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Council holds off on A-frame signs
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A proposal to relax the city's current Sign Ordinance to allow A-frame signs was held off at the May 28 Ceres City Council meeting.

The council expressed a desire to see a broader examination of the sign ordinance.

"It didn't hit the mark of what we wanted," said Mayor Chris Vierra. "The attempt they (staff) did was great but it needs to go farther than that."

The Ceres Planning Commission studied the issue of signs in 2002 with a recommendation to allow A-frame signs but the matter was never acted upon by the council. Vierra wants to see a bigger and broader study like the one in 2002 but will argue against A-frame signs from an aesthetics point of view.

"My whole thing is the image of the city," said Vierra. "I don't feel we should have any temporary signs including stand up men with blowers, or the feather signs or A-frame signs. If we aspire to improve our image I don't think these signs do much good. I don't think it brings in much business."

A host of Ceres businesses routinely post temporary signs but they are illegal. The city has not been aggressive about making businesses take them down either.

Councilman Bret Durossette said he likes the idea of allowing a business to be able to post one A-frame sign. The proposed ordinance change would do that, provided the sign is on the business premises or in the same shopping center.

In his staff report to the council, Associate Planner James Michaels offered that the city could allow and regulate A-frame signs "in lieu of a flat out enforcement of the currently prohibited signs (which could be viewed as heavy handed)." The proposal was to allow A-frame signs which have a maximum area of 2 feet by 3 feet and no taller than three feet off the ground. The proposal also called for A-frames to only be allowed to be displayed during the specific business's hours of operation.

Vice Mayor Ken Lane also appears to be no fan of temporary signs, commenting in February that things were looking "tacky" in certain locations of Ceres. He commented that temporary signs tend not to be temporary.
Vierra said he was amazed recently to see an A-frame sign in his north Ceres residential area advertising the Ceres Flea Market, causing him to ask "what's the sign doing all the way over here for that? That's a little over the top."

"Where does it stop?" asked Vierra. "Maybe McDonalds wants to put a sign in front of my house as a way to generate more sales."

The city's Sign Ordinance forbids portable or A-frame signs, (except location real estate signs) as well as signs that impede pedestrian traffic or vision, signs in the public right of way. It also does not permit signs consisting of any moving, swinging, rotating, flashing, blinking or animated components, except barber poles, clocks, thermometers or electronic changeable copy signs. Windblown devices and signs whose movement is designed to attract attention, such as pennants, flags, inflatable signs or balloons, or reflective attachments to sign faces are also not permitted. Signs on vehicles or on roof tops are not permitted.