The Lincoln City City Council Monday night continued to grapple with what many complain is the town’s substantial sign clutter, some of which was produced by an upsurge of signs erected many years ago, some without even as much as a phone call to City Hall. City Hall doesn’t seem inclined to order them taken down, or any that don’t comply with current codes. However, the city council does appear to be trying to deal with the problem.
Last evening the council migrated toward loosening the use of small sandwich board type signs which business owners say work quite well. But the council added they don’t want to see them placed in the public right of way or on sidewalks. They must be placed strictly on private business property.
The sticky issue of installing “changing LED signs” came up, and after some debate the council mandated that any business owner that has a sign not in compliance with current code, but who wants to add an LED sign, must bring the entire sign structure into compliance, which usually involves square footage, height, etc. Councilors reasoned that non-conforming signs have been up for decades in Lincoln City. Meanwhile, new businesses have put up signs that are in compliance. They say it’s not fair that new businesses follow the rules while the old businesses don’t have to. Mayor Dick Anderson challenged the council that if the city is ever to reduce sign clutter, now is the time to begin.
The council asked planning staff to return to council September 24th with a re-write of the city’s sign ordinance reflecting council discussions.