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Thread: Banners on light poles: a hypothetical question

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    Banners on light poles: a hypothetical question

    How does your community handle something like this?

    IMHO, during my zoning administrator years, I would have considered each light pole with a banner as an individual freestanding signs, unless part of a permitted temporary display. However, this display not too far from where I live has been up continuously since I moved here; it isn't temporary. As a permanent display, I'd say the site would have about 50 freestanding signs, and thus be in violation of the sign code.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
    Jan 2006
    We consider each a separate sign and that would not be permitted here. Oh, unless we put them up
    Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure to make any progress.

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break
    Because both halves of the banner appear to be hung on the same support I might even be generous enough to call those 25 signs instead of 50.....but a sign code violation by any other name would smell as stinky.

    Our code permits temporary banners for grand openings and going out of business sales but does have a section of the code I refer to as the 'mall amendment' (as it was specifically created to accommodate the mall in town) that allows them on a permanent basis

    J. For each zoning lot, there is permitted one banner to identify only the name of the business. For a lot with frontage on more than one street, one banner is permitted for each street frontage. For each zoning lot that exceeds two acres in area, an additional banner is permitted for each two acres. All banners shall be subject to the following conditions:
    1. The banner shall be located ten feet from any property line.
    2. The banner shall not exceed 25 feet in height.
    3. The banner shall be not less than six feet from the surface of the ground.
    4. The banner shall not exceed 20 square feet in area per side.
    5. The banner shall not be attached to the surface of any building, to any existing freestanding sign or to any vehicle, or be stretched between poles or trees.
    6. The banner shall not devote more than a total of four square feet to the identification of the name of the business located on the zoning lot.
    7. The owner of the zoning lot or banner shall keep the banner in reasonable repair.
    (Ord. No. 03-01 (Exh. A, § 42-629.3), 2-18-2003; Ord. No. 01-06, 2-14-2006)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Aug 2001
    South Milwaukee
    Banners and signs on one ordinance. Limits. Each banner would be an individual ordinance break, I see 10, then 10 X $365 per day. Suck it Toyota of Pennsicola!

  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    May 2003
    Staff meeting
    We all them as permitted year round for PUDs and shopping centers

    Article V Banners

    Section 30-501 Location and Dimensions.
    a. Banners are only permitted in the B-1, B-2 and B-3, B-4 and B-5 zoning districts and only for developments classified as a shopping center or planned unit development.
    b. A banner may only be displayed on a light pole and may not extend higher than that pole. The lower bracket used to display the banner must be installed at a height of at least eight feet if in an area where pedestrians may reasonably be expected to pass under or within two feet of, or 12 feet if it is an area where vehicles will pass under or within two feet of.
    Banners must be mounted to allow a minimum of 12 feet clearance over vehicular thoroughfares and eight feet over pedestrian thoroughfares.
    c. Banners shall only be displayed on privately owned light standards (poles) located in the parking lots, plazas or along the driveways of the center. In no instance shall a banner be installed closer than three feet from the property line or extended between two poles.
    d. Display brackets must be removed when not in use or folded against the pole.

    Section 30-502 Number.
    a. Each individual banner shall be considered a single banner for purposes of this Chapter. Two banners displayed on a single light standard shall be considered two banners. No more than two banners shall be displayed on a single light pole and in no instance shall a banner be installed closer than 100 feet from any other pole on which a banner is mounted.
    b. Banners may not exceed 21 square feet per face and shall have no more than two sign faces. Only the area of the actual banner itself shall be counted in determining the area of the sign face.

    Section 30-503 Signage
    Banners of the type permitted by this Chapter may display the name
    and/or logo of the Center, the address or location of the Center, seasonal messages or graphics, and information announcing Village wide events. Not more than 25% of the area of the banner face may display the name or logo of the Center; however, in no instance may the banner be used to display the name, logo, or specific promotion of an individual business within the Center. Banners which advertise a specific store's sales or event are strictly prohibited in the Village.

