such as "entrance", "exit" or even something like "ATM". They are defined as "on-site operational signs", part of our list of signs that don't require a permit. There are no limit to the amount of such "on-site operational signs" but they must be no larger than 5 square feet maximum and 4 ft. height max if anchored in the ground. We have placed some trust in our building board to limit the profiliferation of such signs during their review.
    Duh! I should have thought earlier to include on-site operational signs (those on a building) with site directional signs as exempt from permit. I don't suppose you have a good definition for that I could "borrow"? As proposed, the draft only allows one sign per facade, but I could bump that up to 2 or 3 with the max area and probably make everyone happy.

    A drafting we will go... A drafting we will go...

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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