Planning Board Staff Report

 

 

MIAMI SHORES VILLAGE PLANNING BOARD MEETING

Miami Shores Village Town Hall  Council Chambers  10050 NE 2nd Avenue  Miami Shores

Hearing Date

September 22, 2011

 

Subject

Proposed Amendment to the Miami Shores Village Code of Ordinances, Appendix A ZONING, Article V. Supplementary Regulations, Division 2. Use Regulations. To Add Sec. 504.3. Authority granted to Planning Director to administratively approve applications for specific types of signs. A code amendment identifying specific signs that the Planning Director is authorized to administratively approve without Planning Board review.

Action Required

Recommendation to the Village Council

Staff Report

David A. Dacquisto, Director of Planning and Zoning

Report Date

August 16, 2011

           

 

Village Council Action

 

During the regularly scheduled Village Council meeting of June 21, 2011, the Village Council voted to direct the Planning Board to review the sign regulations and to bring recommendations back to the Village Council.

 

The Village Council expressed an interest in:

 

  1. Developing a master sign agreement for the entire downtown.
  2. Allowing temporary signs.
  3. Shortening the timeframe necessary to approve signs.
  4. Changes should preserve the village’s ability to maintain regulations to ensure that only proper and appropriate signage is permitted.

 

 

Background

 

There are several approaches that may be taken to regulate signage in the downtown.  The Planning Board reviewed this issue as a discussion item at their meeting of July 28, 2011.  The following four options were provided to the planning board for their consideration:

 

Option # 1: The first option is for the planning board to approve a master sign plan for the downtown outlining the types of signs that may be administratively approved and under what conditions.

 

Option # 2: The second option is a subset of option #1 and would require individual building owners to become parties to a master sign agreement before it may be applied to their buildings so that there is a record of the property owner’s agreement to the signs and the conditions of granting administrative approval.

 

Option # 3: The third option would amend the zoning code to include a list of specifically permitted signs that may be administratively approved by the planning director subject to approval of the building permit by the building official, and to specify under what conditions the administrative approval may be granted. The amendment would provide for an application process and fee.

 

Option # 4: The forth option would amend the zoning code to allow temporary signs by the issuance of a building permit or special zoning approval.  The code would list the specific temporary signs allowed and the specific regulations that would apply to each.

 

Under the first two options the applicant would apply to the building department for a sign permit and the planning director would administratively review the plans and may approve the sign plans if they are consistent with the direction of the planning board.  The applicant would still need to pay a building permit fee and obtain a building permit however, no separate zoning permit would be required and no separate zoning application fee could be collected.

 

Neither of the first two options will require a change to the zoning code.  A master sign agreement may be approved by the board under the existing code.

 

The third option would amend the zoning code to create a category of sign that may be administratively approved subject to specific conditions including the issuance of a building permit for the sign or a special zoning approval.  The zoning code would list all the specific signs that may be administratively approved, whether a building permit or special zoning permit is required, and the conditions of granting.

 

The fourth option retains the current sign requirements and does not permit permanent signs without planning board review.  The option however creates the sign classification of temporary signs and lists the temporary signs that may be administratively approved with the issuance of a building permit or special zoning approval, and the conditions of granting.

 

 

Analysis

 

The board spoke against having the village establish a downtown master sign plan stating that any property owner may already apply for a master sign agreement and that property owners are best situated to propose what signs they believe are appropriate for their building and the businesses there.  Property owners themselves have the ability to greatly reduce the processing time for their tenants to secure a sign permit through the creation of a master sign agreement.  This does not require amendment to the zoning code and is available to any building owner now.

 

The board spoke in favor of allowing temporary signs in the downtown to announce the grand opening of new businesses.  The board did not express a desire to allow temporary signage for other events, anniversary sales, regular sales, special store events or similar signs.

