One of the more well-attended Creve Coeur Planning and Zoning Commission meetings in recent memory saw the discussion of proposed re-writes to city policy on sign codes during a public hearing Monday night.
City staff has been in the middle of the process which began earlier this year and has involved discussions with property owners, the and others.
The Director of Community Development, Paul Langdon, described the ongoing effort as one meant to simplify existing standards, as well as conforming to a recent federal court ruling setting precedent on content-neutral signage.
Signs meeting current standards would not be nullified.
During his presentation Monday, Langdon went out of his way to say that "the city's not trying to make any enemies here," but he did cite several examples of legal existing signage which have created problems when it comes to issues of fairness and the creation of "visual clutter." In all, Langdon said there were as many as 100 minor changes alone in the policy, in addition to more substantial changes that would make the size of election signage consistent around the city, and tie the size of office and commercial signage to the size of the building.
Representing the Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce, Gene Rovak repeated the group's concern that the proposed changes would make it difficult for businesses to compete against businesses outside the city.
The issue of real estate signage was a major source of concern for others who spoke Monday.
Tom Stern, a Creve Coeur resident and also the President of Solon Gershman Commercial Real Estate, said Creve Coeur's sign rules were already "among the most stringent in the area," citing permitting requirements, and the need for concrete in some signage.
Celeste Rueter, Governmental Affairs Director for the , said her membership was concerned about the potential that some of the requirements on advertising leasing availabilities would result in having properties on the market longer, with an impact on lease rates in multi-floor buildings.
No deciding vote was taken Monday on the revisions. The decision will ultimately make its way to the Creve Coeur City Council.