The City made its most recent substantive update to signage regulations in 2014, and since that time several national and local issues have arisen affecting the types of signs that are installed at properties around Oakland Park. The Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 576 U.S. 155 (2015) Supreme Court decision requires that local signage regulations not restrict or categorize signs by content. Several companies have elected to use large feather or teardrop shaped canvas signs, moving inflatable signs, tall pole signs, and non-permitted digital display signs. These create safety related distractions and affect the appearance of local streetscapes.
Staff proposes text amendments to the City of Oakland Park Land Development Code as follows:
1. Removal of any restriction that controls the content or message of a sign in order to ensure that the City complies with the Reed v. Town of Gilbert ruling.
2. Adds new restrictions for freestanding signs to prohibit pole signs and instead only permit ground, or monument, signs with restrictions on sign face area as well as the height and surface area of their structures.
3. Require the removal of pole signs and digital or animated signs within seven years or earlier if specific activities by the sign owner occur.
4. Removal of allowances for outdoor displays of sample merchandise by retail merchants, as outdoor display of merchandise would be managed through the Master Business Use List with time-limited permissions for special outdoor sales.
5. Enhanced definitions for animated signs to ensure that it is clear that digital or LED signs have not been and are not permitted. Additional definition amendments clarify meanings for portable signs, sign area, and specific types of signs.
6. Increased regulations for light-box signs to only permit signs used for channel lettering and for small individual image installations and to prohibit the use of internally lit or glossy awnings.