After listening to the community and meeting with business owners and sign companies, the City of Tyler has adopted an ordinance change to govern electronic signs.
Prior to Wednesday's ordinance change, signs were allowed to be a maximum of 64 square feet in size, which is counted in the total area allowed for signs. They were not allowed to be animated in any manner.
"Recent advances in technology have changed the display capabilities and uses of electronic message signs," said Planning Director Barbara Holly. "These signs are now capable of being animated."
Several meetings were held to discuss the sign issue with affected businesses. While many of the businesses were inclined to support full animation, a Tyler Morning Telegraph reader's poll indicated a majority of readers were against the animated signs. Working groups for Tyler 21 also weighed in overwhelmingly in favor of less animation.
Following discussions with area sign representatives, an ordinance was crafted that recognizes the advertising value of electronic message signs while providing minimum driver distraction and added protection for neighborhoods and historic districts. The recommended changes require a minimum three-second hold time for messages with one second per line of copy. There is currently no minimum hold time specified for any message other than time and temperature.
A second component of the ordinance change is to allow the electronic message sign in addition to current sign allowances. For example, If a business was allowed one 100-square-foot sign, the message board would be in addition to that maximum - bringing the total sign area to 164 square feet.
The final piece of the ordinance change prohibits signs from facing single-family-zoned or used property, or to be within or facing historic districts.
Source: News Release, City of Tyler
Posted by Kathy Vitale, 5pm News Producer
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