Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Few Random Ramblings ......

Jim Taylor (Not the famous one)
LED Signs Guidelines
When I saw the word LED sign on the agenda for Monday's council meeting my first thought was: "here we go again!".
Upon closer examination it does not appear that there will be any discussion on this most contentious and confusing issue, but rather it is listed under Mayor's Report with reference to a one page set of guidelines. 
I think these guidelines were actually adopted the last time council got on the LED merry-go-round and hope for the sake of sanity they won't be debating this matter any further as it certainly does seem to be an issue beyond agreement.
A few random questions came to mind as I read the guidelines on page 21 of the agenda regards the guidelines for the LED signs. The guidelines I presume are supposed to aid a business person decide whether they should pony up $750 to start the application process for an LED sign. Point number 4 is the first purely subjective obstacle to be overcome by anyone wishing to add a sign to their business place: 'No LED/animated sign shall be permitted unless it can be demonstrated not be to a nuisance that distracts or impairs safe vehicle operation'.
A team of Philadelphia lawyers could buy their retirement homes if they got to argue either opinions that could arise from this single point alone. How do you demonstrate a negative? You could argue that ANY sign on the roadside or on another vehicle could distract or impair safe vehicle operation. Someone working cleaning litter up out of the ditch could distract a driver. I would think that you could argue ANY sign, big or small, animated or not, could be a distraction, as by their very nature they require some attention from the driver.
Item #10 also raises a question since it states that third-party advertising, except not-for-profit organizations or events, is not permitted except on LED/animated signs located on City-owned property. What is the reason for the city being able to sell space on their signs and not private businesses?
The size of LED signs is not to exceed 100 sq. ft., which begs the question; is the VICC LED sign 100 sq. ft.? On the question of the VICC, when they advertise different conventions is that a form of third party advertising?
These questions are by no means an invitation to the current council to debate the issue once again, as clearly the LED sign issue needs to be put on a shelf until after the next municipal election in the fall.
BP Sign ... did it make sense?
When council decided to give Boston Pizza a sign variance in a revamped form, they reduced the height of the sign back down to 35' (I think) from the previous approved variance height of 50' (I think). This is supposedly done to reduce distraction at the intersection (I think). However, it seems to this lowly fellow that a sign down at 35' is more distracting the closer you come to the intersection, than if it had been left up at 50'. I'm further not convinced that the sign they finally did approve isn't going to be far more distracting than the one originally requested by BP.
I repeat, I am not trying to encourage this council to open up this can of worms again, we all saw what happened last time.

allvoices

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