The Edmond Sun

Local News

June 11, 2013

City Council rejects 2010 sign advice

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I of this story appeared in Tuesday’s edition of The Sun.

The City Council rejected recommendations by the 2010 Sign Ordinance Review Committee at a public workshop this week. Whether the City of Edmond will permit businesses to use electronic message center signage remains in the dark for the foreseeable future.

Revising the current ordinance would have allowed an expanded commercial use of EMC without businesses having to request a variance.

Three former mayors — Saundra Naifeh, Randel Shadid and Dan O’Neil — spoke against updating the current sign ordinance.

“You have an ordinance in place and the digital sign is not part of what Edmond has approved in its ordinances,” Naifeh said. “In fact you made a choice to grant a variance.”

Individual reasons already have taken into account for EMC variances already approved by the council, Naifeh said.

City Councilman Nick Massey told The Edmond Sun that he is disappointed that the  council could not work toward a compromise position with regard to electronic message center signage.

“Edmond is a thriving modern community and it is time to move Edmond into the 21st century with modern day signage,” Massey said. “When done properly and tastefully, having EMC signage does not diminish quality of life in Edmond and in fact makes us a more modern city.”

The current sign ordinance defines three corridors to allow larger square footage and taller signs up to 25 feet in height and 77 square feet. These corridors are on Broadway, Second Street going east to Interstate 35, West Edmond Road and 33rd Street from Broadway to Boulevard, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner. Ground signs include monument signs, he added.

The committee’s recommendations included:

• EMC allowed only on ground signs, no EMC wall signs.

• EMC allowed on signs that fully comply with all current standards in the code, these include height, square footage, side yard setback, landscaping, pole cover and all other structural requirements. This will prohibit non-conforming signs from being converted to EMC signs.

• A 30-second static text message with a transition of two seconds between messages. All products offered must be sold on the property, no off-premises advertising.

•  No more than 50 percent of the maximum square footage of the sign allowed will be EMC signs.

• Daytime NITS: 6,500; Nighttime NITS: 500. NITS shall be certified by an engineer for the permit.

Non-conforming signs adapted to EMC standards would continue to be non-conforming signs, Mayor Charles Lamb said. The LED lighting would be increased during the daytime and could be made dimmer at night, said Jim Gleason of Superior Neon Signs.

“Most of my clients probably favor electronic signs. I do not, never have, never will,” said Shadid, an attorney who represents business interests before the council. Shadid helped to craft the current sign ordinance during his two terms as mayor from 1991-95.

“I just think they’re traffic hazards; they’re eyesores,” Shadid said. “People tell you it enhances business. I do not believe that. I oppose the clutter, the distraction of electronic signs.”

O’Neil said the I-35 corridor will be Edmond’s downtown for the next century. Care is needed in developing it, he added. People will shop here because Edmond has quality standards, O’Neil said.

“We’re not very good about regulating things after the fact. It just doesn’t happen,” O’Neil said. “Whose going to be the NIT guard of the NIT police.”

Someone with a business plan and love for a business in their own town will make their business work for them,” said Naifeh, former owner of a gift shop.

“I think what you’re talking about instead of a sign ordinance is an advertising ordinance,” Naifeh said. “Let’s be really clear — this is about advertising and the amount of messages that we would like to put out to the public.”

If clutter and safety is a problem with EMC, they would be already be banned everywhere, said Justin Booher of Vital Signs of Edmond.

“I think what we need to do is find a happy medium, a balance between residential and commercial,” Booher said.

Businesses don’t want the time-consuming effort of inserting big letters on outdated signs, said businessman Dave Thomas, owner of Thomas Supply Center. His sign is getting old, he said. Thomas can spend $10,000 updating his existing sign that is based on 1950s technology or wait for the city to join 21st century with modern signage, he said.

“My advantage is I could sit safely at my desk even if it’s raining outside,” Thomas said. “… I could safely change the sign to whatever we have for sale that day.”

Edmond resident Ronnie Williams said Edmond is a unique place. Looking like every other town with a “video canyon” would be contrary to maintaining the quality of life that residents expect of Edmond, Williams said.

“The last thing I want to do is live somewhere where I drive through a canyon of lights,” Williams said.

Massey said the council’s lack of decision making is detrimental to business and economic development. Instead of now having a workable ordinance that everyone can live with, businesses must continue bringing their variance requests, one at a time, before the city council.

“This is time consuming and will create even more confusion and lack of continuity. I hope we will find a way to consider this again in the future,” Massey said.

Lamb said he favors preparing the language of an EMC ordinance for the council to approve or not.

“I’m not willing to deal with changes,” Lamb said. “But, I’m at the point in saying that it seems to me we need to draw up whatever rules we’re comfortable with and go from that point.”

Lamb directed city staff to look into hiring a special consultant to address EMC and provide information for the council to consider a “dark sky ordinance” in town. The consultancy would also provide information for I-35 sign standards.

“I am especially concerned about the clutter, especially when you throw in the graphics, not just the letters,” said Elizabeth Waner, city councilwoman.

Light is a concern as well the possibility of having EMC signs create clutter by allowing them every 25 feet, Waner said. Long-term maintenance of the signs could be a problem, she said. An unleveled playing field would result if some businesses don’t have the money to afford the signs, Waner said.

“I think it is going to be a headache for the community to enforce,” Waner said. The city would have to monitor the EMC within 48 hours of placement, she said.

City Councilman Darrell Davis agreed with Waner that enforcing EMC codes would be costly and problematic. More information is needed about the impact of light illumination creep in Edmond, he said. Lamb said maintaining dark skies is especially important east of I-35.

“I understand from a business perspective the need, the desire,” Davis said. “I’m looking at it from a city perspective, the things we have to deal with.”

Massey agreed with O’Neil that churches should be omitted from EMC use. It would not be fair for churches outside areas zoned for EMC not to be able to benefit from a new ordinance, he said.

“I do think though that five to eight seconds, or 12 seconds, is too fast,” Massey said of pauses before light display would change.

City Councilwoman said she would be comfortable if EMC would be limited to once-a-day changes. Changing the ordinance would permit every business on Broadway the eventual use of EMC lighting, she said.

“I’m also uncomfortable with graphics,” Caldwell said. “… If I can see a gallon of milk with price, then I can also see boxer shorts with price, mainly on a model or something. I don’t want to have to figure out a way to monitor that.”

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121

1
Text Only
Local News
  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results