Hastings businesses to see changes with new sign code

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB)- The Hastings City Council has approved revisions to the sign code. It is now more concise and direct in the regulations for signs.

The code first had to make some changes to be in line with the supreme court ruling that sign regulations cannot be based on content.
There are also key parts that will allow for historic and iconic signs to be saved without violating zoning laws.Now if a building owner wanted to touch up or protect an old sign on a brick wall or on their property they can do so.

“It's been an ongoing battle in cities across the country that signs that are maybe historic in nature or are maybe iconic for an area or neighborhood don't follow the current zoning code,” Development Service Director Don Threewitt said. “So if they get damaged they can't be repaired.”

It also opens up for more creative signs to be pitched to city council like the Wave Pizza signs.

“This is to encourage signs that are of a unique design that have a high degree of imagination and inventiveness that add value to the building, the neighborhood, the context of the area,” Threewitt said.

Some of the new aspects of the new code include no flashing signs and time limits of how fast a sign can change it's picture if it is animated.

“This is all based on research into distracted driving and other issues with other concerns with digital signage with conversations that have been going on in policy debates throughout the country,” Threewitt said. “We've kind of stuck with more of what the International Sign Association Recommends.”

Places of entertainment are exempt from these digital restrictions, but the Development Services say they have been in talks with the Hastings Museum