Friday, April 2, 2010

Cooper City Sign Relief Proposal, Peacocks and more...

What great weather we have been having! I hope everyone enjoyed the city’s many garage sales that were held this past month. Lots of you attended the Country Address Garage Sale in addition to the Cooper City Annual Garage Sale, and it was great! Good stuff and wares were bought, sold and traded. This annual event proves the old adage that one man or woman’s junk is another man’s or woman’s treasure.

I have received numerous calls about signs. There has been controversy regarding signs, including ‘snipe’ signs in Cooper City. There have been issues regarding ‘open’ signs in business establishments, there are issues regarding ‘garage sale’ signs in our neighborhoods, there are issues of ‘open house’ signs utilized by Realtors used to help direct potential buyers to a home for sale, there are issues regarding temporary signs for houses of worship, and there are issues regarding selective enforcement, or non-enforcement.

A recent attempt at a sign code change was not recommended by the Planning and Zoning Board and supported by the Business Advisory Board. I agree with that recommendation, for now. The majority of the commission’s agenda regarding the sign issue is clear: We want to enhance revenues and opportunities for our local business owners and residents without detracting from the established aesthetics requirements of our beautiful city. The problem has been how to create a balance without being inconsistent, biased or selective in the enforcement process.

In an effort to support local businesses feeling the strain of our declining economy, I propose a temporary ‘Sign Relief Program’. The program may be a way to give businesses more opportunities to reach their customers. Banners, vehicle signs, inflatables and menu boards may be permitted as part of this program, giving businesses additional, relatively inexpensive promotional tools for advertising.

The process is simple. Businesses must apply for a temporary sign permit. Applicants will be required to enter into an agreement with the city acknowledging certain restrictions and limitations of the program. As part of the process, businesses would submit a description of their sign including location, dimensions and wording. With an application turnaround time of 48 hours or less, and no fee to apply for the program, business owners’ only concern will be the cost of the new signage.

Please contact me with your comments, concerns or ideas on how we can address this sign issue and do it in an unbiased, fair manner while being consistent in our efforts to promote our city’s shareholders. I have been contacted by many residents and business owners on this issue so far, but only one Realtor who chose to not offer an alternative solution. Your input and participation in commission meetings is vital!

I am glad to have sponsored the issue of addressing the Peacocks in our neighborhoods. The issue has been finally addressed, hopefully to the satisfaction of my constituents, yet there are some additional steps to be taken. They will be resolved forthwith, and I promise that there will not be any further issues and property damage from these unfortunately destructive and territorial, yet beautiful birds.

Remember, Cooper City residents are now able to watch our City Commission meetings live on the Internet at http://www.coopercityfl.org. Residents can instantly replay all or part of the meetings at their convenience through a link on the City’s web site.

It is my great pleasure to serve as your local city government representative. I am open to your comments and concerns and would like to continue to help resolve your problems regarding city issues. As such, you can contact me as usual at 954.445.6997 or E-mail me at Commissioner_Sims@Cooper-CityFL.org.

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