Hearing on sign code set Aug. 19 - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Hearing on sign code set Aug. 19

Businesses want longer hours for lighted signs

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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:00 pm

The Oro Valley Town Council plans to weigh the issue of building signs at the Aug. 19 meeting.

The council could decide whether to amend the town code to allow illuminated wall signs to stay on until 10 p.m. or until a business closes, whichever comes later.

Current code differs only slightly from the proposed change, mandating that illuminated signs be switched off one hour after a business closes.

Town zoning officials said resident complaints about lighting at Oro Valley Marketplace prompted a recent crackdown on enforcement. In April, the zoning department sent out letters to all businesses operating in Oro Valley reminding of the sign code and lights-out times. The letter also notified business owners that the town soon would begin to enforce the code.

The Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce, for one, has protested the changes and effort to enforce the existing code. The chamber sent letters to members earlier last month encouraging supporters to lobby the town for looser sign regulations, including allowing signs to remain alight all night.

"Dusk to dawn is the standard we'd like to see adopted into the sign code for permitted illumination," according to the letter.

Chamber president Ramon Gaanderse told The Explorer last month that the group sees signs as an important marketing tool. Lyra Done, chair of the chamber's public policy committee, is urging a full house Aug. 19 to support the "dusk to dawn" code change. "We must mobilize the voice of business," Done wrote to members.

The Town of Marana has a similar sign code as Oro Valley, requiring businesses to turn off lights at 11 p.m. or at the time of closing, whichever comes first.

The Oro Valley Town Council meets Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. at town hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive.

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