The Blanco Planning and Zoning Commission has been hard at work for months on a new sign ordinance for our town. Blanco already has an ordinance, but there had been so many requests for variances and questions raised that are unaddressed in our current code that the City Council asked P&Z to revisit the issue. After months of hard work and several workshops, working groups, and hearings, the ordinance is ready for a full public hearing on its way to the Council. Through the process, certain comments seem to reflect some confusion or misunderstanding of the proposed code. Hopefully this will clarify and explain some concerns.
Myth: The proposed code is over 40 pages long and will be too expensive to enforce.
Reality: The proposed code is approximately 40 pages, but that isn’t because of lots of new requirements. It is because of the design of the ordinance. Now, if someone wants to know what to do about a sign, he has to look in several places throughout our current UDC. To solve that and make it simple for everyone, all the information about signs has been pulled together in one chapter. Much of the length is due to the fact that definitions, information about variance requests, penalties, etc. have been put into this chapter for easy reference. As for expense to enforce, this code is so well constructed and clearly written that it should be even less expensive for our city staff to oversee. Individuals will clearly know what is expected of them and what they need to do. That means that city staff will spend less time explaining things beforehand or correcting violations later.
Myth: This new ordinance will make it hard for Blanco businesses to advertise.
Reality: Local businesses participated in the writing of this ordinance. Two long working sessions covered every issue and concern brought to P&Z. In fact, the proposed ordinance would allow for the placement of certain off-premises signs (currently prohibited) to direct visitors to businesses not visible from Hwy 281 or the square.
Myth: This ordinance is from Dripping Springs and it is going to require monument-style signs only.
Reality: The ordinance was based upon work done by Dripping Springs. While its ordinance does require monument signs, the proposed Blanco ordinance allows for pole signs. This was just one of the modifications made to make the ordinance Blanco-specific. Blanco isn’t Dripping Springs, but we are growing, and much of what Dripping has learned from its growth can save us from having those same growing pains.
If this is something that interests you, please check the city website or Blanco County News for the posting of the upcoming hearing. See a copy of the proposed ordinance at www.blancoguide.com or call any of the Planning and Zoning commissioners to express your views.