The Draft of the proposed changes to the Sign Code is available for review (see Downloads below)
Sign Code Update
The Land Use Code Section 3.8.7 contains standards for signs regulated in the City of Fort Collins.
Moving into Phase 2:
The second phase will reconfirm the community’s goals for the entire sign code, engaging the public in conversations about size, color, lighting, location, technology, and materials. Additionally, the second phase will increase the legibility of the sign section, by reorganizing and clearing up code language.
Phase 1 focused on content neutral standards:
Within the last few years, many jurisdictions across the nation have updated their sign codes in response to the United States Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert. These updates have clarified their regulations are content neutral. Content neutral sign regulations do not vary standards such as size, location, and duration based on the message of the sign.
In a review of the City of Fort Collins current sign standards, it was found some were based on the message of the sign. City staff began looking closer at message based standards and began the process to offer content neutral solutions.
In preliminary discussions with citizens, business owners and sign contractors concerning a content neutral update to the sign standards, we received comments that other sections of the code could also be updated.
Why Regulate Signs?
Fort Collins has been regulating signs since the 1970’s. At the time, it was in response to rapid growth and a trend toward exaggerated signage and commercial marketing that was overshadowing the character and identity of the City. The existing sign regulations generally protect community aesthetics, preserve and enhance property values, and protect public safety. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes that “signs take up space and may obstruct views, distract motorists, displace alternative uses for land, and pose other problems that legitimately call for regulation.”
Like many jurisdictions across the nation, the City of Fort Collins is updating their sign code in response to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert. This ruling clarified that sign codes must be content neutral. This means that sign regulations cannot vary standards such as size, location, and duration based on the message of the sign (e.g. “political sign” or “for sale sign”). Some existing City codes are based on the type or message of the regulated sign. This sign code update is also an opportunity to reconfirm that the sign standards achieve the City’s aesthetic values and goals. This focuses on enhancements to the overall legibility and use, materials, implementation of the recently adopted Downtown Plan, and exploration of new technology.
Process And Schedule
The draft of the proposed changes to the Sign Code is available for review (see Downloads below).
See the meeting schedule below for upcoming events.
December 04 , 2018
6:00pm City Hall West, 300 LaPorte Ave
Second Reading, Sign Code Update, Phase 2 (This does not include Digital Billboard Regulations)
Council Regular Meeting
- Nov 20th, 2018 First Reading of Ordinance, City Council Regular Meeting
- Oct 17th, 2018 Transportation Board
- Sep 19th, 2018 Natural Resources Advisory Board
- Aug 14th, 2018 City Council Work Session
- June 21st, 2018 Planning and Zoning Board Hearing
- June 20th, 2018 Landmark Preservation Commission Regular Meeting
- June 20th, 2018 Economic Advisory Commission
- June 15th, 2018 Planning and Zoning Board Work Session
- May 24, 2018 Public Meeting, Draft of the proposed changes to the Sign Code
- Mar 27, 2018 City Council Work Session
- Mar 22, Coffee Talks at 281 N College Ave
- Mar 15, 2018 Downtown Business Association, Member Meeting
- Mar 14, 2018 Landmark Preservation Commission, Work Session
- Mar 9, 2018 Planning and Zoning Board, Work Session
- Mar 9, 2018 Chamber of Commerce Local Legislative Affairs Committee
- Mar 7, 2018 Coffee Talks at Mugs Coffee Lounge
- Mar 7, 2018 Coffee Talks at 281 N. College Ave.
- Feb 15th, 2018 Downtown Business Association, Member Meeting
- Feb 14th, 2018 Downtown Business Association, Board Meeting
- Feb 7th, 2018: Public Meeting Electronic Message Centers (EMCs), Projected Light Signs, Interactive Window Signs, Billboards
- Feb 1st, 2018: Public Meeting Historic Signs, Downtown Signs, Secondary Roof Signs
- Sep 15th, 2017: City Staff Workshop
- Sep 7th, 2017: City Staff Workshop
- Aug 25th, 2017: City Staff Workshop
- Aug 15th, 2017: City Council Second Reading of Interim Sign Code Update Ordinance
- Jul 27th, 2017: Public Open House at the Foothills Activity Center Community Room (241 E Foothills PKWY)
- Jul 20th, 2017: Planning and Zoning Board Hearing for recommendation of the Interim Sign Code Update
- Jul 5th, 2017: City Council First Reading of Interim Sign Code Update Ordinance
- Jun 30th, 2017: Presentation at the Chamber of Commerce
- May 25th, 2017 City Council Work Session
- Jan 13th, 2017: Public Round Table Meeting
- Dec 19th, 2016: Public Round Table Meeting
- First Reading Ordinance NO. 141, 2018
- Sept 19th Natural Resources Advisory Board Presentation Digital Billboard regulations
- Aug 14th Council Work Session item packet
- June Draft of Proposed Changes to the Sign Code
- May 24th Draft of Proposed Changes to the Sign Code
- May 24th Public Meeting Presentation
- May 24th Public Meeting Boards
- March City Council Work Session Presentation
- March Downtown Business Association Member Meeting Presentation
- March Planning and Zoning Board Work Session Presentation
- March Landmark Preservation Commission Work Session Presentation
- March Flyer on Sign Code Update
- February 2018 Public Meeting Boards
- 7.27.17 Open House Boards
- 7.27.17 Open House Fact Sheet
- 7.27.17 Open House Meeting Summary
- Public Outreach Meeting Notes 12.19.16
- Public Outreach Meeting Notes 01.13.17
- Work Session PowerPoint
- Work Session Summary
- Interim Side Code Changes (Ordinance No. 088, 2017)
Noah Beals | Senior City Planner-Zoning | 970-416-2313 | bmJlYWxzQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==