Thursday, October 08, 2009

Community Leaders Respond to Planners' Recommendations on LED Signs

Below is a sampling of the Nashville Neighborhoods e-list reactions to news that Metro Planning disapproves of CM Charlie Tygard's proposal to place commercial-style LED signs in residential neighborhoods and that they are offering an alternative, as-yet unsponsored ordinance called "Electronic Sign Overlay District." Planners will make their recommendations to the Planning Commission later today.

Trish Bolian:
actually, I find it one of the WORST things they have ever proposed....creating constant monitoring by every neighborhood in this city well into the future...and granting of permission on an individual basis with neighborhoods having little ground to stand on to prevent these signs. Also, it does not restrict LED's to those who have currently lit signs. My worst fear is that anyone would step forward to sponsor it. I see it as a nightmare. I am among those who will meet with planning this afternoon to go over all of this but I see their proposal as a disaster.

Charlotte Cooper:
I don't like the alternate bill, but it may have a better chance of getting approved than the Tygard bill; therefore, I was merely trying to mitigate the consequences by suggesting the addition of language that would prohibit application for ESOD unless the applicant property is surrounded by commercial zoning. I think this would eliminate the possibility of LED signs in residential neighborhoods - ALL residential neighborhoods, without neighborhoods having to oppose applications. Perhaps there is a flaw in my suggestion, but having an ordinance that prohibits LED signs for civic use property zoned R in a residential neighborhood might be a good thing. In addition, the alternate ordinance also prohibits the use of SP zoning in Section 4 by amending 17.40.105 of the Metropolitan Code to read "The Specific Plan district shall not be used for the purpose of approving an electronic display sign."

Adrianne Marianelli:
To me, the ESO would be another name for SP sign zoning for certain landowners, including Metro .... In my opinion, the alternative ordinance should be disapproved. It is even less restrictive in residential districts than the original request. If the residential districts are removed from the original request, then I believe most of the opposition will end. The codes department already does not have enough employees to ensure any new LED sign compliance in residential districts.

CM Emily Evans (not an e-list member, but her message was forwarded per her request by a member in response to a direct query):
The staff has recommended disapproval. The staff alternative is just an idea and I do not think anyone has gotten behind it and plans to move it forward. I know that MPC will not be voting on any text amendments related to it. There is a draft circulating and some comments are that are very much in order.

A Metro Planner (not an e-list member, but her message was forwarded by members who met with her to discuss community reaction):
The public hearing on the Sign Task Force bill is closed and the Planning Commission will deliberate on that. Staff is recommending that discussion on the Alternative Electronic Sign Overlay District be deferred indefinitely.

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