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Council Wants to Revise Sign Ordinance

City Council passed the first reading of the sign ordinance but it will be adjusted before the final reading in November.

City Council voted unanimously Thursday to move forward with an ordinance that restricts renovations of non-conforming signs, human signs and helps preserve historic signs. That vote, however, was on a placeholder for changes that will be put into the ordinance during the second reading in November. 

Large portions of the changes to the sign ordinance were met without much opposition, such as preserving historic signs in St. Petersburg. Examples of historic signs include the Kress Building, World Liquors, Banyan Motel, El Cap, Sunken Gardens and the old downtown YMCA. 

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. 

However, members of the business community and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce took issue with roughly half the changes because they were not "business friendly."

Human signs, or humans holding signs, was a key issue. In the proposed ordinance those holding signs would be limited to be one per property and on private property only. They would also not be allowed to spin, twirl or otherwise move the sign around. 

Council member Karl Nurse said the city shouldn't regulate "tackiness" but safety. He proposed allowing the human signs to spin/twirl/etc but maybe not so close to the curb. 

Representatives from Liberty Tax Service said passing those restrictions would kill jobs in a bad economy. Michael Bass, who owns his own Liberty Tax Service franchise said the restrictions are unnecessary and not a safety issue.

"If you go too far away from the curb, there efficiency would be diminished, therefore limiting their effectiveness," Bass said. 

Local business owner and city council candidate Dr. David McKalip said the ordinance shouldn't just be amended for final reading, it should be voted down. 

"Vote this thing down in its entirely and go back and get it right," he said. "Respect the First Amendment. 

McKalip said a lot of the public input has been ignored and there is a myth that there is a safety issue at hand.

"I promise you, I will sue this city" if the city passes the strict sign ordinance, McKalip said. 

Chris Steinocher, head of the St. Petersburg Chamber, also took issue with the proposed time change of electronic message signs. Currently the messages can shift every six seconds while the city admin proposal was five minutes. 

He said now allowing human signs and having strict electronic message restrictions would "discourage business from moving here," he said. " ... They will go somewhere else."

Both arguments swayed council enough for council members to ask city staff to rewrite the ordinance regarding human signs and electronic message centers. The new proposal will be voted on in November. 

Council member Jeff Danner said a refined ordinance could be voted on in two weeks. 

"We adopt the ordinance as drafted for tonight, give (staff) two weeks, come back with some clear definitions," in regards to setback with human signs from the curb, dwell time for message on electronic signs and 25 or 50 percent construction for non-conforming signs.  

