Soldotna starts adopting sign code changes

Soldotna starts adopting sign code changes

Soldotna has adopted a new policy for temporary signage promoting community events in rights-of-way throughout the city.

Since January, the members of the Soldotna Planning and Zoning Commission have been discussing the city’s sign code in hopes of revising the way signage in Soldotna is managed.

“It’s not anything that’s codified,” said Soldotna’s City Planner John Czarnezki. “… It’s a specific policy solely for community events to be able to advertise. This effort is part of a larger process to address our sign code in its entirety.”

The policy, adopted last Wednesday, sets forth standards that temporary event signage within Soldotna city limits must meet and administrative procedures for the sign’s placement within public rights-of-way.

Soldotna Municipal Code does not allow for signs in rights-of-way, but provides for an exception if authorized by other ordinances or regulations.

“It is the goal of this policy to provide regulations that create an exception for community event signage,” Czarnezki wrote in a letter to Soldotna City Council. “Having a written policy would give the administration and the public a clear of rules for signage in the (right-of-way), and would also give us the ability to fairly enforce those rules.”

The new policy requires temporary signage to be in promotion of a community event, which is defined as an activity or function hosted by Soldotna, a non-profit or other entity that is open to the public. The event should be held once or infrequently enough to not be a recurring event. It should also provide the general public with “leisure and social opportunities beyond everyday experiences.”

Temporary event signage will come at a price. An application and $50 permit fee must be submitted to the city before a sign is placed. The application will require a design template of the proposed sign, or a photograph of the actual sign, for city approval. The application must be received at least seven days prior to the event’s date. The sign should be put up three days before the event and taken down within 24 hours of the event’s conclusion.

The new policy has also laid out regulations for the look of the signs.

“Community event signs shall be sandwich board signs only,” according to city documents. “And may not exceed six square feet in size per sign face and 12 square feet total.”

The signs can’t be more than four feet tall and should be constructed from materials that have a “finished appearance.” For example, the sign should have professional detailed lettering on weather resistant material, not a spray painted lettering on cut-out cardboard. Temporary event signage may not be illuminated.

“Signs that are installed in a right-of-way that do not meet the standards of this policy may be removed by the city without notice,” the resolution states.

The resolution also lays out a selection of approved locations for temporary event signage, including the “Y” intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways and the intersection of Kalifornsky Beach Road and the Sterling Highway.

“A precise location description will be provided on the permit application and approved permit,” the resolution states. “The city reserves the right to set a limit on the number of event signs that may be placed at any given site.”

The resolution was adopted with minimal public comment or discussion, with the exception of Doug Field, owner of Kenai Neon Sign Company, who said that he supported the resolution.

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

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