The Alhambra City Council will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 on an ordinance banning new billboards and limiting the size of business signs.

A spokesman for the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce told councilmen that the proposed ordinance is "very close" to what the chamber recommends, but asked for several changes. The council agreed to one change, enlarging the allowable sign area for small businesses.

The proposed ordinance prohibits new billboards, but cannot by state law require the removal of existing billboards. Businessmen would be given five years to tear down other signs that do not meet the new standards.

The ordinance prohibits roof-mounted signs, limits the amount of window area that can be covered by signs to 10%; limits the height of pole signs to 15 or 20 feet depending on the size of the property, and prohibits signs that project more than two feet from a building. The total sign area could not exceed 2 1/2 square feet for each foot of building frontage.

David Carmany, director of housing and community development, said the ordinance "would eliminate some of the clutter that results when businesses place signs that try to outshout each other."

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