Codes and regulations for historic signs, conforming signs, non-conforming signs, electronic signs and even humans holding signs in St. Petersburg could soon be changing.
On Thursday City Council will consider changes to the codes that would dictate certain construction, demolition and replacement of all types of signs throughout St. Petersburg.
Wednesday night, Philip Lazzara, from the city's planning and economic development, made a presentation about the proposed changes to the Council of Neighborhood Associations.
"This process was initiated by city council," Lazzara said of the sign ordinance changes. "They wanted to take a fresh look at what the code currently allows or doesn’t allow."
Lazzara said the changes would make a more streamlined process for the demolishment of abandoned non-conforming signs. There will be exceptions for "historic signs", Lazzara said.
"Council seems to be of the opinion that non-conforming should be dealt with on a more efficient basis," he said. "There is a desire to provide some protection for (historic) signs that really capture a certain development period in the city’s history. These signs depict, are representative of a way of making signs that is really not common today."
The proposed changes would allow historic signs to have "chasing" and "flashing" lights that are not otherwise allowed on any other city signs. Historic signs that are beyond repair, Lazzara said, could also be eligible for replacement with a similar sign that would follow the historic sign codes.
The city is proposing to allow the Community Preservation Commission to establish an inventory of historic signs.
Stricter rules for "Human Signs", what Patch blogger Peter Schorsch calls the "Scourge of St. Petersburg," are also being proposed.
Currently there are no restrictions in the city code for human signs, which are defined as "signs held by the hand of a person and not attached to any pole or other objects affixed to the ground."
Proposed regulations include limiting human signs for one per property, can only operate during business hours, must be on the private property of the business or on the immediate adjacent public right-of-way.
More regulations will be discussed Thursday about 3-D signs, which are currently not allowed in the city, abandoned signs, flags, large facility signs and many more. The public hearing for this item is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.
On Sept. 5, the Development Review Commission passed the proposed changes unanimously, 7-0.