Written by Kelly Kaczala
A vote by city council to amend the municipal code that would allow for signs with electronic changeable copy will have to wait.
The city’s Economic Development and Planning Committee has been discussing the proposed changes since last month, but wants to fine tune the measure before sending it to council.
“It’s something the committee has talked about twice,” said Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian. The committee will meet next Monday at 7 p.m. before the 8 p.m. council meeting, to further discuss the changes, he added.
“There are some points in which we have reached some consensus,” Councilman Jerry Peach, chairman of the Economic Development and Planning Committee, said. “We committee members are well aware that not all members of council are there. There’s a couple of other things that are still under consideration.”
Seferian at a meeting in January said he’s received many requests from businesses seeking changes in sign regulation dealing with changeable copy.
The city allows 60 percent of a free-standing sign to be changeable copy.
The proposed amendment states, in part, that in order for Oregon businesses to take advantage of current technology, the city will allow electronic changeable copy on signs. “Such message centers can be restricted so as not to distract the traveling public…These modifications to the municipal code will allow the signs to be more uniform and aesthetically pleasing.”
Changeable copy signs are signs with informational content that can be changed or altered by manual means to display a message. The city prohibits signs with moving or flashing copy.
An electronic message center is a variable message sign that uses a computer or other electronic controlled means to change and control the displayed message and may use incandescent lamp LCD, LED or other illumination technologies.
The electronic message centers, according to the proposed amendment, would be prohibited from flashing, movement or scrolling. The change or transition period on the signs would be no shorter than 10 seconds. And the size would be limited to 60 percent of the allowable display surface.
Other proposed changes is for electronic message centers to incorporate automatic dimming or other technology that will limit the light intensity to .3 foot candles over the ambient light measured at the property line.
“A couple of things we expect to see some changes on are on the ambient light issue and the intensity of light,” said Peach. An electronic changeable copy standard could include signs that have monochromatic display, which displays only one color at a time, or full color display, which includes R.G.B. (red, green, blue pixels) technology to produce a wide range of colors at a time.
The committee is still discussing how to deal with non-conforming signs, and whether signs that are in residential areas should be allowed to have changeable electronic copy, and if allowed, whether they should be regulated to decrease its use at night.
“So there are some areas of agreement, and some areas that are still up for grabs,” said Peach.