County supervisors on Wednesday approved a much-discussed set of regulations spelling out when, where and how companies may post outdoor advertising signs.
The regulations, mainly of interest to real estate developers who use signs to attract customers, were sought by residents of the rapidly growing North County coastal area, who argued that the signs are eyesores in their community.
Since debate over the signs began, however, the cities of Solana Beach and Encinitas have incorporated. Solana Beach became a city July 1 and has already banned new signs. Encinitas is expected to do the same when it becomes a city Oct. 1.
As a result, the supervisors agreed Wednesday that any sign permits granted between the time the county regulations go into effect and Oct. 1 will be subject to the approval of the new Encinitas City Council.
The regulations will still affect other parts of North County, East County and the South Bay that remain under county rule.
Among the regulations' major provisions are:
- Signs are limited to 32 square feet. Signs in the California Coastal Zone and in residential areas are limited to 16 square feet. Signs larger than 32 square feet may be permitted in certain areas under special permits.
- Each housing development is permitted eight signs, except in the coastal zone, where the limit is four.
- Signs for a single development may be grouped in pairs. Otherwise, the signs must be more than 300 feet from each other.
- Signs must be within five miles of the development they advertise. In the coastal zone, signs must be within three miles of the development.
- No signs off the premises of a development are permitted from the coast to a line 500 feet east of the coastal highway (Old Highway 101).
- Developers must post a $1,000 refundable fee to pay for the removal of signs erected or left up in violation of the regulations.
- Volunteer groups will be formed to monitor compliance with the new regulations and report suspected violations to county officials.