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Atascadero City Council approves new signage program 

The Atascadero City Council recently approved a new Signage Program which will significantly reduce permit fees for business signs and will make the entire signage permitting process much faster and easier.

The City of Atascadero and the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce stated that they, “share a common goal with local business owners in fostering a positive business climate and assisting local businesses to thrive, succeed and attract new customers.” Tied to these efforts, the city and the chamber are partnering to launch this new “Improve Atascadero Signage” campaign, which is focused on enhancing the visual appearance of signage throughout the community and to help make the business corridor along El Camino Real more eye-catching and attractive to visitors and shoppers.

Inflatable signs, such as this one, are not allowed in Atascadero. The new ordinance will enforce signage laws, while also making allowed signage more affordable for businesses

Inflatable signs, such as this one, are not allowed in Atascadero. The new program will enforce signage laws, while also making allowed signage more affordable for businesses

Atascadero City Council members, business owners, visitors and residents have long noticed and commented that many nonconforming business signs along the commercial corridors and in the downtown area, including a-frames, banners and other types of temporary signs, detract from the overall beauty of the commercial corridor and the community. When this type of signage is used, it has been found that the intent to attract new customers is lost and the overall appearance of the entire area declines, especially in the eyes of new residents and tourists visiting for the first time.

Mayor Tom O’Malley said, “Our city council’s top objective is economic development; we need to increase revenue to meet our community’s many needs. We are excited to offer this initiative of significantly reduced signage fees to our local businesses. We believe this program will enhance the appearance of our downtown and the El Camino business corridor, creating a finer experience for visitors and local shoppers in our community. We are very thankful for the good work of our chamber of commerce in helping to get the word out to our business community about this exciting new program”.

With this new program in place, it is now much easier to get permanent signage approved and permit fees related to signs have been significantly reduced. In fact, for the next 18 months, building permits for signs have been reduced to just $50 and an Administrative Use Permit for creative sign ideas is only $100. The City is also partnering with local sign companies to enable them to submit building permit applications electronically, cutting the signage period review to less than 48 hours.

The Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Signage Symposium and Networking event on Thursday, April 30, starting at 8:45 a.m. at Atascadero’s Historic City Hall. All local business owners are invited to attend to learn about the City’s Signage Ordinance, hear from local sign companies on how they can help, and marketing strategies that work with their business needs.

Information is available at or by calling (805) 461-5035. Those interested in finding out more can also stop by the permit center at City Hall, located at 6500 Palma Avenue in Atascadero.

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