Formerly Anderson Media's picture

Twenty-two months into a 90

Twenty-two months into a 90 day moratorium, the deciders have spoken.

Thank God! I'm young, got my health.., why would I want a job?

So Scenic America, if I can't beat you - I'll join you. I don't like the way the City/County Building looks. When shall I meet your group with bull dozers so we can just go ahead and push that eyesore in the river? Let me know.

In the interim, what kind of look do you find okay? It appears in the "land of the free", one must check with the local aesthetics police before hanging a shingle. Maybe we can all go with camouflage signage as not to "offend" anybody. (except business owners, but they're nobody)

And for all those ready to pounce on both me and your keyboard, if you think this couldn't be you - just wait.

The Quixote group has slain the cheapest type advertising a business owner with high traffic can use. Back to water towers and windmills...,

...what do you folks pay? See, I'm good at complaining too.

Lisa Starbuck's picture

Signage

Many very successful communities around the country and closer to home (including Farragut and Maryville) have enacted signage controls, especially for digital signs, which are very intrusive.

Nothing in these ordinances prohibits lighted signage. Knoxville's sign ordinances for the most part are much more liberal than these communities mentioned above.

Planning experts agree that aesthetics is an important component of a successful community that is good for business, good for residents and good for tourism.

So it's a little disingenuous to assert that this hurts businesses. If two competing businesses are side by side and one puts in a big flashy sign, what does the other one do? They put in a larger, flashier sign, if they can afford it.

The only way to level the playing field and avoid a signage "arms race" is to prohibit the signs to begin with. Which is what City Council did last night, based on the overwhelming public input asking them to take control of this issue and ban them.

No doubt the billboard companies were outraged and made comments like this when Mayor Victor Ashe spearheaded the ban on billboards in the City of Knoxville years ago. There's not too many people who would argue now that was the wrong decision. Unless, of course, you make your living by taking advantage of the "captive eyeballs" from placing ads alongside the taxpayer funded highways. With other types of advertising, one is able to turn the page, change the channel, or otherwise avoid the ad. With billboards and other visual signage, you are a captive audience.

Bravo, City Council! Thanks so much for doing the right thing. Current as well as future generations will benefit and appreciate your foresight.

Now, on to County Commission!

FAM's picture

Many very successful

Many very successful communities around the country and closer to home (including Farragut and Maryville) have enacted signage controls, especially for digital signs, which are very intrusive.

Maryville has allowed digital signage. Commercial Farragut for the most part is Kingston Pike. Wait till it’s not.

Nothing in these ordinances prohibits lighted signage. Knoxville's sign ordinances for the most part are much more liberal than these communities mentioned above.

Now they aren’t. As explained, if dimmed properly (which could be done via codes) the LED signs put out less ambient light than a traditional flood lighting.

Planning experts agree that aesthetics is an important component of a successful community that is good for business, good for residents and good for tourism.

Besides the mountains, what tourism are you talking about? The mountains are protected. The “litter on a stick” just advertises the “litter” that surrounds them - and brings the money in to help pay to preserve them.

So it's a little disingenuous to assert that this hurts businesses.

Yeah, what do those multi-million dollar marketing departments of Walgreen’s, McDonalds, Sonic, CVS, etc. know? Obviously the only reason they do it is to waste money. You should extend these tax generators your insight.

If two competing businesses are side by side and one puts in a big flashy sign, what does the other one do? They put in a larger, flashier sign, if they can afford it.

Yes and maybe when Dominos gets their butts kicked in an economic downturn, they will have to reduce prices to $5 to match Little Caesars prices. Wait, they’ve done that.

Businesses compete, sometimes even in advertising and promotion (which includes signage), doesn’t mean they get to ignore the existing codes – which apparently you are doing in making your argument.

The only way to level the playing field and avoid a signage "arms race" is to prohibit the signs to begin with.

The only way?

Which is what City Council did last night, based on the overwhelming public input asking them to take control of this issue and ban them.

By overwhelming you mean the 20 members of the Quixote group that showed up to meetings? Why did you not fight to have this put on a referendum? Let folks know what kind of money advertising brings in and would be lost vs. how you think things should “look”.

