OGDEN -- City officials want to revamp an ordinance to combat banner signage.
A proposed ordinance being considered by the city council defines banner signs as "a business sign made of fabric, vinyl, plastic, mylar or any nonrigid material."
City Planner Rick Grover said such signs have been prohibited in Ogden since 1979. The city's current ordinance places a complete ban on all use of banner signs with the exception of grand openings and special events. Even in those cases, business owners are now technically required to obtain a permit from the city and can't keep the signs up for more than 15 days.
But the city never really enforced the code. In recent years the signs have become prevalent throughout Ogden and can be seen on many business fronts.
"It's really become an issue," Grover said. "We haven't really regulated it, so people have continued to put them up any way they want."
Grover said the signs can appear sloppy and unprofessional.
"We call it visual clutter," he said. "When you have these kinds of signs all over the place, it just doesn't look very good."
Grover said that as city planners have talked with business owners, it was determined that a complete prohibition on the banners would be too heavy-handed. So while the revisions to the sign ordinance actually eliminate a complete outlaw, they set very specific requirements for how the signs can be used.
The signs can't be inflated or illuminated and must be placed on private property -- not attached to utility poles, fences, trees, or any other items that aren't designed for signs.
There are several other restrictions, including one that requires the signs to complement building architecture.
Temporary signs, which have also technically been prohibited since 1979, would now be allowed under the ordinance, although with several restrictions.
Temporary signs are defined in the ordinance as "portable, non-electric business signs ... carried by hand with a base or framework that is designed to be set on the ground."
City Planning Manager Greg Montgomery said the signs, which are often referred to as "A-Frame" signs, are often seen along Historic 25th Street, advertising restaurant menus or special business promotions.
Montgomery said the signs have traditionally been important to businesses along 25th Street and a ban on them isn't necessary.
Among other restrictions, the proposal says the signs can only be out during business hours and can't obstruct pedestrian or wheelchair access if they are located on a sidewalk.
By the city's count, there are a total of 1,146 banner or temporary business signs throughout Ogden.
A public hearing on the matter will be set for an upcoming city council meeting.