Planning commissioners this week recommended lifting a 50-year ban on sidewalk signs for businesses, but not before attaching size restrictions, a $100-fee and a requirement for $1 million in liability insurance.
The Planning Commission voted 3-0 Wednesday to recommend that the City Council lift the ban that has been unpopular with many business owners who argue that during tough economic times, they need the signs to advertise more than ever.
The signs have been banned for years, as they were considered “visual clutter that would not benefit the look of the city,” according to a city staff report.
Yet some merchants have continued to use them.
“Glendale, essentially since 1956 and probably ever, has never allowed portable signs by right in the city, nevertheless merchants have had them in various forms in multiple parts of the city,” said Senior Planner Jeff Hamilton.
Under the proposed rule change, business owners in a recognized merchants association, downtown or business improvement district, would be allowed to place one 4-foot sign in the public right of way. Stores in mini-malls would still not be able to have the signs.
Before putting out the signs, business owners would need to present a design plan to the city showing the type of sign and where it would be placed, pay a fee and show proof of insurance.
Karin Nicholson, president of the Kenneth Village Merchants Assn., echoed that sentiment.
“For us here at Kenneth Village, at first we were a little mixed about it,” Nicholson said. “I believe that most of the merchants and the [association] board were in agreement it would be a good thing.”
-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News
Photo: Glendale could lift a longtime ban on A-frame signs in front of storefronts in districts like Kenneth Village, above. (File photo)