Council, residents should revise sign code
The Earling administration has assured Edmonds' residents that it will revisit the Edmonds sign code in 2014. Downtown business organizations want a seat at the table. That combination of interests has already produced the current weak code. There shouldn't be a second chance.
Instead, the City Council, assisted by a group of residents who have no economic interest in Edmonds except the value of their homes, should revise the Code.
Edmonds is, primarily, a quality residential community, and protection of that quality should be the dominant theme of its sign code.
Among the many changes that should be made are:
1. All signs should have a permit;
2. All "temporary" signs like those that now litter Fifth and Main Streets--sandwich boards, banners, wall signs--should be prohibited.
The only exception would allow new business a one-time only, 60 consecutive day period to advertise its opening.
The existing code allows "temporary" signs intermittently for 60 days EVERY year. The Planning Department doesn't monitor the 60-day period nor will it address a known code violation until a resident files a complaint form;
3. Realty signs should be limited to the sale or rent of specific properties. Reality firms currently slap banner signs on walls with only the firm's name and phone number;
4. The Code should establish enforcement procedures and apply them. The worst sign blight in Edmonds is within two blocks of City Hall. The claim that it can't be controlled because of limited staff is absurd.
Edmonds is beginning to look seedy. The time to stop further deterioration is now.