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City Weighs Options on Rules for Signs : Regulation: Seeking to liberalize standards, officials will invite citizen comments on two plans, each of which would give greater flexibility to business owners.


GLENDALE — Still stymied by what to do to liberalize and streamline the city's sign law, the City Council on Tuesday introduced two ordinances, saying it will listen to community comments on the alternatives before adopting one of them in two weeks.

Both ordinances would allow far greater flexibility in the type of business signs permitted than authorized under rules adopted 20 years ago, but call for different procedures in processing design approval.

The old law, which was designed to eliminate clutter, prohibited the use of neon, track lighting, transparent or translucent sign materials, direct lighting and protruding signs. All of those, as well as banners, could be permitted under proposed new rules. However, officials said they are uncertain what process should be used to approve business signs.

One ordinance would require that all signs be reviewed by the Planning Department, with appeals referred to the Board of Zoning Adjustments and, if necessary, the City Council, which is the current procedure.

The alternative would allow a separate approval process for all signs in the city's two redevelopment zones through the Redevelopment Department. That department adopted new design guidelines after the old sign ordinance went into effect.

Appeals would bypass the zoning board and be referred directly to the Redevelopment Agency, which is composed of the five council members.

Redevelopment Director Jeanne Armstrong and city planners have recommended the second alternative because they said it would eliminate duplicate and possibly conflicting decisions by redevelopment officials and the zoning board.

However, several council members said they are reluctant to establish a process that could result in dual standards for signs within and outside redevelopment areas.

Both ordinances will be considered at the council's Aug. 10.

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