take more control of billboards and signs
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[June 11, 2008]
A large billboard on Woodlawn
Road has been getting some attention, and not all good. The sign,
located in the west-side business district, does not even have a
particular advertiser yet, but advertises itself as a location to
place a message. Located on the north side of the road, it is 400
square feet on each side, facing east and west.
This sign, others that are large, as well as the increasing number
of signs have been getting noticed as undesirable recently.
city of Lincoln ordinance committee met on Monday evening to discuss
signs and billboards that already are or will be located inside
Lincoln city limits.
During the meeting the committee identified that the ordinance
addresses the limitations in different types of zoning: industrial,
commercial and residential districts.
Alderman Buzz Busby said, "I am opposed to any more billboards
here in town, whether its in an I, a C or a R district."
Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs asked city zoning officer Les Last
about the current ordinance that is in place and his opinion of what
might be done.
One thing to do is to define what constitutes the size of a
billboard. Last said that a 10-foot by 20-foot isn't too big for a
billboard. He suggested that it could be 300 square feet, and agreed
with Rohlfs that 250 square feet would be acceptable.
Another consideration is to set how far apart they need to be
spaced, such as 1,200 feet or 1,000 feet apart, Last said.
Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs said that one sign painter told her that
2-inch lettering could be seen 10 feet away. Rohlfs observed that if
you're driving a car and trying to read as you pass, "it's already
over." Alderwoman Melody Anderson observed that if it's up in the
air, it's already 10 feet away.
Last said that the same company that put up the big one has
another permit request pending for a billboard to be located at
Crossroads Motel. He said he informed them that there was a
moratorium being placed on any further signs and billboards while
the council is discussing the matter. A formally stated moratorium
is on next week's agenda.
It would likely be four to five weeks before the sign and the
billboard ordinances could be rewritten.
[to top of second column]
Alderman Jeff Hoinaki thought that this might be a problem for at
least one local business. Medicap Pharmacy recently became Stacey
Council members agreed to just put a temporary stop on the
billboards, so as not to harm local business.
The discussion turned to signs. Rohlfs said that there is some
concern that there are becoming too many signs in Lincoln. She asked
Last about the meaning of one sign per zoning lot.
Last said that business are allowed to put signs on their
buildings, but that only one sign out on the property is allowed.
Most businesses are within reason, he said. "They don't want to be
gaudy. They want it to look nice."
Last agreed with Rohlfs that there need to be limits on the
number of signs on a lot. She also suggested that a maintenance
review be added and all signs be reviewed every five years.
Alderman Benny Huskins suggested to consider sign heights also.
Last said that at present signs need to be 7 to 8 feet to the
Last suggested that the sign and the billboard ordinances be kept
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]