    Section 30-504 Permits and Inspections.
    a. An annual sign permit shall be required for the installation of banners. During that one year period, the petitioner may rotate or change the banners as often as desired, provided that they are installed and constructed in accordance with this Chapter.
    b. Banners which display a seasonal message or event must be removed within 30 days after the passing of the event or season. When not in use, the permittee shall remove the brackets or fold the brackets against the pole.
    c. All banners must be maintained in a safe and aesthetically pleasing condition. Banners, which become illegible, or are damaged or otherwise are in poor condition, must be removed. The Director of Building shall notify the permittee of the violation and the banner shall be replaced or repaired as necessary. If, within 15 days, the violation has not been repaired, the Director shall revoke the permit for said sign.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

    You know...for kids.

  6. #6
    Feb 2002
    agree, most sign codes, including ours would call each individual banner a sign and that they are permanent. They are illegal here.

    But, from the devil's perspective, i think you could make an arguement that the banners are an architectural element, a site design element when taken in the cumulative.

    I mean does the site look better or worse with or without the banners? They are identical, attractive, and produce a nice visual element imo. Its not as black and white to me. And I am not just being provacative.

  7. #7
    Jul 2006
    There's many different ways to address banners and it all depends on your community's tolerance for sign regulation and your own ordinance.

    Our ordinance does not address banners and we can't come to a conensus about what should be allowed -- so we ignore them -- allow them. Particularly, we allow just about anything on auto dealer lots because they are a tremendous sales tax generator.

    When I was researching for an ordinance update (before we decided that no conensus could be met), we looked at several options:

    --allowing by certain zoning category
    --size limitations
    --not allowing words on the banners -- making them only architectual elements
    --number of banner limits based on either square foot of building or lineal frontage
    --allowing banners only along certain roadways

    I put banners in the "Warning Will Robinson" category, directly adjacent (but not in) to Christmas decorations, yard art, etc. Nothing can get you into hot water faster than jimmy-ing with banner regulations in a community without a consensus about sign regulations.

  8. #8
    Apr 2009
    In my county banners are prohibited period. At least for now.

    I have been directed to write an ordinance to allow banners because the only city within the county allows banners by right, without permits and businesses in the county are complaining those in the city have an advantage because they can have banners. I completely disagree, in economic times like we are experiencing no banner is going to make auto sales, atv sales and rv sales sky rocket. I've explained this to my director and board of commissioners that these people complaining are in the business of luxury items and people are tightening their belts and simply not going to buy them. I don't think they are listening. The businesses are stating that without banners they will be forced to go out of business. This has been going on since Jan. and still those businesses are open without banners.

    So I have drafted an ordinance that would allow banners, penants/streamers as temporary commercial signage. It is scheduled to go to the planning commission public hearing tomorrow and then the BOC public hearing the 27th, we'll see if it passes as written.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
    Aug 2007
    Back in SE Texas
    In my fair Town banners like that are not allowed, signs are not allowed on light standards in our ZO.

    That picture looks god awful.

  10. #10
    Oct 2007
    Way out there
    We would call each one of those (50 total?) banners. Our sign ordinance allows one banner 'per tenant or business location'. We don't have a time limit on how long a banner can be up, but banner permits must be renewed at the beginning of each calendar year.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Emerald Coast
    Except under limited circumstances, we also prohibit banner signs. But I have a funny feeling code compliance staff may not know that.
    Habitual Offender

  12. #12
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    We just say no to those kinds of signs, unless:
    It's a city sign
    It's a car dealer - we'll find a way to make it legal
    You kiss the right parts of the right people to look the other way.

    IMO I find them acceptable in downtown areas. It can make thing more vibrant. For the car dealers, if you really want me to stop and look, give me something to look at, signs annoy me. The fact that there is a large parking lot filled with cars and a large sign on the wall saying Toyota tells me what you do, I don't need the extra clutter.

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