Friday, Dec. 21 2012 5:18PM
Councilmember wants tougher sign rules
By Russ Pulley
Lee’s Summit Councilmember Allan Gray wants tighter rules for advertising signs on buildings in town.
The City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee met Dec. 19 and was reviewing potential revisions to the city’s sign regulations.
Gray said he thinks that signs on sides of buildings of drugstores or groceries promoting services inside, such as photos, liquor and pharmacy are too much.
“We’ve go to raise the standards,” Gray said. “Get some control of visual clutter.”
He said residents don’t want to be bombarded with messages.
Gray’s remarks were made in response to Director of Development Bob McKay’s suggestions for some updates of the Unified Development Ordinance.
McKay said he was recommending changes to clarify language and regulations because of questions he was getting from applicants. Allowing three signs on commercial buildings is a standard council has been generally following after requests from applicants, he said. (There is not a specified number in the ordinance). The ordinance allows for a building along a highway to advertise on its side facing traffic, even if it fronts a different road.
McKay said Lee’s Summit’s current sign regulations are middle road, some cities are more restrictive, others less so.
McKay said he’d suggest tougher rules if that was the direction the City Council wanted to take. He said perhaps the rule could be that only the business name would be allowed a side wall.
Committee members didn’t fully embrace Gray’s concerns, but were willing to let McKay bring back a report on what other cities were doing to regulate signs.
“I don’t want to over regulate them,” said Councilmember Rob Binney.
Councilmember Derek Holland said businesses investing millions of dollars need to be visible to their customers.
He said he didn’t want to become as restrictive as some communities, for example Leawood.
“It’s hard to find the signs for the business, much less what they do there,” Holland said. “By the same token, we don’t want flashy neon six feet high.”