Scenic Manatee: “Palma Sola Causeway sign rules to be enforced”

Scenic Manatee: “Palma Sola Causeway sign rules to be enforced”

Photo: Kristin Swain, Anna Maria Island Sun

“As long as money doesn’t exchange hands, watercraft rentals and other businesses are allowed to operate on the Palma Sola Scenic Highway corridor.

Anyone who’s traveled the Palma Sola Scenic Highway has seen the roadside businesses popping up along Manatee Avenue – kayak, paddleboard, horseback riding and now, Jet Ski rentals.

While the Palma Sola Scenic Highway Corridor Management Entity (CME) can’t stop the businesses from being there, they are working to reduce the visual impact on the scenic highway. Members met Aug. 10 to discuss improvements planned for the roadside and how they can help reduce the impact of the various businesses that have sprung up along the causeway’s beach areas…

Co-chairs of the committee Ingrid McClellan and Craig Keys said they’d be willing to speak with vendors along the causeway and city of Bradenton code enforcement officials about the proliferation of signage in the area. No advertising signage is allowed on the scenic highway and, while McClellan said they’d been allowing businesses to slide with sandwich board signs, she’s noticed much larger business signs being used, including banners and flag signs that are pushed into the ground.

Members of the group agreed to not allow any business signage on the causeway going forward unless it’s small and a part of a vehicle…”

— Kristin Swain, Anna Maria Island Sun

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“‘Let us have the flags’: Santa Rosa County sign crackdown upsets small businesses”

“‘Let us have the flags’: Santa Rosa County sign crackdown upsets small businesses”

Photo: Gregg Pachkowski, Pensacola News Journal

“Santa Rosa County has been cracking down on unlawful snipe and feather signs in front of businesses.

Santa Rosa County Commissioners were at a near deadlock Monday about whether to pull back enforcement of the county’s feather sign ordinance, which has angered small business owners as the revamped code enforcement department has implemented a crackdown in recent weeks…

The problem is that although the ordinance regarding feather signs has been in the county books for decades, it hasn’t actually been enforced until last month. Multiple small business owners who have been using feather signs for years told commissioners they were surprised to learn they were prohibited.

Eric Vines, who owns a small business called Cellular Nerd, said he was visited by code enforcement and asked to remove his signs. He called the ordinance ‘misleading’ and said the rules ‘don’t make any sense.’

District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole said it wasn’t the board’s intent to hurt small businesses when it opted to strengthen the code enforcement department in January, and added that ‘it’s my fault for perhaps not reading the code long and hard enough.’

‘Derelict vessels, derelict automobiles, derelict housing, tattered signs, and the snipe signs that are on public property … in the public right of way, were my concerns,’ Cole said. “It certainly wasn’t to involve businesses and hurt businesses…”

But County Attorney Roy Andrews and County Administrator Dan Schebler warned against ceasing to enforce all sign ordinances, saying it could open up a “Pandora’s box” and lead to rampant sign usage throughout the county.

‘To me, this is about what do we want Santa Rosa County to look like?’ Schebler said. ”

— Annie Blanks, Pensacola News Journal

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“Madeira Beach to ban flutter signs”

“Madeira Beach to ban flutter signs”

“In what will likely be a major change to the city’s visual landscape, the commission has voted to prohibit flutter signs, so called because they flutter when blown by the wind…
Community Development Director Linda Portal said the city has become very cluttered with signs.

‘A cleanup is overdue, and we’re doing it one issue at a time,’ she said.

Most commission members agreed the flutter signs are, in Commissioner Nancy Oakley’s words, ‘sign pollution.’

‘Each business has a flutter flag,’ said Mayor Maggi Black, ‘and people can’t even see what the store is…’ The commission voted 4-1 in favor of the flutter sign ban. It does permit their use in limited number and duration for new business openings and special events. A six-month grace period at the beginning of 2019 also will be allowed before enforcing the prohibition of flutter signs.”