CJ October 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
just curious. Any of you out there have kids working some place that uses these human signs? Knowing how dagerous our road are here...are ''any'' of you happy about the danger it puts these kids and possbily the drivers? Would you want your own family members having to do this to keep their job? Sure..there's lots of dangerous jobs...but can't we draw the lines on senseless risks like this? I know someone who used to do this for a Little Ceasar's Pizza...and he said people threw stuff at him...spit on him...they used to swerve towards him to scare him..but worse of all...many time they hadn't even noticed him until they almost hit him. People who get playing with radios, CD's, texting, disruptive children, etc..get in these ''zones'' and are already mentally overloaded trying to drive...we don't need to create more distractions. There are enough already. People like ''Rider'' need to be put out there in a clown suit in our heat and do this for a day. Then tell us how they feel about whether they are good or bad. I don't have to to do it to know it is bad...how more obvious can it be?
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:02 AM
CJ--the grammar nazis say, "cleaning something for once in their life," not "thier life." Use your spell check, for heaven's sake. And they're not human targets; they're people making a living. If Kansas had no human signs and you liked it better there, then go back. Besides, what makes honest work degrading even if you wouldn't do it?
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Yes, CJ. Try it yourself. You'll find that it's hard work--something that you don't know anything about, I'm sure.
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:04 AM
As per the Lens. Isn't it clear that the City Council doesn't care about what the people have to say?
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:12 AM
CJ, you just can't spell OR think. It's cherylwith a c, not cherly with a c. So please get my name right. And if you think that Pinellas County is so dangerous, get out of here. Go back to Kansas, where you say they're making positive changes to Human Signs. Kansas--the wonderful land of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. Didn't you just move here recently? Then you may not know that the "bums" have been moved out to the jail where they can't offend your eyes. Where do you live, anyway--Placido Bayou? Maybe you should just look around for a while before making degrading comments about your new city.
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Rider made an insightful reply, CJ, not a dumb one. CJ, who in the heck do you think you are to have the final word on everything?
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:18 AM
CJ, first you were saying that Human Signs were dangerous. Now you're saying that the drivers themselves are dangerous. Tell me--have you ever read in the news that a Human Sign in St. Petersburg has ever been injured or killed by a driver? Case closed.
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:20 AM
CJ, I believe that you have been impolite to Rider by telling him to "shut up." Doesn't he have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else??? You seem to think that you are special and that your views cannot be challenged. Then get off Patch because anyone can speak here.
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:22 AM
CJ, exactly when was a Human Sign killed in this city?
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 02:26 AM
CJ, if Human Signs weren't profitable, then businesses wouldn't use them.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 02:40 AM
...hey..you just called yourself a nazi..I didn't... Considering the years of military duty I did in Germany, which a lot of soldiers did after Vietnam, and during that time seeing historical evidence of what the Nazi's did...plus the fact my Father was in WW2...I would never normally even use the word. To me..it's practically another ''n'' word and should not be joked so lightly. Take some time to review what the Nazi's did and then after that argue in any form in their behalf. Take that to grammar class on your way to the zoo to poke animals with sticks. The aricle we are responding to is about human signs. I am not the one who brought it up. If you do human signs for a living, I do apologize...but hopefully you would interpret my comments as an advocate for better work conditions for you. You should be glad there are people trying to outlaw it. By the way..how is the health insurance plan with that job? Also..my error with ''their'' is a spelling error..not a grammar one. You read blogs to see good grammar? That's like only wanting to be a human sign in Florida in cool weather. I will try and be more polite I did not stop to think someone here may do it to make money. Sorry. Needing to think before we comment is not a requirement here, though. Are you new to Gulfport Patch? You are the one who sounds like you just moved here by correcting grammar and being spelling police.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Tell me, cherly...how do you use spell check in a blog? I don't know how to do that. I do like to use it, but don't know how to on blogs. I do have some spelling issues, but not as bad as some...but I feel like everyone comments are welcome here...bad spelling ''or'' good. This is not English 101..it's a blog. The only rules here are The Patch Rules...not yours.
Rider October 21, 2012 at 02:53 AM
CJ.....please cite some studies and statistics and try to refrain from your insults. It does not help your case.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 03:08 AM
My final 15 years in Kansas, which is actually hotter and just as humid as here 3 months of the year, I worked in Construction and Farming. I never considered it hard work, because I enjoyed it. I have no doubt that being a human sign is miserable to do. I am only tyring to show compassion and empathy for those who do it. You should read my comment again more slowly...I am not against ''you'' or those who do it...I am against the employers who make you do it. How do you deduct that me speaking out against human signs because I think it is degrading and possibly causes accidents, indicates I know nothing about hard work? That is some strange logic you work with. I am not sure what you expect to hear people say about this...that it is a good thing because it stands for one of the jobs that Obama has created and brags about? Ok...you go ahead and do that...I'm not going to. This would be a bad job even ''with'' ObamaCare...especially since most people fail to understand ObamaCare is going to soon be one of the biggest deductions on their paychecks they have ever seen...and if they don't pay it...they IRS will be hunting them down. And we thought the IRS was horrible about Taxes. Just wait till that starts to happen.