Mar 25

Proposed Sign Ordinance Taking Testimony

Charlet Jean Nalbach Burcin Posted on FMF Chat

This Thursday, March 25, the El Dorado County Planning Commission will take testimony on a proposed sign ordinance for El Dorado County, and then make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. You should be aware that this proposed sign ordinance likely negatively affects Cameron Park more than other El Dorado County communities; and, more importantly, it ignores what Cameron Park residents have said about improving the appearance of our community.

Among other disturbing issues, the proposed sign ordinance allows for unnecessarily tall signs — as tall as 60 feet (compare to a 6-story building) and 20-foot-high signs (equal to the height of a 2-story building) along some roadways. The Arco Sign at Cambridge and Highway 50 is 40 feet high. Even most urban cities do not allow signs that are as tall as those proposed for our county. Certain Highway 50-oriented signs that meet proposed height and area criteria could be installed with no public review other than to make sure that required size and setbacks are met. As proposed, there could be no judgment made as to how this sign fits in with its surroundings, conflicts with it, or diverts attention from the roadway.

This proposed sign ordinance is an affront to our community. Attractive signs that are in front of businesses and which do not exceed 6 feet high are more readily and easily viewed by the motoring public and are more attractive. For comparison purposes, can you imagine reading a 20-high stop sign? That would be so very unnecessary and not as effective as if it were lower. Signs can contribute in a more positive way to community identity than what is proposed.

For the proposed sign ordinance, the County hired an outside consultant to prepare an Environmental Impact Report. The report indicates that, other than digital signs, the proposed sign ordinance will not have a significant negative aesthetic impact on the County. The Environmental Impact Report even compares us to Rancho Cordova, saying that community allows 60 foot signs. What a comparison. Should we start looking like Rancho Cordova!? Well, we all know what sign clutter can only degrade the appearance of a community and that additional numerous tall signs could further contribute to blight our rural-type atmosphere that we enjoy.

The proposed sign ordinance is posted on-line at http://www.edcgov.us/Government/LongRangePlanning/LandUse/Sign_Ordinance_Update.aspx . Please contact the Planning Commissioners and members of the Board of Supervisors to express your displeasure of the proposed sign ordinance.