Neptune Beach Considers Moratorium on Signage

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer

To stop new signs mounted on poles from springing up across Neptune Beach's commercial areas, the City Council will explore issuing a moratorium on those types of signs while revamping its sign ordinance.

"The moratorium is a stop-gap measure," said Councilman John Weldon. "Our long-term goal is the overhaul of the sign ordinance and make it match Atlantic Beach [sign ordinance] so Atlantic Boulevard is standardized."

Weldon requested the moratorium during Monday's council meeting after the developer for a proposed Whataburger franchise at the site of the former Burger King on Atlantic Boulevard asked to reface the existing sign, which is mounted on a pole. Last month, the city's Planning and Development Review Board approved a preliminary development order for the restaurant but stated as a condition for approval that the developer must present the council with two ground-based sign options for review.

The council deferred the order because the developer was not at the meeting.

For months, the council has been working to change its sign ordinance to mirror that of neighboring Atlantic Beach, which would provide consistency along Atlantic Boulevard, a major business corridor for both cities. The Atlantic Beach ordinance, which was approved in 2002, promotes ground-based monument signs instead of those mounted on a pole.

"I think what we are trying to look at is the future of Neptune Beach and what we want it to look like," said Vice Mayor Jimmy Gilbert.

The proposed moratorium would stop businesses in the city from installing new signs mounted on poles while the city rewrites its sign ordinance. …