The city of Durango Planning Commission on Monday unanimously recommended approval of amendments to the city’s sign code that would allow temporary signs, including sandwich boards, and banners for downtown businesses.
The amendments will now go to the City Council for final approval at its April 2 meeting.
Colleen O’Brien, business development and redevelopment specialist with the city, said requirements for small temporary signs were changed based on input from the public and business owners.
“It’s been very polarizing. It’s been one of the hottest issues,” she said.
Under the latest revisions, sandwich boards could be made of any material after the city received complaints from business owners when it proposed banning plastic signs. Business owners said plastic signs were found to be the most practical and durable solution for small temporary signs.
Generally, small portable signs, like sandwich boards, would be required to be against the wall of the business and within 6 feet of the entrance. However, the city has approved an alternative staff process to allow signs off-site of a business property for unique situations.
Conundrum Escape Rooms, 736 Main Ave., Suite 100, which is hidden off Main Avenue and not readily visible from either Main Avenue or Seventh Street, was cited as an example of a business that would be allowed to have a small portable sign placed off its property to alert pedestrians to its location.
Businesses that want to use a small portable sign in the public right of way would have to obtain a $50 revocable-encroachment permit.
Other requirements of small portable signs:
Signs must maintain a 4-foot clearance of the nearest obstacle, such as a tree, benches and parking meters.Signs must be stable and not collapse because of wind or weather.Sign locations must be approved by city staff members during a review of a revocable-encroachment permit application.Sign quantities are limited to one sign per street level storefront, even if more than one tenant is in the storefront.Signs shall not exceed 12 square feet in area and shall not exceed 4 feet in height.Signs must be stored inside each day at the close of business.Amendments to banner displays also were recommended for approval by the Planning Commission.
Banners would be allowed to be displayed six times a year for up to 14 consecutive days, but special-use, temporary-use and special-event permits would allow for banners to be displayed for different time periods depending on event scheduling.
Durango Farmers Market was cited as a special event that could have banners up more than six times a year to alert residents to its Saturday markets, which will be held Saturdays from May 11 to Oct. 29 this year. The Farmers Market could get a special-event permit to allow it to fly a banner more than six times a year.