It has been mentioned on this site before how awful that Holiday sign is on I-35 at 27th Avenue West, but it bears repeating since it is pretty much the worst thing about Duluth, coming in just ahead of the Honking House and the fact that liquor stores can’t sell on Sundays (which is statewide, but so are the Holiday signs).
Well, I just noticed that the agenda for the Jan. 14 Duluth City Council meeting mentions that Councilor Jim Stauber will be introducing an ordinance regarding sign regulations that would seem, if I’m reading it right, to ban the Holiday sign.
[UPDATE: A closer reading of the resolution reveals that “legal, non-conforming signs are allowed to continue.” So Holiday couldn't put up more signs with bright outlines at its stores in Duluth that don't have them, but the ones that do have them could keep them.]
Here are the pertinent parts:
50-27.4 Illumination Standards
The following illumination standards apply to on-premises signs. Illumination of billboards (offpremises) are regulated separately in Section 50-27.7. Additional illumination requirements for electronic message signs are found in Section 50-27.7.
A. Any sign illumination, including gooseneck reflectors, external illumination and internal illumination, must be designed, located, shielded and directed to prevent the casting of glare or direct light upon roadways and surrounding properties, or the distraction of motor vehicle operators or pedestrians in the public right-of-way.
B. The sign face of internally illuminated signs must function as a filter to diffuse illumination. The sign face must cover all internal illumination components so that no exposed bulbs are visible.
C. All external illumination of a sign must concentrate the illumination upon the printed area of the sign face.
D. No sign illumination may exceed one (1) footcandle of illumination at the property line.
E. The use of neon lighting as a sign material or sign accent is permitted for signs within the mixed-use, form-based and special purpose districts, with the exception of the MU-N and MU-B Districts where it is prohibited. Neon lighting is subject to the following:
1. When lit, neon lighting must be continuously illuminated. Flashing neon is prohibited.
2. Neon lighting cannot be combined with any reflective materials (e.g., mirrors, polished metal, highly-glazed tiles, or other similar materials) that would cause glare and increase the spread of light.
3. Neon lighting to outline doors and windows is prohibited.
F. The use of LED lighting as a sign accent is permitted, subject to the following:
1. LED lighting as an accent is only permitted for non-residential uses in the mixeduse,
form-based and special purpose districts where electronic message center signs are permitted. LED accent lighting is prohibited in any residential district.
2. LED lighting as an accent must comply with all illumination requirements of an electronic message center sign.
3. The addition of LED lighting as an accent to an existing sign requires a zoning permit.
4. When lit, LED lighting must be continuously illuminated. Flashing LED is prohibited.
5. LED lighting cannot be combined with any reflective materials (e.g., mirrors, polished metal, highly-glazed tiles, or other similar materials) that would cause glare and increase the spread of light.
6. LED lighting to outline doors, windows, and automobile and filing station gas canopies is prohibited.
7. LED lighting to outline billboards, free standing monument signs, and free standing pole signs is prohibited.
Of course, I always fear that I might be misreading ordinance jibberish, and who knows if this will pass the council, so hold your hallelujahs for now. There might also be a clause in there that grandfathers in existing hideous signs rather than demanding their removal [which there is, as updated above]. So we’ll see.
Those of you who are willing to read the whole thing with a keen eye and enlighten us with your brilliance, please do. It’s resolution 12-070-O(b) on the agenda, which links to a PDF that is too big to load directly to PDD without messing with the file.