Photo: R.E. Miami Beach,City of Miami
“Miami Beach Commissioners are turning their attention to the number of vacant storefronts in the City. Ricky Arriola, Chair of the Commission’s Finance Committee, started a lively conversation on Facebook recently when he posted an article from the New York Post about the idea of a vacancy tax floated by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio…
Miami Beach Economic Development Manager Michelle Huttenhoff said San Jose recently passed an ordinance calling for a storefront vacancy registry. ‘After 60 days you have to self-register an address as a vacant property and then put forth your plan of action to recruit a new tenant or if there’s a permit’for construction, she said. ‘I believe for them it’s about 300 days if there hasn’t been progress made they invoke an annual registration fee.’In addition to supporting the program, Huttenhoff said the fees also go into a business incentive program to support small businesses…
With a vacancy registry, she said, City staff and Chambers of Commerce can help attract businesses to vacant properties…
Currently, Huttenhoff responded, vacant storefronts are required ‘to have an opaque window covering and then if they don’t have that then they are able to purchase the blue window wraps from the city but they do need to have a covering.”
Sarah Saunders, Assistant Director for Code Compliance, said while officers were helping with the vacancy count, they checked on properties with open violations for compliance and also found new violations on other properties. ‘This is something that we’ve been working on for quite some time,’she said. Code Compliance has done ‘blitzes’ along Washington Avenue to ensure compliance and they continue to monitor the vacant storefronts.”
— Susan Askew, R.E. Miami Beach
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Video: Fox35 News
“Some residents in Titusville have noticed their garage sale signs missing from street sides.
City representatives said it’s no accident: those signs aren’t supposed to be there. According to city code ‘snipe signs,’ as they’re called, are not allowed on any public property or right of way.
Garage sale signs or other temporary signs can go up on private property with the owner’s permission, but city leaders said if they are placed in the public right of way they can be removed by anyone…”
— Brian Scott, Fox35 News
Photo: Wiki Commons
“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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Photo: NWF Daily News
“Two residents of Holiday Isle in Destin were cited by the neighborhood’s Holiday Isle Improvement Association this week for violating the organization’s sign codes, but they believe the citations could potentially be politically motivated.
Alan Osborne and Robyn Wehunt both have had posted campaign signs promoting candidates in the past without any issues.
However, both received citations from the Holiday Isle Improvement Association within hours of posting signs promoting charter boat Capt. Gary Jarvis’ campaign for mayor. Jarvis’ opponent in the race is current Mayor Scott Fischer, the director of the Holiday Isle Improvement Association’s board of directors.
‘Selective enforcement is the first step to control a government in socialism,’ said Osborne. ‘When it comes to rules, they either apply to everybody or nobody when your job is to represent the people.’
Wehunt agreed to have a ‘Captain Gary Jarvis for Mayor of Destin’ sign posted in her front yard after a member of Jarvis’ campaign committee asked her permission.
‘I left to pick up my daughter from school and by the time I came home, I found a citation on my front door,’ Wehunt said.
Wehunt and Osbourne both said they have posted Trump signs in their yards in the past without being cited.
The signage rules and regulations for Holiday Isle are posted on the improvement association’s website and state that signs are prohibited in the right of ways, and only ‘For Rent’ or ‘For Sale’ signs shorter than four feet tall and two feet square in any given area are allowed.
Throughout the neighborhood, ‘Scott Fischer Mayor’ signs that include the phrase ‘preserving the heritage of Destin’ are displayed prominently on personal vehicles in driveways. The magnetic signs are within HOA code, according to Fischer, who said that he hasn’t attended any association meetings or read any emails regarding association issues and is not in any position to comment due to the upcoming election…”
— Maddie Rowley, NWF Daily News
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“Pasco County, which prohibits digital signs for commercial uses, is poised to ease that restriction.
Kind of. Sort of.
If you own 200 acres or have a 35,000-square-foot building with 2,000 seats or 450 parking spots, you can have a digital sign.
So far, that would be the Pasco County Fairgrounds outside Dade City and the Florida Hospital Center Ice complex in Wesley Chapel.
The county commission is considering amending its sign rules to allow the LED signs that rotate messages for so-called regional attractions, defined as tourist destinations that play host to at least 50 events throughout the year.
The proposed change comes 18 months after the Pasco County Fair Association asked for permission to install a digital sign and a year after the grand opening of the ice center, which used a mobile LED sign company to tout the new complex…
Currently, the county’s land development code bans digital signs that change messages. The rules aren’t applicable to government agencies using a flashing message for a public purpose.
That’s why a few public schools and the Pasco Hernando State College campuses have the brightly lit LED signs.
Commissioner Mike Moore said he wanted the commission to carve out a similar exemption for community development districts as part of the ongoing rewrite of the land development code.
The signs also are visible on businesses in some Pasco cities, including Dade City and Port Richey, which allow the digital signs.
‘I’m good with it,’ said Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, who founded Scenic Pasco and advocated for better sign controls in the county in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Allowing LED signs for regional attractions is the second time the commission has eased its previous hard-line stance on aesthetic controls. Last year, commissioners lifted their ban on all new billboards to allow outdoor advertising companies to swap new LED billboards for traditional signs with static messages…”
— C.T. Bowen, Tampa Bay Times
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“Longboat Key commissioners shelved until after the March elections a sign code town staff have been rewriting for more than a year to meet Supreme Court standards of content neutrality…
The latest iteration of Longboat’s proposed sign code allows, among many other regulations, two temporary signs per property which may be permitted by the property owner or his or her agent for six months. This includes one two-square-foot sign and one four-square-foot sign with a one-square-foot informational rider (like ‘for sale,’ ‘this way,’ etc.).
It was the cost of permitting a sign that gave commissioners trouble. The former code permitted four five-square-foot political signs, which were, and still are, exempt from permitting and the fees accompanying them, according to Code Enforcement Officer Chris Elbon.
‘You think it’s hard getting people to run [for the commission] now, just wait until they have to pay $1,000 for signs,’ said At-Large Commissioner Jim Brown.
Political signs would be treated as any other temporary sign under the new code, all of which would require permitting. District 2 Commissioner George Spoll suggested removing all temporary sign permit requirements for 30 days before an election.
‘[Permit costs] interferes with the most basic part of our democracy, the ability to reach out in an election,’ Spoll said…
Signs exempt from permitting under the proposed code include government signs, signs carried by a person, historical signs and regulatory sings.
Revenue from temporary signs ranges between $300 and $600 each year, said Finance Director Sue Smith…”
— Bret Hauff, YourObserver.com
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