Parkland is giving its businesses a reason to cheer.
City officials recently approved amending the sign code to give commercial centers the flexibility to have bigger or additional signs. The City Commission will be the final authority and will decide on a case by case basis.
The city currently has six commercial parcels, mainly along State Road 7 and University Drive. The existing sign code restricts non-residential signs to no more than 3 to 4 feet in height and a maximum of one per commercial development. Many business owners have complained that this lack of adequate signage, as they see it, is one of the main reasons for them not doing as well as expected.
Officials have also expressed willingness to allow monument signs for commercial plazas on Lox Road and Hillsboro Boulevard. There is potential for commercial parcels on Hillsboro Boulevard, while a commercial center already exists on the east side of Lox Road, said Michele Mellgren, acting planning and zoning director.
The issue of allowing more signage was initially discussed at the commission’s strategic planning session earlier this year. Staff will present the amendments to the city’s Planning and Zoning Board before bringing an ordinance before the commission for formal approval.
“If there [are] two commercial corridors, I am OK with seeing a little bit more signage there,” Mayor Michael Udine said. “I am not positive that is going to solve all their problems. It is such a fight that we keep having with them that we don’t need to have.”
Commissioner Mark Weissman is skeptical, too. “The bottom line is that I don’t believe that the sign is going to drive their businesses,” but “this is what they want.”
Other members of the City Commission are more optimistic of the potential efficacy of additional signage.
Vice Mayor Dave Rosenof said he wants the city to retain elements of the existing code, such as landscaping being the predominant feature.
“I am not crazy about multi-tenant signs,” Rosenof said. “I am not sure they do much good. I am OK with more signs; I am OK with them being bigger.”
Commissioner Christine Hunschofsky suggested that the size of a sign at a commercial plaza should depend on the average daily traffic that passes by it.
Udine asked staff to figure out a way by which the Waterway Shoppes at Parkland, the Parkland Commons Shopping Center and the Riverstone Shoppes would be able to obtain bigger signs even before the city officially approves the amended sign code.
“You’ve got to give these guys a break so that they can get some more signage out there,” he said.
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