AIA On New Sign Ordinance: Slow Down, Get Input From Design Professionals

AIA/LA President John Kaliski

The president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/LA) today called for a panel of design experts to evaluate the extensive revisions proposed for the city sign ordinance scheduled to be voted on the City Planning Commission (CPC) Feb. 19. John Kaliski said that AIA/LA supports revising the sign ordinance, but that “Citizens, designers, property owners and managers need to be able to visualize the signs that will be allowed and the standards that will regulate them.”

The first public hearing on the sign code revisions was held Jan. 22 by the CPC, which scheduled a special meeting for Feb. 19, with the understanding that a vote would be taken and the revised code sent on to the City Council for debate and final action.  The council in December enacted a 90-day moratorium on permitting any new billboards and other advertising signs, and that moratorium will expire on March 26, although the council could grant a maximum of two 45-day extensions.

When the city planning department first discussed revisions to the sign ordinance, planners said the process would take 6-8 months, including focus group meetings to gather public input from interested parties.  But members of the city council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) committee insisted that proposed revisions be ready for a CPC hearing in January, which was widely viewed as stemming from a politically-influenced desire to have a final ordinance in place before the March 3 municipal elections.

AIA/LA has scheduled a panel discussion on the sign code revisions on Feb. 10.  Read details here.

To read some of John Kaliski’s views on signage and architecture, go here.

Dennis Hathaway

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