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City development director clears confusion over signs

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Business owners in Brooksville would not be required to change out their business signage every ten years if a new ordinance becomes law. Discussion of the proposed ordinance took place during the May 17 workshop meeting of the Brooksville City Council. Confusion over provision within the proposed measure revolves around rumors that, if it is adopted, businesses would be required to change their signs every ten years.

“I’ve had some questions from some business owners about signs, and the misconception was that every ten years they were going to have to replace those signs,” said Council member Christa Tanner. “Obviously, to a small business owner, those signs are very expensive.” According to Community Development Director David Hainley, the proposed ordinance would require developers to replace pole-mounted signs with so-called monument signs within ten years after the measure was adopted.

Pole signs are large, lighted signs that sit atop poles and are positioned high above roadways for maximum visibility. “Like McDonald’s (restaurant located at 845 S. Broad Street),” said Mayor Blake Bell. Monument signs are large, free-standing, weather-resistant signs that sit close to ground level and are constructed of brick, stone, stainless steel, or plastic. Generally placed near roadways to help identify a business within a building, office complex, or shopping area, they are easily seen by pedestrians or motorists.

City Manager Ron Snowburger told council members that monument signs are frequently required by municipalities that are interested in improving the area’s appearance.“Especially in areas where you’re trying to improve the architectural look – when you’re trying to improve the visibility of many things – they build those into a monument-type sign,” Snowburger explained. “For most contractors or developers today, it’s not a big question what kind of sign they need to put up – the only time you continue to see those pole signs is where they’re allowed, and so as long as (they are) allowed, they’re going to do it.”

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The proposed ordinance dictating signage requirements is under consideration by the Brooksville Planning and Zoning Commission. It coincides with larger legislation to revise the City’s comprehensive building codes. That revised code and related ordinances will eventually come before the City Council for its approval.

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