City approves new signs

Downtown Carson City business owners overcame their first hurdle Thursday in their effort to place permanent signs directing shoppers to their doors.

The decision to allow for a municipal code change that would allow business owners to place directional signs between Washington and 5th streets and Nevada and Stewart streets drew support from supervisors, who said it would help local retailers.

The green multi-armed tree sign will allow a group of Telegraph Square businesses to attract people to those stores that are off the beaten path and not easily located, said Doreen Mack, owner of Lofty Expressions.

"This may not be the magic pill, but it's pretty close," Mack said.

The changes in city code that will allow the Telegraph Square sign and signs like it to be placed downtown may be finalized at the next Board of Supervisors meeting later this month.

At the request of Supervisor Richard Staub, the board agreed the code would require signs to be similar in design and size and that only one sign be allowed at each intersection.

The downtown business owners' group paid $1,600 for the sign and hopes to expedite a special-use permit in order for the sign to be placed by early December.

An advertisement billboard owner also was given the go-ahead to place a sign along Highway 50, although Carson City supervisors disagreed with the idea.

"I have a gross dislike for billboards in the city," said Supervisor Jon Plank. "Although I'd like to vote no, I think I can't."

The consensus among the other supervisors Thursday showed they agreed the sign was not wanted, but it met city regulations. The 10-foot-by-40-foot sign will be constructed in the next few months along Highway 50 at Humbolt Street.

Supervisors were interested in putting time limits on any sign permits issued, however, as the city's sign ordinance is in the process of being reviewed and updated. That way, any signs approved between now and when a new ordinance is adopted can be reviewed after a number of years and either renewed or reconsidered.

A committee of city staff and Carson Area Chamber of Commerce members is reviewing the city's rules regarding signs. A recommendation for updating the ordinance may be completed by January, said Walt Sullivan, director of planning and community development.


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