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Wow...you just verified you are a little nuts about spelling. Do you take pills for that? What difference does it make if I had your name right or not...obviously you know who I was talking about. Me? Call me what you want, just don't call me Shirley. And...''no''...I don't spell very well. So what. You wrote (copy and paste): ''It's cherylwith a c, not cherly with a c.'' ...uh...it looks like ''you'' can't even spell your own name because you have it listed as ''cherlywithac''..no spaces. You better get those eyes checker. I will ''gladly'' call you cheryl from now on and try to spell it better..it's certainly easier. And on those bums...the jails missed the ones in downtown St Pete I see all day, everyday while wroking there. i don't mind theones down there really, but as i said...I don't like them coming up to my wife's car window or anyone else's at intersections. What? You are Ok with that? Bums are not as harmless as you indicate you feel about them. They probably come to paradise here from Kansas because it's so nice here.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Again, ''cheryl''...you must need glasses because my comments have not degraded this City. Are you serious..are you not aware of facts about your own home that the streets here are dangerous to drive in? The highest pedestrian and bicyclist death rate ''in the country'' is right here. Or 2nd or whatever. That's not ''my'' description of the city..it's just the way it is. Are you going to tell me how to use spell check or not? Are you having a bad day? Don't read these blogs to cheer up if you are going to get so sensitive. Frankly, it hard to understand why you are so venomous in your defense of human signs. If you do that for a living...don't be shy...tell us...and ''then'' maybe we can cut some slack to ya. But don't go around telling people what they can say and what they can't. You and I are meaningless in the big picture here. I probably like it here better than you do.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Cherly...I'll tell you who I am right now. I am enjoying some liesure time with the family while ''Spengoulie'' is on TV right now and the movie is ''This Island Earth''...one of my old favorites. And I am sitting here doing this blog sort of like it's Mystery Science Theater ..and basically chatting with you. Really not sure why you don't see this as just shooting the bull, kidding around...and having some healthy debate. I am just messing around here and doing what you do in blogs...and it is not always serious. Loosen up, ''cheryl''. When the movie is over, we are going down to Willie's to have one of his fabulous after midnight cheeseburgers, drink some beer...and then we are going to watch the meteor shower tonight down at Passe-A-Grill for a while until we see some shooting stars...after that...head over to Shadracks until it closes . Unlike you probably do, we enjoy our wonderful new home of ours here. you need to understand...we picked moving here over Hawaii, Panama City, Destin, and Ft Meyers. This is my home here now. I will die here and I can say what I want to about anything I want to just as much as you can. We put a huge amount of effort and time into our plans to get here. if anything, I am probably a more welcome resdient of Florida than you are by the way you sound. With people like you, nothing will get better here. Time for the cheeseburger and the movie is over. It sure will beat listening to you any longer. How is ''your'' Saturday night going?
CJ October 21, 2012 at 04:06 AM
The most approriate human sign that comes to mind to me right now is the one we do with our middle finger. Comments like that are a sign I need to find something else to do for a while. I feel the need to eat, drink, and be merry.The night is still young and I plan on making a wish on a shooting star soon. I am not going to waste it on anything to do with human signs. I may wish my other son will move here also. We miss him.
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Please be polite to Rider. Why do you tell him to put on a clown suit and be a Human Sign for a day? How does your comment further the discussion? And what is all of this "it's 'bad' to be a Human Sign?" It's a JOB. There are people who spend their working lives picking up garbage. It's a JOB. Are you going to say that the trash people are doing something bad?
cherylwithac October 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
CJ, now you're turning to vulgarity. I will no longer respond to your any of your posts on any subject as they are just diatribes, not discussions.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I definitly agree with you on The Lens. Being new here, even I can find it hard to beleive The Pier will soon be gone and replaced by The Lens, which is not much more than a fancy sidwalk that will get blown apart by the first Cat 1 storm that comes through here. It is not necessary for people to agree on everything in order to get along. Good thing you are a girl, because the way you are so sensitive about a little rough talk and harmless names...you'd never make it as a man. You should learn to let more things roll off you. I am not trying to discuss things here like it is a ladies tea party. It's a blog...not your personal slumber party. How about some blog Karaoke? If it was your party , you could cry if you wanted to...or however that song goes (..it's my party and I can cry if i want to...blah blah blah...).
CJ October 21, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Ha ha...very funny about the Oz jokes...I'lll never get tired of them. If you were in that move, I think you would be the person the house fell on that originally owned the ruby red slippers. You honestly made me laugh...thank you! We don't want to go there, though , about some of the jokes the rest of the country make jokes about Florida, though...do we? The people in California loves the people from Florida the most, because it used to be more people made jokes about California. Not anymore.The truth is..we are simple people and we fit in perfectly around here. I have met few people I don't like. I am not too sure why you are so bent out of shape. Obviously many people also do not like human signs..otherwise...why would this article have been written in the first place. why should other jump in and join my side on this, when they are thaving too much fun watch you and me go at it. I already said I was sorry if I offended you if you do this for a living...but to heck with apologizing to Rider. Well, then...so...you like human signs...have I got that right so far? Ok...cool...but I don't. Why is that such a big problem for you? It's not you or me that is going to vote on whether they stay or go...but can't we agree to disagree? Lighten up...there are worse things...the Bucs are losing now as we speak..
CJ October 21, 2012 at 07:37 PM