Billboards, billboards, billboards. Let me tell you what you’ve really done. By getting your fearless Quixote leaders to lump on premise signage in with billboards, you have forced the “little guy” to have to use Lamar or the other companies. No longer will the individual business owner get to determine his or her own message at their own location.

To reiterate, you just propped up Goliath while lopping David off at the knees. Well done.

BTW – What do you do Ms. Starbuck? I’m looking for job security and it’s obvious I need to stay on the same side as you and the rest of the windmill fighters.

metulj's picture

If you had just had Arthur

If you had just had Arthur Seymour on your side, this would have come out differently! Markets! Markets! Markets!

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Seppuku is in a way the ultimate awful libertarian act -- Frank Popper

williamp's picture

Meh

New ordinances don't help if there's no enforcement. Typically, a city council gets all up in arms about things like led signs...but they fail to realize that most of the existing signs they are upset about aren't even approved signs.

I once went to a council meeting (different city) where a local sign company came in and showed 2 pictures of an area the council was using to demonstrate the "evils" of signage.

The first picture was an actual picture of the area, and indeed, it was overloaded with signage. For the second picture, they used photoshop to mask out any signs that didn't have permits. Everyone agreed that the area looked fine after that.

Joe328's picture

Not Aesthetics but Hazardous to Traffic

It's the blinding light that makes it dangerous. I have the same problem with backlit signs. What's wrong with downlighting on shingle that doesn't glare into the neighboring businesses windows.

Try visiting a town such as North Lake Tahoe where outdoor lighting codes are investigated first and working plan is put in place. Neon lights (actually LED) are allowed in many towns, but no message boards, blue or white lights.

Smarter lighting is the answer, not brighter glaring light!

metulj's picture

I'd like to see a

I'd like to see a comprehensive sign ordinance akin to Cary, NC or Charlottesville, VA. It's visual garbage.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Seppuku is in a way the ultimate awful libertarian act -- Frank Popper

Brian A.'s picture

I don't get it

There are plenty of things out there that I find to be more aesthetically disturbing than electronic signs.

Why people single this out is a mystery to me. Too "modern" looking, I guess.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

Rachel's picture

Umm, there may have been

Umm, there may have been only 20 people at Council last night, but I assure you that Council members have heard from a lot more people that that over the period of time they've been considering this issue. And most of them support this ban.

FAM's picture

Yes, because most other

Yes, because most other people are out either buying or selling something.

I guess we can just relegate businesses to radio, tv and the web and hope people find them.

In the interim we just sit back and rely on the influx of manufacturing to fill the void left by the “no signage” tinkering of advertising scholars.

America no longer makes stuff – we sell stuff. I don’t care for this as a general philosophy of commerce, but I’ll not ignore the fact that our situation of trade is poorly skewed. You have no idea what this means to the tax base because no study was done. And to do this now - the hubris.

rikki's picture

You could probably do well

You could probably do well selling adult diapers to people like you. Can I interest you in a little talcum powder?

Nobody's picture

Weird.

Weird.

williamp's picture

I too, am sad about the

I too, am sad about the decline of U.S. manufacturing. However, the decline has to do with competitiveness. Nobody is willing to pay more for products that require highly paid, unionized workers with lucrative health care and pensions. Like it or not, consumers vote with their wallets.

Min's picture

Nonsense.

U.S. consumers bought American-made products, produced by people who earned a living wage, just fine prior to the earliest waves of outsourcing. Manufacturing was not outsourced to be competitive. It was outsourced to up the profit margin. Which is why Liz Claiborne and Coach, whose American-made products I used to buy all the time, still cost as much after outsourcing production to China as they did before.

Because it was never about "competitive" price. It was always about profit.

Mike Cohen's picture

Council

Council did a lot of listening and deserves credit for that.

The suggestion that something like should go a referendum is crazy. Council is elected to make decisions, not pass the buck.

Some huge, monumental decisions, especially if they involve a lot of public money may be worth putting to a referendum, but stuff like regulating signs hardly seems like something beyond what Council should decide itself. That's what we elect them to do.

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