City P&Z looks to follow Council's lead

KINGMAN - The Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission declined to recommend new regulations for electronic billboards at its meeting Tuesday evening, opting instead to wait until the City Council has figured out what it wants from on-premises LED signs first.

Commissioners had been presented with a text amendment containing regulations for electronic billboards that closely mirror the regulations currently under consideration by Council for on-premises signs. Namely, the new regulations would limit electronic billboards to static displays with a minimum message display time, and would also limit their nighttime brightness to no more than 0.6 candelas over the ambient light level, as measured from 100 feet away.

But commissioners were hesitant to even discuss the new regulations since the City Council in recent weeks has effectively thrown out many of the recommendations commissioners had made for on-premises signs. Commissioner Sandi Reynolds noted that Council had already reversed P&Z's recommendation on limiting animation for on-premises LED signs, and seemed only concerned with the brightness issue. Commissioner Michael Schoeff agreed, suggesting that commissioners table the item until after Council has voted to adopt final regulations for on-premises signs.

The issue did receive one comment from the public. Christina Butler of Lamar Advertising said that while she had no concern over limiting electronic billboards to static displays, since that was how they typically operated anyway, she took issue with new language that would require the billboards to be at least 1,200 feet apart from one another, and would remain confined to the existing billboard corridors along Interstate 40 and Andy Devine Avenue.

"If you're going to have flashing and huge animation on on-premise, that's a little striking, but it is completely different from what we're talking about with digital technology for off-premise, where it's basically just a static display that changes every six seconds or four seconds or what have you," Butler said. "My only comment is on the spacing - y'all are killing me on that 1,200 feet. What is that, four football fields? That is a lot of space."

Butler noted that non-electronic billboards are already spaced out 300 feet from one another, which she said was stretching it thinly. She claimed the 1,200-foot spacing requirement for electronic billboards would effectively render it impossible to get more than one or two in Kingman, especially if they remained confined to the existing corridors.

Butler also took issue with one suggestion in the text amendment that would require tri-vision signs to conform to the 1,200-foot separation. Currently, tri-vision signs, which mechanically rotate between three different static displays, are only subject to the 300-foot separation distance of standard billboards.

Commissioner Allen Mossberg suggested that, before the commission take any further action on electronic signs, it should first hold a work session with Council to hash out exactly what they're looking for. He noted that the discussion on on- and off-premises electronic signs had been going on for more than half a year, and he was ready to put the issue to rest once and for all.

With that, Mossberg made a motion to table the item, with Schoeff seconding. The motion passed unanimously.

Elsewhere on its agenda, the commission unanimously recommended denial of a rezone request from Gerald and Diana Fulps. The Fulpses had sought to rezone a parcel of land at the southeast corner of Karen Avenue and Van Buren Street from single-family residential to C-2-HMR: Commercial, Hualapai Road Overlay District.

During the discussion, commissioners noted that the Fulpses already owned C-2-HMR land nearby that they had not yet developed, and there were already more than 200 acres of similarly undeveloped C-2 property along Hualapai Mountain Road, as well as numerous vacancies in the existing developed properties. Considering that there did not appear to be any pressing need for additional commercial, and voicing concerns over further encroachment into the surrounding neighborhoods, Commissioner Reynolds made the motion for denial, with Mossberg seconding. The motion passed 7-0.

Finally, commissioners also declined to seek a new text amendment that would reduce the front-side setback requirement for the R-1-8: Single Family Residential, 8,000-square-foot lot minimum zoning district.

The request, made by Sarah Schritter of Cierra Homes, sought to reduce the front-side setback for R-1-8 housing from 15 feet to 10 feet. Her rationale was that several homes in the Southern Vista II subdivision had been mistakenly allowed to build with 10-foot setbacks, and she was seeking to construct on an additional corner lot with the same setback limit.

But Schritter's request quickly fell flat with commissioners, who felt that changing the entire zoning ordinance to correct a handful of mistakes was excessive. Commissioner Scott McCoy dismissed concerns raised by Schritter that people living in the existing houses would be required to disclose the fact that their homes were built in violation of the zoning ordinance if they ever wanted to sell them. McCoy contended that disclosure would not pose a serious problem to the homeowners, and Reynolds added that the homeowners should not have to disclose anything, since building permits were issued allowing their homes to be built that way.

Regardless, commissioners agreed that the scope of Schritter's concerns did not require a complete overhaul of the R-1-8 zoning ordinance. Commissioners voted 6-0 to deny pursuing the setback amendment, with Craig Schritter recusing himself.