Sign ordinance may get green light tonight

Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A highly unusual fourth public hearing will be conducted tonight to hear from business owners on a proposed changes in the Soldotna municipal code governing free-standing signs in the commercial district.

Among changes proposed in the ordinance being considered by the Soldotna City Council, freestanding signs would have 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.

A half dozen business owners testified against the ordinance earlier this month saying it mandates an unnecessary expense for businesses.

Norm Blakeley, co-owner of Blakeley’s Auction Company, asked that the measure be tabled until he could take some measurements of existing signs and evaluate the impact of proposed changes.

The ordinance requires existing non-conforming signs to be brought into compliance within 10 years. An appeal procedure could grant a seven-year extension beyond that.

The council is expected to vote on the ordinance tonight.

In other business, the council is scheduled to consider awarding a $276,475 contract to Peninsula Construction for dismantling and rebuilding 293 feet of the Kenai Classic fishwalk at the visitor center. The new walkway would include access for people with disabilities.

A public hearing is slated for an ordinance increasing the appropriation for disaster response to flood water and ice damage from $100,000 to $323,000. Introduced at the March 14 meeting, the appropriation would pay to repair damage to city stairways to the Kenai River and fishwalks along its banks, damaged by winter ice floes.

According to City Manager Tom Boedeker’s administrative assistant Sue Wilcox, the work is urgent to protect the riverbanks and salmon habitat from fishermen this coming season.

A $20,665 contract for citywide street painting is up for approval by the council. Some repainting of street markings is necessary every year as a result of normal wear and tear. The low bidder on the project was Precision Pavement Markings Inc.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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