Town Council Regular Session


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  Item # 4.       
Meeting Date: 05/18/2011  
Requested by: Karen Berchtold
Submitted By: Karen Berchtold, Development Infrastructure Services
Department: Community Development & Public Works  

SUBJECT:
*DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING ORO VALLEY ZONING CODE REVISED, CHAPTER 28, SIGNS, PERTAINING TO THE USE AND REGULATION OF A-FRAME SIGNS (THIS ITEM HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA ON MAY 11, 2011)
RECOMMENDATION:

Council pleasure.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
The Town Council began review of the Sign Code (Code) at the March 2, 2011 meeting, and approved an updated Code March 16, 2011 (see Attachment 1). The updated Code went into effect April 15, 2011. The draft Code presented to Council at the March 2, 2011 meeting included an optional section on A-frame signs. The Council voted unanimously to strike all references to A-frame signs from the draft, except for the definition, and directed staff to return at a later date to discuss A-frame signs (see Attachment 2).

BACKGROUND OR DETAILED INFORMATION:
A-frame signs are currently prohibited in Oro Valley except for limited use by real estate agents to provide direction to open houses.  Other communities including the City of Tucson and the City of Tempe allow limited use of A-frames.  Oro Valley has received input from community members and local business both critical and supportive of A-frame sign use.

The optional section on A-frame signs presented March 2, 2011 is attached (see Attachment 3). This section allows A-frame signs for the purpose of directing pedestrian traffic to a specific business, and includes standards for quantity, size, placement and design. Key features include:

- Prohibited placement along public roadways,
- Location within three feet of building frontage or entry to ground floor business, or within ten feet of stairway or elevator for businesses on upper floors,
- Height up to three feet, six inches, with maximum sign area of six square feet,
- Six foot wide clear pathway must be maintained,
- A-frame sign may be used up to four times per year, for a period of 30 days each time.

Several public comments from the March 2, 2011 public hearing addressed A-frame signs (see Attachment 2).

Background information presented with the overall Code update is relevant to the A-frame discussion. In fall 2009, the Town launched a Commercial Sign Survey, and results were published in February 2010 (see Attachment 4). One question pertaining to A-frame signs yielded this response:

• General Public: 54% stated they did not like the use of A-frame/sandwich boards
• Business: 40% would like to use A-frame/sandwich boards on the side of the road; 32% would like to use A-frame/sandwich boards in front of their business

After Town Council initiated the sign code update, a Sign Code Task Force (“Task Force”) was convened. The Task Force voted not to discuss A-frame signs and to retain A-frame as a prohibited sign type, based on the General Public feedback in the Commercial Sign Survey.

Town Council approved a Temporary Sign Waiver Program (“Program”) that was in effect from August 2, 2010 through April 15, 2011. Through this Program, applicants could request a waiver to use A-frame signs. On February 16, 2011, staff presented an update on the Program to Council. The update stated that eight businesses had received waivers to use A-frame signs, and all reported an increase in growth or customer count. During the Temporary Sign Waiver Program update, several Council Members requested that staff bring back the use of A-frame signs as part of the Sign Code Update.
FISCAL IMPACT:
N/A
SUGGESTED MOTION:
Should the Council prefer that A-frame signs remain prohibited, no action is necessary. Should the Council prefer that an amendment be prepared for adoption, they may wish to consider the following motion:

I MOVE to direct staff to prepare an amendment to the Zoning Code, Chapter 28, Signs to allow for the use and regulation of A-frame signs.
Attachments
Attachment 1 - Chapter 28, Signs
Attachment 2 - 3-2-11 Town Council Minutes
Attachment 3 - A-frame section
Attachment 4 - Commercial Sign Survey


    

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