I am continuing on my quest to hold the City accountable in treating business and property owners the same. There has been enough favoritism in this City and changes have to be made. I would also like to remind the readers that I don’t care how businesses promote their business; my whole reason for starting this is to remind everyone before the next election that this is what our council does. They make up silly little ordinances and codes that they don’t follow. If you’re going to have a rule just so it can be over ridden with a conditional use permit then why have the rule. Does the plan board and city council just sit around and decide it is okay if they make a little extra money by allowing plans but they say oh well we will make an exception and we will make more money? I really have no problem with how people want to advertiser my complaints are with the city on this. The city should have to follow the rules and well.
For this post I will cover some awnings but mostly signs and the information I found on the City’s website in regard to them both. I found the code section most interesting because of its lack of statements being true since the enforcement is not there.
Let me just mention again that this site is so difficult that I wonder if it is done on purpose. If I wanted to open a business and I went to the city’s website to find my own answers I would choose another city to open a business in. After I finish with signage I will move on to the Over Lay district, that is another subject I find laughable.
Primary Colors are either additive or subtractive: additives are Red, Green and Blue, subtractive are Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Whoever came up with the definition of primary colors didn’t take art in school. Please read the information below and feel free to laugh as much as I did. I have also taken the liberty to take some more photos to see how many things are not in compliance with this ordinance and yet again nothing is done about it.
11. Exterior colors. Selected exterior colors for structures and appurtenances including fixtures and signs shall be compatible and harmonious with those of existing buildings in the immediate area which conform to the general design theme noted above. Specifically, throughout the district:
A. Primary (red, blue, green, and yellow) colors, black, and fluorescent, “day glow,” and/or “neon” colors shall not be permitted. Earth tone colors are encouraged. Where such colors constitute a component of a standardized corporate theme or identity, muted versions of such colors shall be used.
This grocery store has a red awning and I have no idea what the name of this place is. I can’t read the sign. Aside from that, isn’t there an ordinance about the amount of space one can use in the window. When I get my PHD I am sure by then I will be able to navigate my way through the city’s code book.
This building a good example of a facade restoration, looks very nice, but again why do we have in our books that we can’t use certain colors and you can have only so many signs in a window, especially hand written ones, if we are not going to enforce them.
B. High gloss paints, lacquers, varnishes or other “shiny” non-glazing surfaces shall not be used.
I think this sign has everything that Letter B said it can’t have, perhaps I need new spectacles though. I see high glossy paint, lacquer, varnish, or some other shiny non-glazing surface.
C. Color combination schemes shall be limited to no more than three different colors for all the structures and appurtenances on a property (varying shades, tints or intensities of a color shall count as a different color for this purpose.)
D. Color schemes shall be used consistently throughout the property, including on both the upper and lower portions of buildings, and on all facades of a building or structure.
12. Exterior signage. All signage which is visible from any point outside of the building or structure shall be compatible and harmonious with the general design theme noted above. General signage regulations are provided in article 10. In addition:
A. Sign location. Wall signs, canopy signs and projecting signs shall not be located on any portion of upper stories. The location of signs shall fit the building.
B. Sign colors. Primary (red, blue, green, and yellow) colors and fluorescent, “day glow,” “neon” and other “loud” colors shall not be permitted. Where such colors constitute a component of a standardized corporate theme or identity, muted versions of such colors shall be used. Color combination schemes shall be limited to no more than three different colors for all the structures and appurtenances on a property. (Varying shades, tints or intensities of a color shall count as a different color for this purpose.) Color schemes and lettering styles shall be used consistently on all signage used throughout the property.
C. Sign materials. Permitted sign materials include wood, brass, metal leaf, metal plates, canvass or related fabric, or etched glass, stone or concrete. Plastic signs are not permitted. High gloss paints, lacquers, varnishes or other “shiny” non-glazing surfaces, including smooth plastics and related materials, shall not be used.
I know that I have openly admitted that I am having trouble with the code section but even I can figure out that this sign is on the second floor and it’s yellow with red lettering. Above this picture Letter A say that a wall sign can’t be placed on the upper level. Plus the location of the sign will fit the building. Is the third floor invisible so then the second floor doesn’t count as the upper level? There is a movie poster in every window on the second floor as well.
Can someone please tell me what this is supposed to be. They have been working on this sign for at least two years. I thought we had a time limit too. Is this supposed to be Uncle Sam’s hat? Is this supposed to make me feel more comfortable about paying more taxes than I should in Belvidere. Are we recruiting for the Military? I am just not sure but either way I see the color blue.
D. Sign illumination. Illumination of exterior signage shall be limited to shielded spotlight. The lighting element of such fixtures shall not be visible from public rights-of-way or adjoining properties. Internally illuminated and/or flashing signs (including illuminated awnings with or without messages) are not permitted, including neon and related illumination systems.
E. Removal of signs. Illegal signs, nonconforming signs, poorly maintained signs, and obsolete signs pertaining to a closed business, shall be removed including all supports and hardware. The property owner shall be responsible for the removal of such signs.
13. On-site landscaping and screening. On-site landscaping is not required within portions of the downtown design overlay zoning district located along the core downtown streets, except to provide vegetated ground cover for pervious (non-paved/roofed) surfaces, and to provide screening and shading of on-site paved areas.
