Planning commission discusses new banner and sign regulations

Ponca City Now - June 4, 2014 9:06 am

The whole hour-long planning commission meeting last night was dedicated to signage in Ponca City. The commission discussed new regulations they would like to see on banners and electronic signs.

This came about because a group of experts, who concentrate on community appearances paid a visit to Ponca City about five years ago. They noted in their report that the cluttering of banners along 14th St. was an eye sore. Chris Henderson, City Development Manager and the commission hope to beautify the city, while keeping Ponca City citizens happy.

The discussion on banners took up most of the time. The commission debated about special rules for new companies and how long is too long to keep a banner posted. Henderson said ultimately they decided not to overly restrict.

“On the banners, it was the consensus of the planning commission from my perspective that they don’t really want to place a huge restriction on the use or location of banners, only regulate them by the size of your property and they seem to be must concerned about banners that are tattered, that are dilapidated," Henderson said.

So, the larger your property is the more banners you are allowed to hang. And as for the appearance of banners, Henderson is writing up a definition of acceptable banners. He said it’s pretty simple, if the sign is torn or it’s dislodged from its posts you will be asked to fix it. If it’s not fixed within a week, you will be brought to court and possibly receive a fine of up to $500.

Since this ordinance hasn’t seen any huge changes since 1999 electronic signs currently have no regulations. They talked about signs like the one outside RCB Bank or Assembly Church.

Henderson said it’s needed because they are made to distract drivers. He said he personally likes the digital signs, but wants companies to be strategic about the messages they put on them.

The commission agreed quickly on three key rules on electronic signs. They set a maximum brightness, said the screen has to be displayed for 10 seconds and there has to be three seconds between each screen.

“ I think we agreed because the signs that are here today in Ponca City are being set up and managed very reasonably," Henderson said. "No one is trying to grab your attention with a bunch of fireworks or animation, or that sort of thing. They are there for a reason, to put a message out. Most of them are static messages, they aren’t grabbing the drivers attention in any sort of manner that we think is bad. The ones we have in Ponca City, I think are all good signs.”

Henderson presented research from other communities, specifically Oklahoma City and Edmond throughout his presentation. The planning commission used this information to determine limits for Ponca City. These changes are just in the discussion phase and won’t be enacted for a few months.

 

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