Wednesday, July 16, 2014

• Feather Banners Beware or Notes on the Planning Commission Meeting

Tonight's planning commission meeting had no "General Business" just changes to zoning ordinances.

2.1 on the agenda took the longest time. It was relating to temporary banners for commercial, office and industrial zones. Things like Grand Opening banners, temporary banners, promotional banners and special event banners... "feather banners" were discussed too.

Examples of various "feather banners". 

After about 40 mins of discussion, the commission adopted (5-0) the resolution that also will ban inflatables like:

Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men 

and giant blue gorillas.

2.3 on the agenda was also about signage. This time about large signs along the freeway. After a bit of wrangling the resolution was passed 4-1 with Commissioner Langworthy being the only no vote. She thought that signs should be allowed to be as high as the highest one in town (current record holder is 71 feet tall). 

After the meeting I asked Planner Director Matt Bassi about the signs on the fence at the Monte Vista shopping center, which had been discussed earlier. Once the city council adopts 2.1 of tonight's agenda, the signs/banners on that fence would become illegal. Sorry, but that fence is horrible looking with all those banners draped all over. 

Thing is, as local resident Kathy Bundy asked about code enforcement during the meeting, all these ordinances will mean little since there is minimal code enforcement for such things in Wildomar. Also, I've run into a ton of resistance when it comes to code enforcement in this town. So I doubt we actually will have the will to follow through even once these zoning ordinance amendments are adopted by the full council... but I can always hope.

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So, at a previous city meeting, the issue of light pollution came up, and my good friend Sheila Urlaub mentioned the new Shell gas station sign during the public comments, and asked if it was compliant since —it looked like a big bug catcher glowing so brightly at night. If you look at the sign in the daytime, it's just a very tall sign. At night however, there are many empty slots that were not covered, and therefore emit great amounts of light at night.

Before the meeting Assistant Planner, and all around good guy, Alfredo Garcia told me that they checked it out and the owner opted to shut it off at night until they can update it. Too bad they didn't think of the light spilling out while they were installing it. 



  1. As someone who has been responsible for running brick and mortar businesses I consider anti banner ordinances to be anti business ordinances. At a time when local businesses are struggling to bring in customers by any means this does nothing but hurt them. the banners on that fence don't look awful to me. I say we need to help local businesses, not tie their hands. Sheila

    1. Sheila,
      In the manner of "name that tune"... I can defeat your argument in less than one note.

      "I consider anti banner ordinances to be anti business ordinances"
      It's fair to infer that you think banners should be limited to the desires of the business owner/management. Even if one business chooses to overwhelm an area with banners and inflatables as to obscure their neighboring business.

      It must be in my writing style because it was NOT "anti banner" on the Planning Commission's or the city's part. It was being addressed because it hadn't been up to this point, and like it was said by Matt Bassi (I believe), without proper ordinances ALL signs can be considered against the law. I agree that we should "help" local businesses, but having a hodge podge of crappy signs is going to keep me from coming... and I dare speak for others and say that more are turned of by such things than invited in.

    2. Joseph you did not defeat my argument in one note, lol - rather you misinterpreted what I was saying. In the world of small businesses sometimes a banner is the only way to get your message out there to the public.Those businesses posting on the fence you show in the picture are doing their best to get the word out to driveby traffic. For every person like you who might be turned off others may see the banner and go "ah ha"! It is good business to rotate them if only because people tend to gloss over things they see repeatedly but to me that is the business owners decision. Same with businesses(like one local storage company located on mission) that leave up torn and worn out banners. Worrying whether banners are making the area look ugly is like worrying that we have too many apartment complexes!. I think banning(rather than having 30 day limits) inflatables is also silly, bad for local businesses and short-sighted, It has the unintended consequence of harming rather than helping. sheila

    3. Sheila,
      You're right, my written response didn't defeat your argument. I got lazy and didn't really even finish the thought. XD

      Still, the point was that you *are* in favor of regulations (don't make me come up with exaggerated examples to have you either agree, or look silly disagreeing)... you and I just draw the line in different places. That was the basis for saying your argument had been defeated.

  2. Once again we agree on something. All of the banners are in good condition, firmly attached an not an eyesore. Small businesses are the back bone of this country. I guess this ordinance will leave the water tower at Marna O'Brien Park naked forever. Kenny

    1. Kenny,
      I have to agree with you that this latest grouping of banners isn't as bad as they've been in the past. Let's just give them some time to disintegrate in our Summer heat and see how they look in October.

    2. I also don't know why feather banners need to be banned rather than regulated? sheila

    3. Sheila,
      I didn't understand why they were having a problem with inflatables, including the waving arm guys... though I think the blue gorillas have long since lost their appeal. As for the feather signs, they really weren't sure how to approach them so it'll be up to the council to go it alone.
      The key seems to be that they don't want banners to be permanent fixtures. Based on what I was taking in, businesses would be able to have a banner of some kind up nearly half of the calendar. The problem I would have is when places plaster crap all over the store front. Look at the liquor store next to Freddy's Tacos to see what really needs some code enforcement.


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