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January 2017 Lunch Program: Planning for Sign Code Success

On January 26, 2017, nearly 50 planners attended the lunch program, “Planning for Sign Code Success.” The speaker panel featured industry veterans James Carpentier, AICP, Director of State and Local Government Affairs for the International Sign Association, Jeffrey L. Aran, Esq., Legal Counsel for the California Sign Association, and Roy Flahive, Executive Director for the California Sign Association.

The panel provided an overview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Reed vs. Town of Gilbert, as well as recent court decisions that have highlighted issues and challenges cities now face when regulating signs. Aran compared sign codes to speed limits. “Just as slower isn’t always safer, smaller signs aren’t always better,” citing issues that could arise if motorists aren’t able to read the sign. Carpentier concluded the presentation with an overview of electronic message centers. He said the most common concerns he hears from cities is that LED signs would cause their community to “look like Las Vegas” or “cause a traffic accident.” He provided “best practices” that would strike a balance between the use of LED signs and maintaining community aesthetics.

For copies of the presentation materials, visit:

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