Queen Creek Planning and Zoning OKs new text regarding the use of neon open/close signs

The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission has approved text that would amend the town’s operational signage zoning ordinance to regulate the use of an electronic or neon open/closed sign in a window of businesses in non-residential zoning districts.

The commissioners voted 6-0 to approve the amendment to Article 6.16 of the zoning ordinance during their Feb. 11 regular meeting. Present were Chairman Steve Ingram, Vice Chair Gregory Arrington and commissioners Susan Denton, Alex Matheson, Ryan Nichols and Stephen Sossaman. Commissioner Kyle Robinson was not present.

The Queen Creek Town Council is expected to start its discussion of the amendment during its March 4 regular meeting, Town Clerk Jennifer Robinson said in an e-mailed response to questions.

If approved by the council, the new verbiage would also allow electronic/neon window signage to be considered during a project’s site plan/design review application process if the proposed signage complements the building architecture, according to information in the commission packet. The size of the area in which the sign is allowed must not exceed 2 square feet, according to the packet.

The current zoning ordinance does not permit the sign to have more than two different colors or blinking, flashing or intermittent lighting, according to the information packet.

During his presentation to the commission, Brett Burningham, the town’s planning administrator, said members of the town’s development services staff have noticed an increase in activity regarding commercial wall signage.

According to the information packet, staff members conducted an informal survey of commercial businesses in Queen Creek and found than more than 60 are using neon open signs in their windows. The proposed text amendment is intended to clearly outline their use, according to the packets.

The commissioners had few questions about the proposed text amendment. Commissioner Sossaman asked about the difference between the electronic/neon signage and architectural lighting.

Mr. Burningham explained the architectural lighting referred to decorative lighting such as the neon accent lights that were approved as part of the Harkins Theatre facade under construction in the Queen Creek Marketplace.

The town’s zoning ordinance includes architectural lighting in its operational signage section, according to Mr. Burningham.

“Should architectural lighting be under the sign code? I would never think to look for it there,” Commissioner Sossaman said.

The town is updating its zoning ordinance and will be moving the architectural lighting requirements to the proper section, Mr. Burningham said. The update should be completed in the next few months, he said.
The Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission meets on the second Wednesday of each month in the council chambers at 22350 S. Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek. Study Sessions, if scheduled, are held at 6 p.m. and regular meetings are held at 7 p.m., according to the town’s website: www.queencreek.org.

Meeting dates and agendas can be found on the website.

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ReNews Services Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at mrosequist@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Mrosequist_

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