Pelham allows off-premises LED, ‘Rotoboard’ signs

Published 7:46 pm Monday, October 21, 2013

Pelham will allow new types of signs in the city after the council agreed to modify the Pelham sign ordinance on Oct. 21. (File)

Pelham will allow new types of signs in the city after the council agreed to modify the city’s sign ordinance on Oct. 21. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham business owners now have a few new ways to advertise, as the City Council agreed to allow off-premises LED, “Rotobaord” and digital signs during its Oct. 21 meeting.

During the meeting, the council voted unanimously and without discussion to change the city’s sign ordinance to allow local businesses to install new types of off-premises advertising signs.

During an early October meeting, Pelham Building Official Bob Miller said the city’s laws currently do not allow such signs, and said multiple businesses have requested the law be changed.

Miller previously said if the ordinance is passed, several businesses have agreed to run advertisements on their signs for city events, and would be able to display emergency messages such as amber alerts if necessary.

The proposed changes to the sign ordinance lay out several restrictions on digital and variable signs. The ordinance requires messages to be displayed for at least eight seconds at a time, prohibits signs from impairing drivers’ vision and requires the signs to be permanent structures.

A pair of signs along Interstate 65 were non-compliant with the city’s previous sign ordinance, but will be legalized under the new ordinance, said Pelham Mayor Gary Waters.

The city’s previous sign ordinance, which banned off-premises LED, Rotoboard and digital signs, was passed in 2007, and originally was enacted to help “keep portable flashing signs off the streets,” Councilwoman Karyl Rice said previously.

Waters said many Pelham businesses are interested in off-premises LED signs, as the cost of the signs has dropped significantly in recent years.

Pelham leaders said they plan to discuss the sign ordinance changes with city business owners during an Oct. 22 city business council meeting at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena.