Local News

Avon Park OKs pole-mounted signs

AVON PARK - It's a sign of the city's business-friendly attitude: A new sign ordinance will allow previously banned pole-mounted signs along U.S. 27 and other high-traffic commercial areas. At Monday's City Council meeting, the Council passed Ordinance 26-13, which amended the city's sign regulations. City Manager Julian Deleon said Wednesday that in response to the business community, the City Council expanded the use of pole-mounted signs to U.S. 27 and other high-traffic commercial areas. The pole signs were previously not permitted; the code only allowed for monument signs, he noted. With the 45 mph speed limit, the monument signs are very difficult to spot.
"While the pole signs are allowed on U.S. 27 and other commercial areas, they are not a permitted use on the historic section of Main Street," Deleon said. "The existing pole signs on Main Street are considered a nonconforming use until the use is abandoned or vacated and then replacement will not be permitted." Deleon stressed the objective was to provide more flexibility to the business community. The new ordinance will not affect any of the existing signs. It only applies to newly proposed signs. According to the ordinance, the maximum size of a pole or freestanding sign is based on a building's street frontage, but will not exceed 64 square feet in Commercial 2 and industrial zones. Sign height cannot exceed 15 feet in Commercial 2 and industrial zones. The ordinance has a section that applies to shopping centers and multi-use complexes located in commercial and industrial zoning districts. The city's sign regulations continue to prohibit billboards and signs with the optical illusion of movement. Also banned are signs with lights or illuminations that flash, move, rotate, flicker or vary in intensity or color, except on theater marquees and time-temperature-date signs. The city will not allow signs that emit sound, odor, smoke or steam. The city is in the process of posting the updated regulations, which become effective Thursday, on the city's website. mvalero@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5826