Ogden City Council votes for new banner sign ordinance

Mar 6 2013 - 1:15am

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OGDEN -- The city has revamped its sign ordinance to clean up clutter while allowing more flexibility for local businesses.

The city council voted Tuesday night to amend the city's existing sign ordinance to allow banner and temporary signs in certain zones if certain requirements are met.

The two types of signs have technically been illegal since 1979. The city's previous ordinance placed a complete ban on all use of banner signs with the exception of grand openings and special events.

Even in those cases, business owners were technically required to obtain a permit from the city and couldn't keep the signs up for more than 15 days.

But the city never really enforced the code, and in recent years the signs have become prevalent throughout Ogden and can be seen on many business fronts.

City Planner Rick Grover said the signs can appear sloppy and unprofessional, creating visual clutter.

Banner signs in the ordinance are now defined as business signs and are meant to be part of the overall sign package for a business but meant not to replace permanent signage. The new regulations include standards for the percentage of signage and the placement of banner signage on a building.

Banner signs are not allowed to cover architectural features and must be consistent with the scale and design of the building.

Temporary signs, which also have technically been prohibited since 1979, are now allowed under the new 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 be out only during business hours and can't obstruct pedestrian or wheelchair access if they are placed on a sidewalk.

By the city's count, there are more than 1,000 banner or temporary business signs throughout Ogden.

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