Soldotna Planning and Zoning talks signs

City signage and how it fits into the overall vision of Soldotna’s future was identified as a priority by the Soldotna Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission passed a resolution at its Wednesday meeting to grant a variance to the owner of the Kenai River Lodge in order to expand the business’s current sign to 133 square feet — the standard requirement is 110 square feet. The sign expansion is proposed to include an LED message sign addition under the top of the frame.

The resolution prompted discussion on Soldotna’s sign code, which Commission Chair Colleen Denbrock said has been changed multiple times in the past. Some commission members expressed concerns that, because of the way the code is presently set up, the commission does not have much power to deny variances such as the one granted Wednesday, even when the commission feels they might permit signage that is not in line with the direction the city is going.

Commission member Kaitlin Vadla identified LED signs in particular as worrisome, saying they present a potential distraction to drivers.

In her status update on the Envision Soldotna 2030 Comprehensive Plan, Director of Economic Development and Planning Stephanie Queen told commissioners that, though it hasn’t been addressed yet, re-evaluating the sign code has been identified as one of nine high priorities to address under the plan.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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