Carson City Planning Commission recommends new rules for signs
June 27, 2018
Feather flags — the tall, thin flags adorning many Carson City businesses — could soon be banned except for special events.
The Planning Commission on Wednesday voted to recommend to the Board of Supervisors an ordinance amending the city's code on signs.
The Planning Division staff recommended businesses be limited to one feather flag per frontage within 20 feet of the building for an unlimited time.
The goals were to reduce the clutter of flags close to streets and to make code enforcement easier by allowing flags to be used for more than 30 days, as currently allowed.
“If I had my druthers there wouldn’t be any flags. Inflatables and banners and a-frames all have a purpose and they’re easier to monitor.”
— Mark SattlerPlanning Commission chairman
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But, during a long discussion, several commissioners raised concerns about the flags.
"I do not think flags should be allowed without a time limit. They are not made of durable material," said Candace Stowell.
Chairman Mark Sattler agreed.
"If I had my druthers there wouldn't be any flags," he said. "Inflatables and banners and a-frames all have a purpose and they're easier to monitor."
Theresa Green-Preston said the flags worked well when used to promote special events, such as the monthly wine walk, when they are used temporarily and removed when the event concludes.
The commission decided to recommend feather flags be allowed only with a special event permit and followed staff recommendations on other signs.
That included no changes to the code on banners, which allow a business to have a specific size banner for 30 consecutive days in any 90-day period, and no changes to code on inflatables, which are allowed for three days, or 12 days for new auto dealerships, and must be no taller than the business' building.
The recommendation also included limiting a-frame signs to within 20 feet of a business.
The commission tabled another item it discussed at length concerning guest buildings.
The item was to consider recommending an amendment to allow guest buildings on properties to be occupied by other than family members and non-paying guests.
The issue came up in a city workgroup focused on housing as one small way to create more affordable housing in the city.
The change would allow a homeowner with an attached or unattached guest house to rent it out, but not on a transient basis for less than 28 days.
Sattler and Charles Borders both said they thought the solution could create more problems than it solves.
"I'm not sure this is going to help that much," said Borders. "Are we opening up a Pandora's box that doesn't solve the problem?"
Stowell said allowing guest houses to be rented has worked in other communities, including in Douglas County, but suggested the item be moved to next month's meeting when research demonstrating its effectiveness could be included. Sattler agreed, saying it would also give the full commission a chance to weigh in. Commissioners Paul Esswein and Elyse Monroy were absent Wednesday.
The commission also approved three special use permits for an outdoor interactive space at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada on Carson Street; a 12,580 square foot expansion to Mark Twain Elementary School; and an 11,407 square foot expansion to Fremont Elementary School.