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Long Beach Planning Commission To Study On-Site Sign, Alcohol Sales Ordinances

By Kendra Ablaza, Staff Writer

January 17, 2013 - The planning commission is leading a study session at 5 p.m. tonight at city hall to review on-site sign regulations and framework for an Alcohol Nuisance Abatement Ordinance (ANAO).

If the ANAO is approved, qualifying beverage establishments would lose their “grandfathered” status, or legal right to follow the laws established at the time the business opened. Instead, they would switch to “deemed approved” status and can operate without a conditional use permit under ANAO.

However, the city could then add or modify performance standards or revoke the establishment’s license to sell alcohol if it does not agree with ANAO’s standards. This cannot be done if the establishment maintains “grandfathered” status. Staff recommends that the ordinance first be implemented north of Del Amo Boulevard in the 8th and 9th districts.

The commission is also discussing revisions of on-site sign regulations in the current zoning ordinance. The revisions aim to adopt “form-based” design standards and update standards for new graphics for signs throughout the city.

Major items in the existing code that aim to be corrected include: Changing and adjusting signs exempt from sign permits to eliminate problems; Prohibiting problem signs, such as unfaced foam letters, air blown signs, and “sail”- or “feather”-type banner/flag signs; Eliminating problems with regulations on “electronic message center” signs; Allowing more creativity for projecting (or blade) signs; and Formatting code into major division to make it easier to use.