A. Groundcover. All areas which are not covered by impervious paving or structures shall be covered with vegetative groundcover. Appropriate groundcover includes grasses, forbs, and shrubs.
B. On-site paved areas. On-site landscaping shall also be provided for on-site paved areas used for outdoor seating, vehicular parking, or loading, except for pedestrian and vehicle walks and drives which connect such areas to public rights-of-way (such as driveways and walks to building entrances).
Required screening. On-site paved areas, including parking lots, loading areas, circulation drives, and patios shall be partially screened from the view of public rights-of-way and adjoining properties by, at minimum, a continuous vegetated hedge with a minimum width of five feet, and a height of between 40 and 60 inches. This hedge may be supplemented by trees and/or compatible iron, masonry, and/or wood fencing.
Required shading. In addition, one canopy tree (with a minimum installed breast height caliper of 2 1/2 inches) shall be provided within, or within five feet of the edge of, on-site paved areas for every 2,000 square feet (or fraction thereof) of paved area.
C. Exterior storage and utility areas. Trash storage areas, air conditioning units, and related storage and utility areas and components shall be fully screened from the view of adjoining properties, public rights-of-way, and customer areas.
D. Freestanding signs. The base of freestanding signs shall be fully concealed by plants to a minimum height of twenty-four inches.
E. Additional landscaping standards are found in article 6
14. Exterior lighting. Throughout the district, on-site exterior lighting shall be compatible and harmonious with the general design theme noted above and city street lighting in the area.
A. Pedestrian lighting. The design, color, height, location and light quality of on-site pedestrian lighting shall be consistent with the pedestrian lighting fixtures.
B. Vehicular circulation lighting. The design, color, height, location and light quality of on-site vehicular circulation lighting shall be consistent with the lighting fixtures recommended by the planning and zoning commission.
C. Additional lighting standards are found in § 150.707.
15. Rehabilitation and restoration. New projects, building additions, and new appurtenances and features shall comply with the provisions of §§ 150.106(C)(2)B.1–14, above. The following standards shall apply where existing construction is proposed for rehabilitation and/or restoration:
A. Buildings shall be restored relying on physical evidence (such as photographs, original drawings, and existing architectural details) as much as possible, in keeping with the general design theme noted above.
B. Exterior materials and surface features. Materials and features identical to the original shall be used. Where such knowledge is lacking, materials and features in common use at the time of building erection, shall be used. Significant architectural features, including cornices, moldings and coursings shall be preserved or replaced with identical features and materials where possible.
C. Windows and doors. The size, proportion and rhythm of original windows and doors shall not be altered. Original window and door openings shall not be blocked, except with a dark opaque panel placed behind the window or door to preserve the appearance of the opening. Where now blocked in another manner, blocked window and doors shall be restored using said method. Window and door features, including lintels, sills, architraves, shutters, pediments, hoods and hardware, shall be preserved where possible, or replaced with identical features and materials. Dark frames (i.e. anodized bronze) shall be used to replace storefront and upper story windows. Clear aluminum finishes and mill finish aluminum storm windows are prohibited. Wood shutters and awnings shall be used if there is evidence that they were a component of the original building design. Vinyl and plastic shutters and awnings shall be prohibited.
D. Shop fronts. Shop fronts should fit inside the original shop front in terms of all three dimensions (vertical, horizontal and front to back articulation);
E. Display windows. Display windows should be restored to their original appearance.
F. Entrances and porches. Original porches and steps shall be retained, except as required to meet accessibility standards. Porches, steps and related enclosures that do not comply with the architectural design theme, shall be removed.
G. Roofs. The original roof shape and character of visible materials shall be retained. Original architectural features which give the roof its essential character, including dormer windows, cupolas, cornices, brackets, chimneys and weathervanes, shall be preserved if in keeping with the architectural design theme.
H. Painting and color. See §§ 150.106(C)(2)B.11., above.
I. Signage. All signage, existing upon the adoption date of this ordinance, which does not comply with the standards of §§ 150.106(C)(2)B.12., above, may be continued so long as well maintained. However, the maintenance of such legal nonconforming signs shall be limited to repair of the sign structural or lighting elements, and to the repainting or replacement of the sign face with identical new material, message, and original appearance. Should a change in material, message, or original appearance be desired, the legal nonconforming sign shall be removed.
J. Cleaning. Structural components and exterior materials shall be cleaned when necessary, and with only the gentlest possible methods. Low pressure water and soft natural bristle brushes are acceptable. Sandblasting is never acceptable. Other methods shall be pre-approved by the planning and zoning commission.
C. Residential construction. Proposed residential construction, located on properties having frontage on the core downtown streets, including new structures, building additions, building alterations, and restoration or rehabilitation shall be reviewed per §§ 150.908(D) by the planning and zoning commission. The building setback, height, mass, roof form, exterior materials, exterior surface appurtenances, exterior colors, landscaping and lighting shall be compatible and harmonious with the general design theme noted above.
D. Designated historic structures (Reserved).
(Ord. No. 801G, § 3, 3-6-06)
Maybe the Mayor can have Ms. Ellingson drive through the downtown and take pictures instead of the older neighborhoods. I mean I have seen my neighbors letter where he was told to clean up his back yard and get rid of the scrap car. That way, I believe, Alderman Mike Chamberlain will have another bullet point for his resume and he can say he started that program as well.
Your Faithful Servant,
Filed under: The City of Bevidere | Leave a comment »