oh oh...that was so full of typos I probably made you need a doctor...sorry...but when are you going to tell me how to use spell check here. Don't you like me anymore?
CJ October 21, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Hmmm...you will not like my reply here...I already know it...but around 18-20 years ago I owned a tiny Pizza joint. In fact..it was back around when human signs started to gain polularity they have now. They have always been around, but not like now days....with todays hustle and bustle along roadways. It's a crazier world now. Anyway...I had seen these human signs around and had one for my pizza business a short while...yep..it makes me a hypocrite a little. Sue me. I did not use them because they were ''profitable''. I did not have people on the shift hired ''just to be a human sign''. I had them to figuure out a way to better get my money's worth out of a few employees that were plain lazy. It's actually a ''great' way to get a person you don't want to fire and have an unemployment claim with ''to quit''. It is not so easy to fire people now days. Well..it turned out I stopped using them after 3 months because I thought it was too mean to make them do it. In all honesty...I don't think people pulled in and buy a pizza because of the human sign. Sometimes you need to keep people on the clock in case a rush starts..and human signs are a way many businesses find to keep the people they are paying busy. You certainly can't get this slacker generation to clean anything. When was the last ime you went to eat fast food anywhere and the tables were clean? I bit the bullit and quit making them do it, though...because i felt it was a terrible thing to have them do.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 08:51 PM
cheryl, You have a strange way of defining who is rude to begin with. All I did was respond to ''the article''...not Rider...and it was he who first made a reply that insinuated my comment was wrong and not as politely as you give him credit. What..are you two married? I simply said I was surprised insurance companies allowed human signs. Rider replies back that I was wrong and that insurance was high because of uninsured drivers. blah blah balh. I harmlessly said it was a dumb reply, which it was. I did not call ''him'' stupid or dumb....I called his reply dumb. Of course..''now''...I think we are all stupid...lol. We can thank you for taking it there. I referred to his comment like that because he failed to realize I was referring to ''business'' insurance...''not'' car insurance. ''He'' is the who first missed the chance to be polite. He could have, for example said I made a good point, but....(then add what he also thought was ''also''responsible). Instead, he implies I was wrong. ''That'' was what was rude...''not'' me saying I was surprised insurance companies allowed human signs. Anyway..it was a weird the way the car/business insurance topic was ''crossed'' by ''Rider''. I told him I thought he was correct also. If you review...I was more polite to him than he was to me. ''THEN''...you and your big mouth came along and he hid behind your skirt. Frankly I think the way he has wormed his way thru this is pretty slick and I think it's a little amusing.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Oh..and you think it doesn't happen? As I said...it is not only a danger to the human sign to be along the road providing a driver distraction...it is also dangerous for the drivers. How can you argue with that? I am not saying it is the single most dangerous thing we as drivers or the human signs themselves....but it is rather risky. So...you would not worry about your own child if he had a job doin this? You keep arguing about this job like it is the kind of work that helps prove Obama is working out. Please. I have no doubt, though, that it is one of the types of jobs he brags about when he talks about ''private sector'' jobs he has created. There are some jobs that we should consdier getting rid of. This one is on that list. You sound just like the person who would also argue it is OK to text and drive, becasue you don't seem to realize we can't do too much to make people safer along our roads here. In my opinion, that makes me a more thoughtful citizen than one from your position on this topic. I don't so much hate human signs. I hate to hear about deaths related to incidents associated with roadways. A man nearly died on the sidewalk in front of my house the tired week I lived here. There was a head-on and he was thrown thru the car window, his car torn in half, and one of the halves spun between my house and my neighbors. He was texting. He could have hit a human sign just as easily. The car half could have hit our house, and we were all in the living room. Think.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 09:31 PM
You think me calling a person dressed in a Statue of Liberty costume or dressed as a piece of Pizza is not the same thing more or less as a clown suit? That's funny...especially since Halloween is this month. Hmmm....''furthering the discussion'' you say? Why don't you get back to trying that. All you want to do is OCD on how you percieve Rider's feeling being hurt. You are what they say...''getting out there''. Your ''garbage man'' comment is a rediculous analogy. Besides...think about if ''Rider'' happened to do that for a living? You should stop and think about how he would prefer to be called a City Appearance Technician...otherwise you would have just hurt his feelings and been impolite to him. Is he paying you to comment for him? He is not paying you enough, but you are giving him his money's worth. I would ''fan'' you, if I could, if for no other reason than because you are making me try and spell better.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Rider..have cheryl look that stuff up for you and post it...she's doing everything else for you. I don't think she would like how I did it anyway.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 09:45 PM
...and if you don't reply back to me...that is supposed to hurt me feelings? It does a little, especially since I have finnaly been able to do what you requested of me and spell you name right more often. Without you telling me how to use spell check on this blog...you are going to have to continue to excuse my typos, grammar, etc. I know it must be hard for you to do. I bet you were one of those hall monitors...the person who made people keep to the right in the school hallways...or the person who made a list of the bad kids while the teacher was out of the room. You would have needed a rubber stamp with my name on it. If you change your mind and bless me with a reply, maybe we can talk about the ''other part'' of the article...Historical..or Non-Historical signage...to ''further the discussion''...which you so obviously care about.
CJ October 21, 2012 at 09:49 PM
me feelings on the matter is that I nose what I nose and that's all I nose and I yam what I yam

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