 

Temporary signs may be administered through the issuance of a building permit or a special zoning permit. A $25.00 submittal fee would be required for a special zoning approval.  A $100 submittal fee would be required for a building permit.  The issuance of a building permit is the best way to track signs using the villages normal permitting system and provides for inspection of signs however, building permits are more costly than zoning approvals.

 

The following amendment creates two classes of temporary sign.  Window signage consisting of paper, vinyl or similar materials affixed to a window or door would be administered through a special zoning permit.  Banner signs would be administered through a building permit.

 

At the direction of the board, staff has developed the following amendment based on Option #4:

 

Sec. 504.3. Authority granted to Planning Director to administratively approve applications for temporary signs. Sec. 504.3 is a new section and is an addition to the code, no existing language is modified or deleted, proposed language is underlined.

 

Sec. 504.3. Authority granted to Planning Director to administratively approve applications for specific types of signs.

 

(a) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Miami Shores Village Code of Ordinances, the Planning Director shall be authorized to approve Building Permits or Special Sign Permits for signs that comply with the provisions of this subsection subject to the additional approval by the Building Official of any Building Permits required for said sign.

 

(b) The following temporary signs may be administratively approved by the Planning Director. 

 

(1) Temporary window or door signs:

 

a. Applicants requesting administrative approval for temporary window or door signs shall submit a special sign permit application for said sign to the Planning Department. A nonrefundable submittal fee shall accompany all special sign permit applications.

 

b. Temporary window or door signs may be approved for grand openings of new businesses only. Sales or special sales such as anniversary sales do not qualify under this provision.  Only one (1) such permit will be issued to a new business and it is non-renewable.

 

c. Applicants requesting administrative approval for a temporary window or door sign shall submit a Special Sign Permit application for said sign to the Planning Department. A nonrefundable submittal fee shall accompany all Special Sign Permit applications.

 

d. Temporary window or door signs may be constructed of cardboard, vinyl, paper or similar sheet material.

 

e. Temporary window or door signs may be affixed to the inside surface of a main floor window or door or located on a stand within three (3) feet inside the window or door.

 

f. Two (2) Temporary window or door signs totaling up to twelve (12) square feet in the aggregate area may be approved per storefront.

 

g. One (1) additional sign of up to four (4) sq ft in area may be allowed to display the company logo of the new business.

 

h. The design and color of the sign, lettering and sign elements shall be harmonious with the building that it is located on and the neighborhood.

 

i. Temporary signs may be permitted in addition to the sign allowance for a building or storefront.

 

(2) Temporary banner signs:

 

a. Applicants requesting administrative approval for temporary banner signs shall submit a special sign permit application for said sign to the Planning Department. A nonrefundable submittal fee shall accompany all building permit applications.

 

b. Temporary banner signs may be approved for grand openings of new businesses only. Sales, special sales such as anniversary sales or special events do not qualify under this provision.  Only one (1) such permit will be issued to a new business and it is non-renewable.

 

c. Applicants requesting administrative approval for a temporary banner sign shall submit a Building Permit application for said sign to the Building Department. A nonrefundable submittal fee shall accompany all building permit applications.

 

d. Temporary banner signs shall be constructed of flexible vinyl or scrim material designed to be installed with attachments at each corner and fastened to a building façade.

 

e. Temporary banner signs must be securely attached to the building façade of the business to which the sign is appurtenant.

 

f. Temporary banner signs must be installed in a taught manner to restrict movement or damage by the natural environment and shall be maintained in this manner at all times.  Any banner sign not being maintained in this manner shall be secured or removed.

 

g. Not more than one (1) temporary banner sign shall be permitted per storefront.  The sign shall not exceed one and one-half (1.5) square feet per linear foot of storefront fronting the principal street or a total area of seventy-five (75) square feet, whichever is less.

 

h. The top of a temporary banner sign shall not be installed higher than the roof line of the building to which is attached or 20 feet above the building level, whichever is less.

 

i. The design and color of the sign, lettering and sign elements shall be harmonious with the building that it is located on and the neighborhood.

