tampabay.com

Goodbye to tower power

By DEMORRIS A. LEE
Published May 19, 2007


After two years of debate, the city of Largo is finally poised to adopt a new sign ordinance June 1. What will it mean? Chunkier, shorter, signs - a change aimed at reducing the visual clutter that graces the streets and pierces the sky.

"It's to improve the quality of the city of Largo, " said Michael Staffopoulos, director of the city's Community Development Department. "It will reduce sign clutter, and it will improve the aesthetics of the community." The new rules will also be easier to understand, Staffopoulos said.

Current businesses will have 10 years to conform to the change. But any signs going up after the ordinance is passed will have to comply immediately.

Notable changes

1. Signs atop poles will no longer be allowed in the city. Instead, monument-style signs - those with a foundation - will be required. Maximum height: 8 feet.

2. The formula that determines the maximum sign size allowed has been simplified. The calculation will be based on the linear footage of the building along the roadway. In essence, the bigger the building, the bigger the allowed sign.

3. Monument signs must include at least one color from the building's color scheme, and the sign must be integrated with the design and materials of the building.

4. The proposed ordinance would also regulate non-conventional forms of advertising, including requiring businesses to apply for a special use permit for people advertising in costumes. The costume wearers would have to remain on the business' property and not on the public right of way.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at dalee@sptimes.com or 445-4174.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Call the Planning Division of the Largo Community Development Department at 727 587-6749.