Soldotna council looking into business sign regs

Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The city of Soldotna is readying itself to tackle the historically controversial issue of regulating advertising display signs.

Tonight the city council is being asked to approve an appendix to the city code, which establishes philosophical goals to guide the Planning and Zoning Commission as it writes a sign code.

City Manager Tom Boedeker said rather than argue the direction the city wants to go while the sign code is being written, “It makes sense to set down some goals first.

“The appendix is not enacting anything,” he said. It presents goals in general.

If approved by the council, the appendix allows businesses to have “equal and fair opportunity” to advertise their businesses, while protecting property values in the city and promoting health, safety and welfare.

At some time in the future, a new sign code would specifically regulate the size and height of signs, the positioning of signs in relation to property lines and the placement of free-standing signs near businesses.

Other issues the code would consider are what happens with pre-existing signs that do not conform to the new code and in what state of repair signs must be maintained, Boedeker said.

“We’re asking, ‘What do people want to see in their city?’” he said.

The council also is slated to consider awarding a $181,469 contract for water and sewer improvements along States Avenue, which runs between Soldotna Creek Park and Hutchings Chevrolet.

Boedeker said the project brings water and sewer to the vicinity of the Soldotna “Y.” Currently businesses along the southeast side of the Sterling Highway connect to a water main across the road on the same side as the Chevron service station.

The new main would enhance fire protection, he said.

A list of other high priority public works projects will be submitted to the council for approval.

Topping the list is an $892,150 grant request for drilling additional drinking water wells in the city. Boedeker said, if a similar project already under way in the city is successful, additional wells will not be needed.

Second is a $1,732,500 grant request for extending the city sewer along Funny River Road as it parallels Soldotna Municipal Airport.

A $350,000 grant request for a sewer lift station is third.

Boedeker said the top three items were on the city’s priority list last year and have just risen to the top.

New to the list are water and sewer main line installations on Robin Street and Soldotna Avenue, improvements to the city library and water and sewer improvements along Centennial Park Road.

The council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

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