Carson City Historic Resources Commission seeks more data on church sign

A proposal to allow a computerized sign at Carson City’s First Presbyterian Church ran into a detour if not a road block at the Historic Resources Commission.

The commission took testimony from church elder John Bullis, during which he sought an exception or some other method to allow such a sign, but members declined to direct staff about changing the ordinance involved and instructed Bullis to search for a sign that meets his criteria without an LED or other back lit electronic characteristics.

“I’m not saying it has to be back lit,” Bullis testified at the Wednesday HRC session. He said the goal was to change messaging by computer rather than by hand.

Member Michael Drews suggested the commission would work within existing guidelines but be flexible if the church could come up with a sign from a supplier that doesn’t look like an electronic sign. Chairman Jed Block also talked about possible accommodation but within guidelines, saying it’s difficult to make an exception because that could become a precedent which opens the door to more applications for electronic signs in the historic district.

“We need more information,” Block said. “It’s a tough one.”

Planner Susan Dorr Pansky, staff for the commission, mentioned at one point the city had previously been approached by the Brewery Arts Center with a similar idea for a sign in the historic district.

Bullis was seeking in his application to find a way to put up a sign 6-feet tall and 10-feet wide to “use technology that would avoid getting up on ladders to change the letters,” according to a document he supplied. “It would use a computer in (the) church office to change the displays.”


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