Champlin amends electronic sign ordinance

Champlin City Council approved amendments to the city’s electronic sign ordinance at their Sept. 24 meeting. The city has had a moratorium on electronic signs while city staff was directed by council to review the ordinance.

During a Sept. 10 work session, the council reviewed the sign ordinance, which was then presented at the Sept. 24 meeting by Scott Schulte, city planner.

Notable changes in the ordinance include:

• Electronic message signs may not exceed 40 percent of the allowable sign area for a given wall sign or freestanding sign.

• Electronic message signs must be placed below a permanent non-electronic message sign that is a minimum of 20 square feet. Electronic gas signs may be located alongside non-electronic permanent signage on freestanding signs.

• No more than one electronic message sign may be permitted per property, except for gas/convenience stores. These properties may be allowed one electronic gas price sign along with one electronic message center sign.

The council discussed how the changes would impact one sign in the city. Champlin Town Center’s electronic message sign would become legal non-conforming as it has an electronic sign above all the permanent signage. While the tenant panels can change within the legal non-conforming status, any electronic sign changes would require brining the sign into conformance.

The amended ordinance would also permit Excel Pawn — a property with a current request in to the city for electronic signage — to install an electronic message sign below one or both existing permanent signs, limited to 40 square feet.

The council waived the first reading of the ordinance and approved the second reading thus, formally adopted the amended ordinance.

Schulte said the city’s amended ordinance is quite liberal in its allowances compared to some other cities.