Legal: “Pasco considering easing sign restrictions”

Legal: “Pasco considering easing sign restrictions”

Photo:Orlando Sentinel

“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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Legal: “Longboat sign code rewrite not to be heard again until after elections”

Legal: “Longboat sign code rewrite not to be heard again until after elections”

Photo:YourObserver.com

“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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Florida League of Cities: Oppose state’s tree control preemption

 

“SB 574 (Steube) and HB 521 (Edwards) preempt to the state the trimming, removal or harvesting of trees and timber on private property, and prohibit local governments from restricting these activities on private property. The bills also prohibit local governments from imposing mitigation requirements (including fees or tree planting) for the removal or harvesting of trees. Lastly, the bills prohibit a local government from prohibiting the burial of trees or vegetative debris on properties larger than 2.5 acres.”

–Florida League of Cities, Inc.

Visit Florida League of Cities for the Legislative Bulletin

Cape Coral: “2 digital billboards added…”

Cape Coral: “2 digital billboards added…”

Photo: WZVN, ABC 7

“…Cape Coral’s skyline on two major roads is changing forever. For the first time, billboards are showing up in the city.

Last summer, the city voted to build two digital boards, and this week, construction crews went up in the air to put them together.

One billboard is at Veterans Parkway at Del Prado Boulevard while the other is at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge in the southern part of the city.

Residents living near the structures said it felt like they went up overnight.

The digital billboard towering over Veterans Parkway is 75 feet tall and sits right next to a residential street…

Cape Coral city councilors voted in June of 2016 to approve the two projects…

Currently, the city’s sign ordinance doesn’t allow billboards anywhere within city limits. The new structures are an exception to that rule because they will display public information, emergency messages and traffic messages..”

— WZVN, ABC 7

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New job title in Orange County: “Beautification Technician”

New job title in Orange County: “Beautification Technician”

Photos: Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel

“Little things add up, said Ramil Celestin as he plucked a beer carton, a plastic grocery bag and a french fry box off the center lane of Pine Hills Road.

He chucked the trash into the back of a county van stacked with illegal road-side signs that shouted: ‘JUNK CARS’ and ‘DELETE YOUR BAD CREDIT.’ He had snatched up those signs, too.

‘Little things can add up to good, they can add up to bad,’ said Celestin, 57, who has worked for about a year as a ‘beautification technician,’ a title created for the job by Michelle Owens, executive director of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District.

She will address the Orange County commission…on progress in Pine Hills, one of the county’s largest communities and a place fighting to wipe away the stains of crime and blight.

‘We have a lot of exciting things that are beginning to gel in Pine Hills and, going forward, this is all going to have a huge impact on what people think of when they think of Pine Hills,’ Owens said.

Celestin believes he is making a difference in Pine Hills, where he earns $18 an hour to pick up litter and remove ‘snipe’ advertising signs. He usually works three or four mornings a week.

Celestin, also the CEO of a janitorial business, said he picks up enough trash and litter from the roads and sidewalks of Pine Hills in two mornings to fill up a dumpster.

Ramil Celestin dispose of trash he picked up in Pine Hills as part of the community’s effort to improve its image. He works mornings three or four days under the title ‘beautification technician’ and collects enough garbage in two mornings to fill a Dumpster.

‘It was really filthy, really nasty,’ Celestin said, recalling his first week picking up soda cans, cigarette packages, lottery tickets and fast food litter.

His work is a never-ending chore as a street which he cleans Friday is often trashy again by Monday.

‘But I do my best,’ Celestin said.

The tax-supported improvement district also gave ‘trash grabbers’ to some neighborhood businesses to help them tidy their store fronts.

One shop then chose to hire a homeless man to pick up litter in their parking area every week, Owens said…”
–Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel

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