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April 20, 2024

City, HDA form committee to address sign ordinance concerns

Courtesy of the Hollister Downtown Association:
The City of Hollister and the Hollister Downtown Association, at the request of the City Council, have formed an Ad Hoc Committee to address some concerns regarding the Sign Ordinance in the Downtown Mixed Use District, specifically signs that are currently prohibited.
The Committee first met on November 1, 2018. At this meeting, the following items were discussed:

  • The role of the Ad Hoc Committee
  • Reviewed the process and projected timeline of changing the sign ordinance (included in drop box materials under folder 3. Meeting Notes –Purpose & Tentative Timeline)
  • Reviewed staff notes from the Business Open House (Oct. 4.2018) (included in drop box materials under folder 3. Meeting Notes – Notes from Oct.4 , 2018)
  • Discussion of creating an initial survey and end survey
  • Conducted a 30 minute focused session regarding A-Frame signs.

The Committee reviewed the current Hollister Municipal Code regarding A-Frame Sign: 17.20.050 Exempt Signs (23) One portable on-site sandwich board sign per business, located on the private property of the business being advertised. All sandwich board signs shall be made of durable, weather and rust resistant materials, sufficiently weighted to resist being blown over by the wind, and shall have a finished and professional appearance. Stapled or taped copy shall not be permitted. Sign copy shall be limited to the name or type of business or any special promotions relating to that business. The sign shall have a height of no less than three feet and no more than (3) and one-half feet and a maximum width of three feet. Signs placed on a private property shall maintain an open, unobstructed pedestrian path to building entrances and exits and on walkways consistent with the accessibility standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Next the Committee reviewed an excel spreadsheet that compared the A-Frame sign ordinances of 13 different cities. The cities that were selected were based on population size relative to the size of Hollister, those that are in our surrounding region and those that have been specifically sited at various sign meetings. If there are any other cities the committee feels should be on the list, please let staff know.
*To access this document digitally please refer to the Sign Ordinances of Other Cities folder, document A-Frame Sign Comparison.
The current City of Hollister sign ordinance allows for the placement of A-Frame signs on private property, provided that they meet certain requirements. The issue regarding A-Frame signs in Hollister is that not all storefronts have enough private property to place an A-Frame sign on. The committee has discussed potential changes to the sign ordinance that would allow for a permitting process for the placement of A-Frame signs in the right-of-way. The permitting process would require:
• A certificate of insurance with a limit of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence, showing the City as an additional insured, covering any liability arising out of the placement or maintenance of the portable sign. The insurance must be related B+ or better.
• A written statement, in a form satisfactory to the City Attorney, agreeing to indemnify and hold harmless the City, its officers and employees from any loss, liability or damage, including expenses and costs, for bodily or personal injury or property damage sustained by any person as a result of the installation, use or maintenance of the portable sign for which the permit is issued.
• The placement or the location of the A-Frame sign would be approved by the City Engineer through the submittal of a site plan.
Staff provided documents from the City of Gilroy (Special Sign Permit) and Fort Collins (Portable sign permit required) that could be used as examples for creating an updated A-Frame sign ordinance for the City of Hollister. These documents were reviewed and it was determined that using these ordinances as a base, staff would draft an A-Frame ordinance the Ad Hoc Committee could review at the next meeting (Nov. 30, 2018).
Staff will be creating a draft initial sign survey regarding the current sign ordinance to distribute to Downtown business owner, merchants to develop qualitative and quantitative reports that will be used as a basis for guiding the Ad Hoc Committee, and ultimately to create a share vision of the community.
Staff will be working towards scheduling a potential study sessions with City Council members for the first month of the year.
The next meeting will be on Friday, November 30, 2018 at 7:00am in the City Council Chambers. This session will focus on Digital, Neon, and LED signs.
If you have any questions, please free feel to contact the City of Hollister’s Development Service Department at (831) 636-4360. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to noon and from 1pm to 5pm. If you would like any of the hard copies of the materials or would like them uploaded to a USB drive, please let us know and will be happy to accommodate your request.
City of Hollister Development Services
375 Fifth Street
Hollister, California 95023
Phone: (831) 636-4360
Fax: (831) 636-4313
Hollister Downtown Association
514 Monterey Street
Hollister, California 95023
Phone: (831) 636-8406
If you would like to join the Ad Hoc Committee, please come to the meeting or contact Ambur at the City of Hollister or Jeana at the Hollister Downtown Association so we can add you to the committee emails for future meetings.