Zoners eye sign-free plan today

Proposal a response to law passed by state Legislature

KINGMAN - The city's Planning and Zoning Commission meets tonight to discuss potential sign-free zones in relation to recent state legislation that permits political signs by right in public rights-of-way.

The law allows political signs only 60 days before a primary election and 15 days after a general election in public rights-of-way. Candidates that do not make it to the general election must remove their signs no more than 15 days after the primary. Also, signs must contain the name and contact information of the candidate or campaign-committee person who put them up.

These same signs are not allowed on state rights-of-way. Also, the legislation does not affect the rights of people to post signs of their choosing on their own property.

Supporters of the law say it upholds free speech while opponents claim it diminishes a city's aesthetic appeal while also posing a safety hazard. However, there is language within the legislation that permits cities to designate commercial resort, commercial tourism and hotel sign-free zones.

Each city is allowed to designate two sign-free zones, spanning no more than three-square miles combined. Each zone must be contiguous as well.

City staff has identified three areas to recommend to the commission as sign-free zones. One such area would be along Stockton Hill Road between Gordon Avenue and Detroit Street. Another would follow Andy Devine Avenue between Michael Street and Grandview Avenue. Lastly, a sign free zone would be created on Hualapai Mountain Road, between Historic Route 66 and the Kingman city limits.

Though the legislation requires that no more than two sign free zones be created, these three options sidestep that fact because the latter two are connected. Essentially, the recommendations amount to two zones in three areas.

In other business, the commission will consider a conditional use permit request from Manzanita Baptist Church of Kingman Senior Pastor Peter Ernst to allow a preschool and daycare at the church's learning center, 2040 Golden Gate Ave.

Staff has recommended approval of the CUP as long as certain conditions are met, including but not limited to keeping the educational and preschool activities to the property described in the application.

Lastly, the commission plans to look at recommending three Planning and Zoning Commissioners. The terms of Allen Mossberg, Scott McCoy and Sandi Reynolds expire Dec. 31.

Each hopes to serve another term, but the city currently has six applications on file from people expressing interest in the positions.

The Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 6:30 tonight at 310 N. Fourth St.