 

j. Temporary banner signs may be permitted in addition to the sign allowance for a building or storefront.

 

(c) The following signs may be administratively approved by the Planning Director:

 

(1) Signs complying with a master sign agreement approved by the Planning Board.

 

a. Applicants requesting administrative approval for signs complying with a master sign agreement, shall submit a Building Permit application for said sign to the Building Department. A nonrefundable submittal fee shall accompany all building permit applications.

 

(d) The Planning Director shall reject any Building Permit or Special Sign Permit application containing any omissions, false statements, or that is not accompanied by the applicable information and application fee. The Planning Director shall reject any application that the Planning Director determines fails to comply with the requirements of Sec. 504 and this subsection, or which fails to seek a variance required for the sign to be permitted as proposed. Any rejected or denied application later resubmitted shall be deemed to have been submitted on the date of resubmission, instead of original submission date.

 

(e) Administrative approval and denial.

 

(1) The Planning Director may approve, conditionally approve, disapprove, or refer a sign that is the subject of a Building Permit or Special Sign Permit to the Planning Board for review and final determination.

 

a. For the purpose of administering this subsection, the Planning Director may approve Building Permits or Special Sign Permits for signs specified in Sec. 504.3 (b) and (c) that are determined to comply with all the requirements of this subsection, and that do not require any variances from the terms and performance standards of this subsection. For the purpose of administering this subsection, applications that can be administratively denied are those that, in the determination of the Planning Director, fail to comply with the requirements of this subsection or that would require a variance from the terms or performance standards of this division or any other section of the zoning code and where the applicant has failed to apply for such variance.

 

b. The Planning Director may refer signs specified in Sec. 504.3 (b) and (c) to the planning board for a decision under the following circumstances:

 

 1. The Planning Director is unable to reach a determination as to whether the application complies with the terms of this subsection.

 

 2. The Planning Director determines that the application does not comply with all requirements of this subsection.

 

 3. The application seeks variances to the terms or performance standards of this subsection which will require the approval of the planning board.

 

(f) Duration and revocation of Building Permits and Special Sign Permits for signs that are regulated by this subsection.

 

(1) The Planning Director’s administrative approval of a Building Permit or Special Sign Permit for a temporary sign will become void if the sign for which it was granted is not installed within fourteen (14) days of approval of the Building Permit or Special Sign Permit for the sign, whichever is later.

 

(2) The Building Permit or Special sign permit for a temporary  sign shall be valid for a period of up to thirty (30) days and is not renewable.  A temporary sign shall be removed no later than the first business day following expiration of the special sign permit.

 

(3) The work to construct a sign that is the subject of a Building Permit for a sign that is the subject of a master sign agreement shall begin and shall be completed in compliance with the time limitations of the master sign agreement and the Florida Building Code.

 

(4) The Planning Director or Building Official may revoke the Building Permit or Special Sign Permit for a sign under any of the following circumstances:

 

a. The Planning Director determines that the application was materially false or misleading, or

 

b. the sign as installed does not conform to the Building Permit or Special Sign Permit application, or

 

c. the sign installed violates the Miami Shores Village Code of Ordinances, the Florida Building Code or other applicable law, regulation, or ordinance.

 

Such sign shall be removed no later than the first business day following revocation of the Building Permit or Special Sign Permit.

 

 

Recommendation

 

Should the Planning Board determine that it is in the best interests of the community to amend the Miami Shores Village, Code of Ordinances, Appendix A ZONING, the Planning Board may make a motion recommending to the Village Council APPROVAL of the amendment to ARTICLE V. SUPPLEMENTARY REGULATIONS, DIVISION 2. USE REGULATIONS; adding Sec. 504.3. Authority granted to Planning Director to administratively approve applications for specific types of signs, Providing for Conflicts, Providing for Severability; and, Providing for an Effective Date.  The Board may vote to recommend APPROVAL of the temporary sign amendment as drafted by staff, or may direct staff to modify said amendment or to prepare additional options for consideration.