EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter from Lincoln City Planning Director Lindsey Sehmel seeks local business owners’ input regarding future sign ordinance options:
Dear Business Owner:
The City of Lincoln City recently passed two ordinances (2019-14 & 2019-15) making amendments to the City’s sign regulations. In doing so, City Council directed staff to provide all businesses in the commercial zoning districts with this letter identifying the changes and summarizing the future work program relating to signage.
First, the recently adopted ordinances are not the final review of signs. Council seeks your input on future decisions on signage options, opportunities, and design. Council was clear that additional review and public engagement is necessary and directed certain matters be
brought forward in the design standards review process. Planning Department staff will engage, educate, research and prepare for public outreach on the future work to the City’s sign regulations.
Summary of noteworthy changes in Ordinance 2019-14 and Ordinance 2019-15, which will be in effect ,May 8, include:
• Chapter 17.72 is now consistent with Ordinance 2018-13 (Chapter 9.34) adopted last October, in that content-based definitions and terms in Chapter 17.72 were removed from the code consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert.
• Chapter 9.34 primarily concerns exempt temporary signage (not requiring a permit).
• Chapter 17.72 primarily concerns permanent signage and temporary signs issued pursuant to a permit, or with certain limitations.
• Both chapters place a cap on flags at a maximum of three flags and two windsocks per residence or business. Such flags must be located on private property, not public property. This limitation on flags and windsocks has been referred for review in the ongoing design standards review process.
• Both chapters permit a business to substitute two feather banners for two flags for an interim six-month test period. Business owners have been adamant that such banners should be allowed. Council has directed that the ongoing design review process review any problems or benefits of such feather banners discovered during the test period. This allowance sunsets on Oct. 8, 2019, and again only concerns feather banners on private property.
• Council requested that the design standards review process look at the current code allowance for 24 inches of encroachment into street right of way for wall mounted signs above 7.5 feet.
• The design standards review process will explore the current prohibitions and permitting hurdles to signage on City and ODOT right-of-way, including ADA concerns.
I will be working with my department staff to identify and prepare a draft scope of work and timeline to address the remaining sign code ordinance issues as directed by council.
This includes reviewing and preparing design standards for the sign ordinance, reviewing the current regulations in conjunction with the pending draft commercial and multi-family residential design standards and ensuring the new design standards and an updated sign code reflect the vision and desire of Lincoln City into the future. This scope of work will be presented to the Planning Commission for a work study meeting in May 2019.
Please contact me via [email protected], if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to be added to the email list for future notifications on the pending work related to permanent signage design and aesthetics in Lincoln City.
Lindsey Sehmel, EMPA, AICP
Director Planning and Community Development