City approves new LED billboard

Replaces old billboard at foot of El Travatore

KINGMAN - The city of Kingman may get a new LED billboard in a few months. The Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of conditional use permit from Lamar Advertising to replace the existing billboard at the foot of El Travatore Hill with new smaller, two-faced billboard closer to Route 66. The new billboard would have an LED sign on at least one side.

The commission tabled the item last month in order to give Lamar time to present some design options that would fit the historic nature of Route 66.

Lamar presented four different billboard designs: a historic 1950s look with a wood-like design, a 1950s design with a painted wood-like design, a 1950s look with the frame around the billboard painted and wood-like supports, and a design that echoes the pink Historic Route 66 directional signs that are scattered through out Kingman. Each design had the option of one to three support poles.

The original sign has been in place for at least 50 years. Staff suggested that there are plenty of billboards throughout the city.

Lamar representative Christine Butler expressed frustration in getting a recommendation for approval from city planning and zoning staff.

"These designs meet all of your zoning rules. It just comes down to what you want it to look like. Do you want something better, cleaner, newer, or do you want it to remain the way it is?" Butler said.

Commissioner Allen Mossberg asked if the LED billboard would be able to tie into the national Amber Alert system.

Butler said it would.

Commissioner Scott McCoy said his sticking point was the LED part of the sign. Which side would have the LED face?

Butler said the side facing downtown Kingman would have the LED face.

"This all seems to center around LEDs. Do we want to allow this change," Commission Chair Matt Ladendecker asked. He said since the commission started talking about LED signs a year ago, he's made a point of noticing them when he's out on trips and some of them do look nice.

Butler pointed out that the city's sign code does allow LEDs.

"I think we should have a pro-business outlook. We need to be more open to ideas that will help local businesses," said Commissioner Sandi Reynolds. She made a motion to recommend approval of the new sign and suggested the design that mimicked the Historic Route 66 signs.

Ladendecker recommended going with a three pole, wood-like sign. The commission finally settled on suggesting the Historic Route 66 design.

The commission also recommended approval of an amendment to the zoning ordinance which would allow wastewater treatment plants that use an electro-coagulation closed loop system in light industrial zones.

The request came from Michael Vitello with Ledcor Construction. The plants use electrolysis to separate solids from liquids in wastewater. The end result kills nearly all of the bacteria present in the wastewater and separates solids from liquids, he said.

Vitello and his business partner plan to build such a plant on Eastern Street. The plant would take in wastewater from local septic pumping companies, treat it and dispose of it by dumping the cleaned liquid into the city's wastewater system and hauling the sludge to the county landfill, Vitello said. Because the system is closed, there is very little odor and the fees the company would pay to the city for use of the city's sewer system would be a benefit to the community.

Mossberg asked if this type of plant would be locked into the light industrial zones, or would someone be able to build in another type of zoning.

City Planner Gary Jeppson said these types of plants would not be locked into a light industrial zone, however someone would be able to build one in a heavy industrial zone, but they would not be able to build one in a residential or commercial zone.

Resident Ron McChunkin asked if the plant produced any flammable gases.

Vitello explained that it did produce small amounts of flammable gases, but not enough to be a danger and they would be vented to the atmosphere.

The commission approved a motion to recommend the changes to the ordinance to Council.

The commission also considered a request from Peggy Sides and Joe Ott for conditional use permit for an indoor/outdoor swap meet on Airway Avenue. Staff recommended that the request be approved with certain conditions. The conditions included adding a second exit to the current building, adding ADA compliant restrooms, adding ADA compliant drinking fountains, installing a service sink, installing a new water line and backflow preventer, getting written approval from the Health Department for any areas that might serve food, honoring a 10 foot UniSource utility easement and redesigning the front drive so a fire truck can turn around.

Ladendecker reminded Sides that the requirements must be met before she could open the business. Sides nodded that she understood.

The same requirements were given to Mohave Treasurers Outlet in May, but that group was unable to meet the requirements in the time allotted.

The commission approved a motion to recommend approval of the permit to Council.

The commission also suggested approving a request from staff to amend the city's sign ordinance in order to bring it incompliance with new state statutes regarding campaign signs.

The new state law requires that cities allow campaign signs within their rights-of-way 60 days before an election and at least 15 days after an election. The signs cannot be moved or removed without notifying the candidate or the committee that placed the signs. If there is an emergency, the sign can be moved or removed, but the city must contact the candidate or committee, and hold onto the sign for at least 10 business days. The signs must include contact information for the candidate or committee.

Jeppson said the new law eliminates some of the headaches the city has had with trying to determine if a campaign sign was in or out of a city right-of-way and if the city had to remove it. But it could produce a different problem if someone removes a sign they believe is on their property but is actually in the city right-of-way, he said.

Jeppson also raised the question about the fairness to other people who wanted to put non-political, temporary commercial signs in city rights-of-way.

McCoy also pointed out that the new law allows the city to designate three miles of rights-of-way to be free from these types of signs. Did the commission have to make a determination on that as well as the changes to the ordinance tonight, he asked.

Jeppeson said the commission could take them on as different issues.

Ladendecker suggested tabling both issues until the city attorney could give them an opinion on the matter.

McCoy made a motion to suggest the ordinance changes to Council, and put the three-mile no sign zone on the commission's next agenda. The motion passed.