YC sign rules hit a snag
The Yuba City Downtown Business Association wants the city's Business Improvement District exempted from the newly proposed municipal sign ordinance, according to a letter from the association's top official.
Association President Don Covey said the Central City Specific Plan already has provisions governing signs. And since some merchants want to keep their A-frame sidewalk signs, which could be prohibited under the new ordinance, Covey said the city should keep what is already there instead of amending the specific plan with the new ordinance language.
“We've got a specific plan that is set up,” Covey said. “Instead of amending that, why don't you leave it alone?”
Yuba City's new sign-ordinance proposal will go before the city Planning Commission on Wednesday. The commission will reopen a public hearing from a Feb. 8 meeting in which citizens spoke out against a proposed ban on human sign-wavers. The city has backed away from the idea after opponents mentioned possible issues with freedom of speech.
But some downtown merchants are still concerned about the ordinance - especially its potential ban on A-frame signs that are placed on sidewalks to draw pedestrian business.
According to an April 5 letter submitted by Covey, the business association's board of directors is asking that the new ordinance allow for the Downtown Business Improvement District to “remain an exception as governed by the Downtown Specific Plan.”
The letter says that the association would enforce the sign standards, which would be agreed upon by the Planning Commission, the City Council and the association.
Mayor Eric Hellberg, who co-chaired the sign committee with Councilman Dave Doolittle, a downtown businessman, said he felt the A-frames were OK but the majority of the committee was against them. The committee included two downtown business people.
Hellberg said people should have been talking with each other long before now.
“If the downtown group want to be exempt, they're going to have to come and give some reasons,” Hellberg said.
Covey's letter said that A-frame sidewalk signs are used successfully by many downtown merchants.
The Planning Commission may be considering an amendment to the sign ordinance that would provide for A-frame signs. A report to the commission includes a proposed revision to the rules that would allow for A-frame signs.
The Central City Specific Plan, which includes a five-page section devoted to signs, covers a 295-acre area bounded by Colusa Avenue, Del Monte Avenue, the Feather River and Percy Avenue.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.