• Los Angeles Sign Ordinance Update

    LA Sign Ordinance Update

    Good News: On-Site Digital Now Included!

    CSA Government Affairs Committee Co-chaired by Mark Gastineau, Arrow Sign Co. and Todd Einhaus, Watchfire Signs
    Jeff Aran, CSA Government Affairs Director & Legal Counsel

    Just in time for the new year, the City of Los Angeles distributed late Friday, Dec. 8, an updated draft of the proposed sign code. After 8 long years, among many other changes a new section permitting on-site digital signage has been added. No public hearing has been scheduled for a vote, but the matter was presented at the Planning & Land Use Committee on Dec 12 in the form of a “report.” Samantha Martinez (CSA consultant), James Carpentier (ISA Director State & Local Government Affairs), and Roy Flahive (CSA Executive Director), attended the PLUM Hearing; Roy’s report related to the hearing follows below.

    LA Sign Ordinance Hearing

    The Los Angeles City Council PLUM committee once again heard the Sign Ordinance on 12/12/17. The Committee heard reports from City Planning, the Chief Legislative Analyst, the City Attorney and Building and Safety.

    Planning prepared a draft Ordinance with updates from the prior PLUM hearings. Included in this draft ordinance were Councilman Englander’s instructions for regulations that would allow on-site digital signs. These regulations were the result of our coalition’s advocacy and education of Council members, staff and the Mayor’s office over many years. The resulting language is a compromise that CSA members agreed to. There are a couple of changes that we would like to see made, the director’s authority and the hours of operation for signs. We’d also like to see some changes to the penalty process.

    The focus of the meeting was off-site signs. The Committee received reports on options for sign relocations, sign reductions and public benefits and a financial analysis. The Committee also heard a report from Building and Safety regarding funding for additional staff and concerns with penalties. The Committee heard the reports, took public testimony and gave some instructions on more reports back. The reports back will return in first quarter of 2018 and we expect PLUM will give some instructions and perhaps vote on these policies. Once PLUM votes it is expected that the ordinance will go back to CPC for a vote and then come back to PLUM and then Council.

    There was one comment made about on-site signs and that was by Councilman Bob Blumenfield who is the new member of PLUM. He expressed concern about permitting on-site signs that could then be used for off-site messaging. Frank Lara, the Building and Safety representative, said that this sometimes happens. During his comments, James Carpentier explained the covenant, but we will brief his office about this issue.

    “My comments at PLUM, were to thank the PLUM Committee Members for finally bringing this subject matter the forefront, thanking the Planning Department Staff for their recent hard work regarding the on-site digital sign portion of the proposed code; and finally to state – CSA is very anxious to bring this eight year negotiation/discussion to a fruitful conclusion.”  If you’d like to review the proposed language, view PDF Report here.

    Roy Flahive
    Executive Director


    About Roy Flahive

    Now CSA's Executive Director, Roy Flahive, has worked within the sign industry for more than 40 years. He is well-known and highly respected, having sat on numerous boards, including those of ISA, San Diego Area Lighting Advisory, the California State Contractors License Board, and UL's Industry Advisory Committee. He recently led CSA in engaging the California Energy Commission and the California utility companies in their ongoing work on Title 24 regulations. Most recently, Flahive represented Western States Sign Council (WSSC) while on the CSA board, and in that capacity, helped to coordinate joint WSSC/ CSA initiatives. Notably, Flahive has twice been elected President (Chairman of the Board) of CSA.

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