August 10, 2017
An Ordinance to amend the Atlanta Sign Ordinance to change the definition of Public Entertainment District; to allow, under certain time, place and manner criteria, projection and wrap signs within the SPI-I zoning district upon Council activation of a Public Entertainment District in connection with large downtown entertainment events; to repeal provisions related to large screen video displays and signs on portable telecommunication facilities; and for other purposes.
FINDINGS OF FACT:
The intent of the City Council in establishing the SPI-I Downtown Special Public Interest Zoning District was in part to implement provisions of the Comprehensive Development Plan incorporating certain recommendations contained in numerous studies of Downtown Atlanta, in particular, the Imagine Downtown Study and Plan. The purpose of the comprehensive plan and the Imagine Downtown Study was to foster an urban environment where residents, businesses, and visitors could live, work and play and benefit from a compatible mixture of land uses.
Overall, the SPI-I zoning district supports facilities and venues which attract large public and private events that tend to have a substantial positive economic impact on the City. This impact is mostly due to large crowds that increase the occupancy of hotels, the patronage of restaurants and the purchase of goods and services from City businesses.
Currently, the SPI-I zoning district limits the display of additional signage in entertainment districts. Since large public and private events attract vehicular and pedestrian traffic and have a substantial
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positive economic impact over the duration of the event, the display of additional signage could offer many advantages to the City.
The existing time, place and manner rcgulalions governing signage in SPI-I have been found necessary to minimize the distractions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic and assist in creating a pleasing aesthetic environment free from the visual clutter caused by excessive signage. However, additional signage can be balanced against the positive economic impact of large events in SPI-I as designated by the City Council by granting permission for extra signage during large events for a limited duration.
Limiting the display of such additional signage to entertainment districts in SPI-I created by the City Council in connection with specifically designated large events meeting the criteria and for the limited duration set forth herein allows the City to preserve the aesthetic environment of SPI-I and limit the possible negative impacts on vehicular and pedestrian traffic while giving the sponsors of such large events, and others whose applications meet the criteria, the opportunity for additional advertising through the display of additional signage.
Numerous other cities in the United States that compete with thc City of Atlanta for the limited number of events that have the capability to have a substantial positive economic impact during a short period of time have created similar processes for granting permission for the display of additional signage, such that the City will be at a disadvantage unless it offers the availability of similar signage opportunities; and
In accord with the intent of the SPI-I regulations and SPI-I sign regulations, Staff finds that the amendments to the District will implement the results of the studies and policy initiatives in a manner that advances the public health, safety, and welfare and will provide for certain sign revisions as to type, size, placement, and other characteristics that will preserve this District's aesthetic appeal and protect vehicular and pedestrian safety. In addition, certain additional signage opportunities during designated large events of short duration will tend to have a substantial positive economic impact in a manner that will allow the City to compete for such events.
To amend various sections of the Sign Ordinance to change the definition of Public Entertainment District, to allow, under certain conditions, projection and wrap signs in SPI-I in connection with large downtown entertainment, and to repeal provisions related to large screen video displays and signs on portable telecommunication facilities.
The PROPOSED revisions to 16-28A.004 "Public Entertainment District (PED)" include:
Section 1: 16-28A.004 defining the term "Public Entertainment District (PED) " which provides:
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An area of land delineated and designated by resolution of the city council consisting of a combination or buildings, structures and open space that is primarily designed and utilized for public entertainment purposes and that meets each of the following criteria:
Is designed to accommodate and can lawfully accommodate outside public gatherings or at least 4,000 pcrsons in an open, paved area of no less than 40,000 square reet;
- Is not principally designed or uscd for passive recreational purposes such as parks and nature preserves;
- Is located within the SPI-I (Central Core) Zoning District; and (4) Is supported in whole or in part by substantial local governmental investments or financial interests.
An area of land delineated and designated by city ordinance not to exceed 30 days created only in association with an entertainment event of national interest that meets the following criteria:
i. Occurs within SPI-I; ii. The primary spectacle occurs in a facility that seats at least 15,000; iii. Has a duration of no greater than seven consecutive days; and iv. Is likely to have an economic impact on the city during the period of the event of not less than $25,000,000.00.
