Committee releases sign recommendations

by Larry Lemmons
Newschannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Amarillo's reputation as being unregulated in terms of signage is about to change.

Tuesday, after more than four months of wrangling, the Sign Regulation Advisory Committee told the Amarillo City Commission what it thinks the city should do about signs.

In terms of the electronic signs, which started the process, existing signs will be grandfathered in, but the way they convey information will be regulated. There would be no animation or flashing allowed.  Temporary signs are the hottest controversy. Small businesses say they need them but they're banned in other cities.

Don Marsh, Chairman of the Committee says, "The sign committee recommends that they be allowed with proper setbacks and whatever the restrictions are."

Free standing signs would be made smaller to prevent crowding, but all signs, if legal, will be grandfathered. State law dictates if you ask a business owner to remove a sign you've got to compensate him. The Committee also stressed the importance of enforcement.

Marsh adds, "It is important for the city to enforce the regulations. It's also important for the people, the citizens, the business community that sees signs that are not in conformity to say something."

Jim Simms, Amarillo City Commissioner says, "Well I think we're kicking the can on down the road. This is a good beginning of what seems to be a compromise of this new ordinance which is badly needed."

There are also many policies on spacing signs apart and signs that need repair. This isn't the final word, of course.  There will be three public hearings, beginning Monday and Tuesday.