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City May Help Business Owners Replace Signs

The city explored ways to encourage businesses to replace signs to meet city code.

At its June 12 workshop session, the Largo City Commission discussed incentives to encourage businesses to replace signs.

The commission favored a tiered-incentive program, which would slightly reduce city fees and allow businesses to install slightly larger new signs.

Non-conforming pole signs need to be replaced with monument signs. The deadline for the sign changes is June 5, 2017.

When the city created its new sign ordinance in 2007, the city provided a ten-year timeframe for businesses to comply.

The city created the sign ordinance to improve appearances and "encourage the safe placement of signs for traffic and pedestrians."

The proposed incentive program would be for properties outside of the community redevelopment areas. The program would not start until Oct. 1.

The  city plans to create a separate program  for properties in the redevelopment areas along Clearwater-Largo Road and West Bay Drive.

The commission discussed the costs of the new signs and creating an inventory of signs, which need to be replaced.

"I dare say there are thousands of signs," said Commissioner Curtis Holmes. "These signs are expensive," he said.

The sooner a business replaces its signs, the better the proposed benefits:

Program Year Proposed Sign Incentive Program Offer 2012-2013 Ten $200 grants to offset city fees and 25 percent sign square footage bonus would be available 2013-2014

25 percent sign square footage bonus would be available

2014-2015 15 percent sign square footage bonus would be available 2015-2016 10 percent sign square footage bonus would be available
B Wood June 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM
The cities ordinance condemning existing signs represents a government taking of personal private property, with many signs with having replacement values in the $10's of thousands of dollars. If the city wants to demolish private property, then they should reimburse the owners 100%.of the replacement cost.
uj September 22, 2012 at 07:18 AM
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