Town Council Regular Session


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  Item # 4.       
Meeting Date: 03/07/2012  
Requested by: David Williams
Submitted By: Chad Daines, Development Infrastructure Services
Department: Community Development & Public Works  

Information
SUBJECT:
PUBLIC HEARING: ORDINANCE NO. (O)12-04, AMENDING THE ORO VALLEY ZONING CODE REVISED, CHAPTER 28, SIGNS, SECTION 28.7.A., ADDING NEW SUBSECTION 28.7.A.6. COMMUNITY EVENT SIGN; AND AMENDING SECTION 28.9.A., PROHIBITED PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY SIGNS, AND SECTION 28.6.B.1., BANNER; REPEALING ALL RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES AND RULES OF THE TOWN OF ORO VALLEY IN CONFLICT THEREWITH; PRESERVING THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES THAT HAVE ALREADY MATURED AND PROCEEDINGS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEGUN THEREUNDER
RECOMMENDATION:
The Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of the proposed amendment as provided as Attachment 1.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
This amendment is intended to allow for community event signs to provide directional information for community yard sales and other community-wide events.

Background colors for temporary banners are presently limited to white and beige. Local organizations and businesses seek flexibility to allow additional colors as acceptable background colors for banner signs.

On December 6, 2011, the Planning and Zoning Commission initiated a Zoning Code amendment to establish standards for community event signs and to amend the standards for temporary banner signs. These amendments were considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission on January 3, 2012 and February 7, 2012.  Discussion focused on the number and duration of community events, and the size and height of signs in relation to traffic safety.  At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Commission voted to recommend approval of the amendment.
BACKGROUND OR DETAILED INFORMATION:
Community Event Signs

Homeowner and neighborhood associations typically represent large areas comprised of numerous homes. In the case of master planned communities such as Rancho Vistoso, thousands of homes are represented by numerous homeowner associations. It is common for community associations to conduct community events such as annual meetings, special events and community-wide yard sales several times a year.  The proposed amendment provides directional and limited informational signs for community yard sales and other community wide events.

Proposed Amendment / HOA Comments

The proposed amendment is provided as Attachment 1.   The amendment was distributed to all homeowner associations in Oro Valley for review and comment at the direction of the Planning and Zoning Commission.  Comments received from homeowner associations are provided as Attachment 2. The concerns expressed by homeowner associations include:

• Increasing the number of events from 4 to 12 times per year
• Allowing displays longer than 3 days per event
• Increasing the size and height of signs to accommodate an existing sign already purchased by an association
• Prevention of the concentration of many signs at one intersection or street frontage

The amendment provides a broad definition of Community Event Signs to allow directional and limited information for all special events within the community, including community-wide yard sales. Qualifying community associations include homeowner associations, neighborhood associations, or property owners whom represent a majority of property owners within a development. In areas without an active association, property owners who provide evidence of representation of a majority of property owners (through signed petitions) will be able to obtain a permit for community event signs.

The original draft amendment limited sign displays to 4 events per year and 3 days per event. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended increasing the number of events and duration based on homeowner association input. The recommended amendment allows display of signs 12 times per calendar year, 5 continuous days per event.   

The proposed sign area is limited to 5 square feet in area and 30 inches in height. The proposed area and height restrictions are based on the fact that these signs will be placed in the right-of-way and within the sight visibility triangle (SVT) at street intersections. Anything located within a SVT is required by engineering standards to be less than 30 inches in height or taller than 72 inches in height to accommodate driver visibility of approaching traffic. Therefore, engineering staff has recommended the height of community signs remain at 30 inches in size and consistent with other commercial signs permitted in the right-of-way.  Associations wishing to display larger signs can do so outside the right-of-way. 

The signs may be located in the public right-of-way, within or immediately adjacent to the development and are subject to the same location requirements as Off-Site Real Estate Signs. The location requirements prohibit signs in the median and sidewalks. The location requirements provide setbacks from the pavement based on the speed of the roadway and are provided as Attachment 3 for reference.

Temporary Banner Signs – Proposed Amendment

As previously stated, the Sign Code currently restricts the background banner sign color to white and beige. The proposed amendment would permit any color of background, lettering and images, except for fluorescent or iridescent colors. These amendments will allow for greater flexibility for temporary banner signs and respond to input from the business community. A local church submitted a letter requesting amendment to other banner sign provisions (Attachment 4).  The Commission did not recommend any of the requested additional changes to the banner sign provisions beyond the color changes outlined above.

General Plan Consistency

The Community Design Element of the General Plan provides guidance regarding the proposed amendment to the Sign Code.  The preamble statement provides the following language: Increased commercial activity has added signage throughout the Town.  Signage controls have to balance citizens concerns about increasing level of signage with the needs of businesses to attract customers. Policy 2.1.10 further provides: The Town shall create standards for signage to provide information and direction to allow businesses to attract and maintain customers with the least intrusive signage possible. The Commission's recommendation was based on a finding that the proposed amendment was consistent with the above General Plan language and policy. 

Commission Discussion / Action

The Commission originally continued this item in order to obtain homeowner association input. The Commission focused on the number of events, duration, size and height of the proposed community event signs.  As noted above, the Commission ultimately recommended increasing the number of events and duration of sign displays. There was considerable discussion regarding the limitations imposed by sight visibility triangles at intersections and the engineering recommendation to limit the height and area of these signs as outlined above based on traffic safety considerations and for consistency with other sign types allowed in the right-of-way.  One Commissioner felt that the size and height of the signs should be increased and another Commissioner felt that the amendment did not address the larger issue of illegal yard sale signs. The Draft PZC Minutes are provided as Attachment 5.
FISCAL IMPACT:
N/A
SUGGESTED MOTION:
I MOVE to adopt Ordinance No. (O)12-04, AMENDING THE ORO VALLEY ZONING CODE REVISED, CHAPTER 28, SIGNS, to establish standards for community event signs and to amend the standards for temporary banner signs as recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission and provided as Attachment 1.

OR

I MOVE to deny Ordinance No. (O)12-04, AMENDING THE ORO VALLEY ZONING CODE REVISED, CHAPTER 28, SIGNS, finding that the amendment is not warranted at this time and _______________________________________________.
Attachments
Ord 12-04
Attachment 2 - Homeowner Association Responses
Attachment 3 - Locational Requirements
Attachment 4 - Letter from Canyon de Oro Baptist Church
Attachment 5 - Draft PZC Minutes February 7, 2012


    

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