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“City staffers have examined a law related to business signage, and are considering amending the ordinance to allow businesses to display certain types of signs for an extended period.

The signs in question are wind signs — sometimes known as feather, teardrop or blade flags — which usually comprise a pole and a suspended sign made of flexible material fastened in such a manner as to move in the wind, according to city ordinance 16-3.

Under the current ordinance, wind signs are known as “grand opening wind signs,” as they were only permitted for use from the date of business license issuance for a period not exceeding 30 consecutive days. The temporary permit for these signs is non-renewable.

‘A number of months ago, we had a business owner… put up a couple of wind signs on the property that she leases,’ Planning Director Randy Jorgenson said of how the item was brought to the city’s attention. ‘We allowed wind signs to exist during a grand opening … following that period, approached her to have the signs taken down and she indicated that was one of the few methods of advertising that … would get the attention of the traveling public on Highway 90.’

The Milton Planning Board reviewed the ordinance related to wind signs and recommended approving the addition and deduction of certain language to the Unified Development Code.

Currently, businesses are limited to two signs per street frontage, and a business in a multi-tenant complex is limited to one sign.

Under the projected new ordinance, businesses would be permitted to put up wind signs during four different periods of 30 consecutive days. The $10 permit would be renewable for three more 30-day periods during the first year, and four 30-day periods each subsequent calendar year, allowing businesses to display wind signs a total of 120 days per year.

Wind signs are prohibited outside C1, C2, C3 and SSC-RC zoning districts within Milton city limits. In multi-tenant complexes, the total number of wind signs displayed at a single time must not exceed four.

‘Signage … serves a useful purpose. It provides information to the traveling public,’ Jorgenson said. ‘The other side of that is … signs, if they are proliferated, create a lot of what is commonly called visual clutter. You don’t see what a community consists of for the signs that you’re looking at.

And they can constitute even a public safety hazard, in that they attract the driver’s attention away from what they should be paying attention to.’

While the city was exploring the ordinance change, they didn’t enforce the current ordinance.

According to Jorgenson, the City Council will vote on the item at the next meeting.”

— Alicia Adams,Santa Rosa Press Gazette

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