Soldotna residents will have their first opportunity Wednesday night to provide input on proposed changes to the city’s code on freestanding signs.
The first of two, and possibly three public hearings on an ordinance amending the municipal code is scheduled for the city council meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Among proposed changes to the freestanding sign code are a 20-foot height limit and a setback limitation of 20 feet from the back of the curb. The current city code permits signs as high as 35 feet.
Many signs in Soldotna, including signs in front of the Safeway food store, Johnson’s Tire and the Fred Meyer store, will not comply.
City Manager Tom Boedeker said freestanding signs in the commercial district “must be brought into compliance by June 30, 2017,” if the council approves the new ordinance.
Also included in the ordinance is a recommended amendment to the code that would require final approval of signs after they have been installed.
In a memorandum to the council, recently appointed special projects and research assistant to the city manager, Leila Kimbrell, said the city has experienced problems in the past “where a site plan submitted for sign location was far from where the sign actually ended up.”
To address the issue, the permit applicant would need to submit a signed, scaled location drawing showing the sign was installed as permitted, Kimbrell’s memo states.
After Wednesday’s public hearing, another is slated for Jan. 24, and, if approved, a third would be Feb. 14.
“We want to make sure everybody has their say,” said Boedeker.
The city council also will be asked to approve scheduling a work session for Jan. 24, to discuss the possible annexation of four areas along Soldotna’s city limits.
The areas being looked at include properties along Funny River Road from Spenard Builders Supply to the Soldotna airport; the Skyline Drive area at Kalifornsky Beach Road from behind Cook Inlet Academy to Slikok Creek; an area along the Sterling Highway from River and Sea Marine Supply up to Skyview High School; and a section between the city limits and Ridgeway Road from Pioneer Drive to Heath Street, just west of Mackey Lake Road.
Boedeker said the work session would be to introduce the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendations to the council and to outline the legal requirements involved with any annexation.
“This is not a public hearing at this time,” Boedeker said.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at email@example.com.
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