Electronic signs to be reconsidered by P&Z

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Kerrville’s Planning & Zoning Commission will discuss electronic signage during this Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall. Two agenda items relate to the electronic signage issue. The first is a discussion regarding sign ordinance research. The second is a variance request for Calvary Temple Church’s proposed electronic sign on Loop 534. The variance request for the Chamber of Commerce sign has been withdrawn and will not be part of Thursday’s meeting.

The full agenda and packet is available to download here (PDF).

Sign Ordinance Review

At the previous P&Z meeting, the commission instructed staff to review the current sign ordinance and collect examples of various sign ordinances from other communities. This research was specific to how other cities treat electronic message displays, digital boards, electronic message centers, or changeable copy signs.

Within the agenda packet prepared for commission members, staff has created a chart displaying sign ordinances from numerous Texas cities as small as Llano and as large as Bryan. Many of these cities regulate a sign’s total area, and then denote a percentage of that total area that can be used for electronic messages. The chart is shown below.

Staff recommends that if the commission does want to change the code, that they consider changing our current ordinance to regulate electronic signage as a percentage of the total size of an allowed sign, but also cautions the commission that another committee has already been tasked with the review of the sign code (along with other ordinances) next year. Staff’s opinion states that it might not be prudent to review and update the sign code at this time, knowing that the entire code will be reviewed again in a few months.

The Kerrville Daily Times offered an online poll on their website asking if the city’s sign and billboard regulations need an update. Although the poll doesn’t indicate the number of responses, the results show that approximately 2/3 of respondents believe the regulations need to be updated.

Kerrville Daily Times online poll results as of February 4, 2019.

If the P&Z does decide to amend the ordinance, it would not be done at Thursday’s meeting. Staff and City Attorney Mike Hayes would likely draft an ordinance to amend the code, which would be approved at subsequent meetings.

Chamber of Commerce Sign

Last month a variance request for TEU Services for a sign located at the Chamber of Commerce was pulled from the agenda just hours prior to the meeting. Again this month, the variance request has been withdrawn and may be reapplied for at a later date. So, for now, the sign at the Chamber of Commerce building will continue to be used only in part, so as to conform with the current ordinance.

Calvary Temple Sign

After tabling the matter last month, Calvary Temple Church is back on the agenda for two variances relating to an application for an electronic sign along Loop 534. The two variances requested include:

  1. To allow a freestanding sign to be located on nonresidential property for an establishment that has an existing monument sign;
  2. To allow an electronic sign to exceed the maximum size of 32 square feet by allowing an electronic sign that is 12 feet by 6 feet for a total of 72 square feet.

Staff traditionally does not make recommendations for or against specific sign variances, and has not made a recommendation in this case.

Mock-up of proposed sign at Calvary Temple Church.

If the variance request is approved, Calvary Temple may begin construction of the sign. The variance does not have to be reviewed by City Council.

The meeting is scheduled for 4:30 PM this Thursday, February 7, 2019, and will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 701 Main Street, Kerrville, Texas. The meeting is open to the public.