Signs on telephone poles and metallic balloons used at grand openings have been outlawed as part of revisions to the city's temporary sign ordinance adopted by the City Council this week.
The council unanimously adopted the recommendations of its Community Planning and Design Committee and the city Environmental Quality and Energy Conservation Commission. The changes take effect 30 days after second reading of the ordinance, expected next week.
The ban on signs on telephone poles will be part of a new section to the ordinance prohibiting signs on utility poles, street lights, trees along streets or other public property.
The metallic, or Mylar, balloons are considered an electrical hazard if they get caught on electrical lines.
Among other changes approved:
- Use of flags, pennants and banners for grand openings or special sales will be limited to 30 days per year.
- A $250 bond will be required of businesses to ensure removal of temporary signs.
- Real estate signs will be allowed only on private property and on islands separating service roads and main streets at immediate access points to the property for sale.
- Auto dealerships may put up to 200 square feet of pole banners for 90-day periods followed by 90 days of no advertising.
Sections affecting political, window, civic and religion signs will remain unaffected.
Bob Seitz, general manager of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, worked with the committee and commission in drafting the revisions.
"The business community tried to understand the city's viewpoint of eliminating clutter, and the city tried to understand the business community's need to attract customers," he said. "Auto dealerships and real estate people, in particular, have special needs, and I think we addressed those."
Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a $500 fine.