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Atascadero to consider business signage improvement program 

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, the Atascadero City Council will consider a commercial district appearance improvement program proposal from city staff. The “2015 Signage Clean-Up Strategy” is designed to help make the business corridor along El Camino Real more eye-catching and attractive to visitors and shoppers.

In 2014, the city council and the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce undertook a “Good for Business” outreach program directed at the City’s commercial district appearance. The outreach program included a city council bus tour, a Downtown Business Walk survey, a business appearance workshop, and numerous public meetings.

Atascadero business recommendations

The Atascadero Business Walk helped inspire a business signage improvement program.

A key part of the program was to work with the chamber to build a positive relationship with the business community. The Downtown Business Walk was an impressive community effort that involved over 100 volunteers who visited 475 businesses and completed 350 surveys about the business climate and signage issues.

This community outreach and the follow-up study indicated that temporary and unpermitted signage is a concern. While a single banner on an individual business may help to improve public attention in the short term, banners and sidewalk signs on every business creates clutter and visual chaos that degrades the appearance and viability of the entire commercial district.

In addition, A-frame signs placed in the public right-of-way create a liability for both the City and business owners. However, numerous businesses are using this type of temporary signage in an attempt to promote their business and draw more shoppers through their doors.

The aim of the 2015 Signage Clean-Up Strategy is to work with local businesses to voluntarily convert their temporary banners, a-frames and flags into new, high quality, permanent signage that will provide better promotion while visually enhancing the entire look of the business corridor.

The program focuses on making El Camino Real a more attractive commercial district which is appealing to residents as well as visitors and shoppers which would help to improve local business and thereby grow the local economy. The proposal includes elements which would expedite the turn-around time for sign permits at a significantly reduced cost for sign permitting fees. In addition, city staff will work with local sign companies to simplify the process so businesses can get their signs up quickly.

Further, city staff will work closely with the business owners to help ensure that they are aware of the City’s code requirements for signs and banners, to remove their non-compliant signage and to ensure that an affordable, effective, more attractive and permanent advertising solution is found.

Source: City of Atascadero press release

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.