Group complains about sign regulations
Ryan Summerlin April 30, 2010
Business owners often complain that their signs are too small when they gripe about rules regulating signage in the Snyderville Basin.
"I think they could be bigger than they are," said Gary Sharp, co-owner of Color Me Mine.
Customers looking for businesses sometimes drive past the establishments before they spot the signs.
"We have some businesses, particularly in the Kimball Junction area, that you can’t find very readily," said Don Sargent, director of the Summit County Community Development Department.
At least one member of the Summit County Council has asked the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission to review the sign code and recommend some changes.
"They definitely have an interest in looking at the signage because they hear it all the time as well," Summit County planner Jennifer Strader said about the Basin Planning Commission.
The sign ordinance has also stopped businesses on the West Side of Summit County from advertising using flashing neon and giant inflatable gorillas, which many say do not belong in a mountain town.
"I love our sign ordinance. I have always been very, very proud of it," Summit County Councilwoman Sally Elliott said. "It is restrictive in just the right ways and it keeps the clutter out."
Former planning commissioners were concerned that without strict sign regulations, the Park City area would end up looking "like West Valley City," Strader said.
"The ordinance was fairly restrictive to try and combat that," Sargent said.
Sharp said he shares that concern.
"I don’t want big huge signs like down in the valley either, but it would be nice to have them bigger than they are," Sharp said in a telephone interview.
Monument signs, awnings and wall mounted signs are some of the items the ordinance regulates.
"No wall mounted sign shall exceed one square foot of sign area for each four lineal feet of building frontage, up to a maximum of 30 square feet," the sign ordnance states. "Wall mounted signs shall not cover or interrupt major architectural features such as doors and windows."
Letters and logos on awning signs may not be longer than seven feet, according to the ordinance.
"The words and logos on any awning sign shall not exceed seven inches in height," the sign ordinance continues. "Back lighted awnings are prohibited."
The regulations also ban flashing signs, moving signs, banners, ribbons and balloons.
The concerns came to light last week when a group sponsoring a charity book sale at the library at Kimball Junction were told they could not use temporary signs to advertise their event.
"We don’t really see how these types of signs can be allowed unless the code is amended," Summit County planner Adryan Slaght said.
Planners suggested to the Friends of the Library that its members ask officials to change the regulations so the temporary signs could be permitted.
The sign rules have been modified over the years and in the next few months the public could have an opportunity to speak out about the ordinance.
"I think these are all issues that are going to be vetted by the Planning Commission," Summit County Council Chairwoman Claudia McMullin said. "I would like to hear from the public as to what they think about our current sign ordinance."