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Los Angeles proposed one of the most restrictive sign codes

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Via ISA email received 2/13/09

On January 22nd, the City of Los Angeles proposed one of the most restrictive sign codes for a major metropolitan area ever witnessed by the industry.

This proposed sign code severely restricts sign sizes and height limits, bans new “digital” signs and eliminates the distinction between on-premise and off-premise signs.

According to the California Sign Association, no input was sought from the sign industry or end users when the Los Angeles City Planning Department drafted the proposed ordinance - a very undemocratic and biased process.

The proposed code will allow just 80 square feet (currently 400 sq. ft.) and a maximum height of 20 feet (currently 42 feet max.) for double-faced pole signs. Other types of signs have been similarly reduced in allowable sizes and heights. None of these size and height restrictions are based on scientific evidence or studies. The proposed changes also fail to take into account basic driver needs and factors such as legibility, conspicuity, setback and traffic speed/lanes. In fact, while the city claims that traffic safety is a justification for the new sign code, mandating smaller and shorter signs makes it more difficult for passing motorists to read signs, which will endanger drivers.

The proposed code also aims to ban all roof signs, wall signs higher than 35 feet, and all new “digital” signs – including the on-premise electronic message centers (EMCs) used by thousands of local businesses.

Furthermore, the proposed code seeks to eliminate the longstanding, historical distinction between on-premise and off-premise signs. These types of signs have traditionally been treated differently under the law and in sign codes for many valid and important reasons. If this distinction is eliminated, the ability of a business to site or erect an on-premise sign could be restricted by the presence of an existing off-premise sign.

This proposed sign code is an undisguised attack on the on-premise sign industry and the businesses that depend on them for their livelihood. Thousands of small businesses will be adversely affected if this sign code is passed. With our economy in a state of crisis, now is definitely NOT the time for the second largest city in the United States to take away the ability of local retailers and national franchises to effectively and inexpensively identify their business and advertise their goods and services!

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This is all okay because we need government, and government is here to help us out, pay for our gas, pay for our mortgages.

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Here is a news article I came across


It's been years since I've filed sing permits with the city of LA, but when I did it wasn't an easy process. The sign permits back then weren't cheap either, so much for friendly commerce and making it easier for business's to make and maintain business.

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Spokane, WA

City Government Regulations

NW Business Alert! Tonight (Feb. 23) starting at 6 p.m., the Spokane City Council will begin debate on a massive new sign code that could potentially cost some local businesses tens of thousands of dollars to replace their signage, if enacted. The issue, which was passed by the city planning commission by just a 5 to 4 vote, includes 45 pages of changes that will affect nearly every business in the city. Some of the provisions are: outlawing changing image signs like the one the PFD paid tens of thousands of tax dollars for in front of the INB Performing Arts Center; outlawing changing time and temperature signs and requiring businesses to remove them; limiting the height of signs along Division Street and Third Avenue to 25 feet and making businesses replace them if they have been updated; making it illegal to place more than 3 signs directing customers to real estate open houses, and even garage sales. The phone number for the Spokane City Council is 509-625-6350. Council members emails are JShogan, AFrench, SCorker, RRush, NMcLaughlin, BApple, MAllen, all at @spokanecity.org

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