Section 2: 16-28A.010(12)(b)(1) governing the types of building signs permitted in the SPI-I (Downtown) district which reads:
b. Building Signs:
1. Type: Wall signs, projecting signs, canopy signs, parapet wall signs, suspended siYIS, and marquee signs shall be permitted. Only one of the signs may be either suspended or projecting along each street frontage per business establishment, provided that comer business establishments may have two projecting signs limited to one projecting sign per street frontage. Wrap signs, as defined herein, sha.ll be permitted within the time, manner and place limitations contained in
Is hereby amended to read:
b. Building Signs:
I . Type: Wall signs, projecting signs, canopy signs, parapet wall signs, suspended signs, and marquee signs shall be permitted. Only one of the signs may be either suspended or projecting along each street frontage per business establishment, provided that comer business establishments may have two projecting signs limited to one projecting sign per sü•eet frontage. Wrap signs and projection siBIS
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shall be permitted within thc time, manner and place limitations contained in
Section 3: 16-28A.010(12)(i) governing Large Screen Video Display (LSVD) signs is hereby repealed. Hereafter, this section shall read:
i. Public Entertainment District signs: After temporary designation by the City Council of a Public Entertainment District, wrap and projection signs, as a type of building sign, shall be permitted only in Subareas I and 5 and provided they meet each of the following standards:
l. Display: A projection sign shall project video from one location onto a building facade at a different location through use of a color projector(s). All wrap signs shall be constructed and erected as wall signs on a building or structure, including a pedestrian bridge, Each sign face shall be made of perforated oneway window tint/film that is fastened directly onto the exterior of the building facade through an adhesive and without use of any suspended cables or other fastening equipment. Freestanding wrap signe are specifically prohibited;
- Number. No more than five wrap signs shall be permitted. No more than one projection sign shall be permitted;
- Size: No wrap sign shall be less than 7,000 nor exceed 25,000 square feet in sign face area. The projection sign shall be no less than 25,000 square feet nor exceed 100,000 square feet in sign face area;
- Location: The projection sign must be projected on a building greater than 100 feet tall, face and be visible from Centennial Olympic Park. Any building to which a wrap sign is affixed shall be on a parcel that has street frontage along Centennial Olympic Drive, Marietta Street or Peachtree Street. Any pedestrian bridge to which a wrap sign is affixed shall cross over Andrew Young International Boulevard;
- Height: No portion of a wrap or projection sign shall be placed above, supported on, or extend above the roof of a building; and
- Duration: The display of wrap or projection signs may commence no earlier than three days before the beginning of the entertainment event and shall be removed no more than two days after the completion of the entertainment event.
- Compatibility with Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP): timing of development: Staff finds that no CDP land use change will be necessary for the proposed amendment.
- Availability of and effect on public facilities and services: referrals to other agencies: The proposed amendment would not have a negative effect on public facilities or services.
- Availability of other appropriate land zoned for proposed use: effect on balance of land uses with regard to the public need (optional consideration as per 16-27.004(3)): No other land is subject to the specific regulations of the SPI- I Zoning District and the proposed Sign Ordinance amendments should not n e gati v ely impact other land uses with regard to the public need.
- Effect on character of the neighborhood: The regulations governing signage in SPI-I have been found necessary to minimize the distractions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic and assist in creating a pleasing aesthetic environment free from the visual clutter caused by excessive signage.
- Suitability of proposed land use: The intent of the City Council in establishing the SPI-I Downtown Special Public Interest Zoning District was to implement provisions of the Comprehensive Development Plan and incorporate certain recommendations contained in the Imagine Downtown Plan. One of the goals of the Plan was to foster an urban environment where residents, businesses, and visitors could live, work and play in an area with a compatible mixture of land uses and to provide opportunities for signage that provide reasonable direction and opportunities for identification of products, goods, and services.
- Staff finds that the amendment to the Sign Ordinance will not have any negative effects on adjacent properties. It is the intent of the comprehensive plan and the Imagine Plan to ensure the protection of the aesthetic environment and public safety of the area. The exu•a signage during large events will be controlled by traffic plans and street closings; and therefore, will not negatively impact adjacent property owners. However, the additional signage should increase the overall event experience.
- Staff does not anticipate that the amendment to the Sign Ordinance will have any negative economic impacts. In fact, the of large public and private events should have a substantial positive economic impact on the City because large crowds increase the occupancy of hotels, the pau•onage of restaurants and the purchase of goods and services from businesses located in the City.
- Compatibility with policies related to tree preservation: Staff finds that the proposed amendment should not have any negative impact on policies related to tree preservation.