— Wayne Ayers, Tampa Bay News

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Jacksonville: “City employee, supervisor placed on leave over military flags flap…”

Jacksonville: “City employee, supervisor placed on leave over military flags flap…”

Video: Florida Times-Union
“As a petition is posted on demanding a Jacksonville city inspector be fired for citing a Westside store for flying military flags, Mayor Lenny Curry has put her on administrative leave after video of her finger-wagging confrontation with employees and a veteran went viral.

Curry also has ordered a review of the employee’s actions as he rescinded the citation she wrote for flying them on either side of American flags at Jaguar Power Sports, a motorcycle dealership at 4680 Blanding Blvd.

The mayor’s City Hall statement said the employee’s supervisor is also on leave following the Monday citation and subsequent argument with staff as well as a customer, a military veteran who was apparently told ‘you did nothing for our country.’

‘The flags can fly,’ confirmed city spokeswoman Tia Ford, after Curry’s statement offered apologies to the customer.

‘Employees of the City of Jacksonville are the servants of taxpayers who have a duty to enforce our laws and regulations. I expect every one of them to do that job in a manner that is respectful and reflects the privilege we all have to serve this great city,’ Curry’s statement said in part. ‘What I saw reported is 100 percent inconsistent with how I expect every city employee to interact with our citizens. I have ordered a review of the actions of the employee and pending the completion of that review, the employee and her supervisor have been placed on leave.’

News of the confrontation in the store surfaced when its manager, Shaun Jackrel, posted a video explaining what happened when city inspector Melinda Power came in to discuss another issue with him. Then she issued a warning for the number of flags flying above the entrance: twin American flags flanked by others representing different branches of the U.S. military. Power wrote down that the flag violation fell under the city code for zoning limitations on signs, according to Times-Union media partner WJCT-FM…

When city officials learned of the citation, Chief of Staff Brian Hughes said they were reviewing the facts of the case as well as ordinances regarding flags and signs, according to First Coast News, another Times-Union media partner. Hughes also noted that the Mayor’s Office was in communication with the business…”

— Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union

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“Milton mulls ‘wind sign’ amendment”

“Milton mulls ‘wind sign’ amendment”

Photo: Wiki Commons

“City staffers have examined a law related to business signage, and are considering amending the ordinance to allow businesses to display certain types of signs for an extended period.

The signs in question are wind signs — sometimes known as feather, teardrop or blade flags — which usually comprise a pole and a suspended sign made of flexible material fastened in such a manner as to move in the wind, according to city ordinance 16-3.

Under the current ordinance, wind signs are known as “grand opening wind signs,” as they were only permitted for use from the date of business license issuance for a period not exceeding 30 consecutive days. The temporary permit for these signs is non-renewable.

‘A number of months ago, we had a business owner… put up a couple of wind signs on the property that she leases,’ Planning Director Randy Jorgenson said of how the item was brought to the city’s attention. ‘We allowed wind signs to exist during a grand opening … following that period, approached her to have the signs taken down and she indicated that was one of the few methods of advertising that … would get the attention of the traveling public on Highway 90.’

The Milton Planning Board reviewed the ordinance related to wind signs and recommended approving the addition and deduction of certain language to the Unified Development Code.

Currently, businesses are limited to two signs per street frontage, and a business in a multi-tenant complex is limited to one sign.

Under the projected new ordinance, businesses would be permitted to put up wind signs during four different periods of 30 consecutive days. The $10 permit would be renewable for three more 30-day periods during the first year, and four 30-day periods each subsequent calendar year, allowing businesses to display wind signs a total of 120 days per year.

Wind signs are prohibited outside C1, C2, C3 and SSC-RC zoning districts within Milton city limits. In multi-tenant complexes, the total number of wind signs displayed at a single time must not exceed four.

‘Signage … serves a useful purpose. It provides information to the traveling public,’ Jorgenson said. ‘The other side of that is … signs, if they are proliferated, create a lot of what is commonly called visual clutter. You don’t see what a community consists of for the signs that you’re looking at.

And they can constitute even a public safety hazard, in that they attract the driver’s attention away from what they should be paying attention to.’

While the city was exploring the ordinance change, they didn’t enforce the current ordinance.

According to Jorgenson, the City Council will vote on the item at the next meeting.”

— Alicia Adams,Santa Rosa Press Gazette

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