Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Wall Graphic" Ordinance Amendment April 7

The Clayton Town Council last night scheduled a public hearing on April 7 for public comment on an amendment adding "Wall Graphics" to the Town's sign ordinance. The Unified Development Code of Ordinances does not currently address the issue of artworks and other non-advertising graphics on commercial buildings. The DDA-proposed amendment provides some regulation.

The proposed amendment is as follows:

Amend the following as 155.403(C) (1) Sign Types:

“Wall Graphic: a wall decoration that depicts a scene, picture, illustration or design with no written message, word, insignia, logo, or advertisement. The wall graphic is intended to enhance the aesthetic appearance of downtown. Anything meeting the definition of a sign, as defined in this Chapter, shall be regulated as such and not considered a wall graphic.”

Amend the following as 155.403(J) (4) (e) Downtown Overlay District:

“A wall graphic shall not exceed more than 35% of the area of the wall to which it is affixed. The wall graphic shall not have any moving parts, flashing lights, bare tubes or bare bulbs. The facing of the wall graphic shall not extend more than 12 inches from the wall to which it is affixed. The manner in which the wall graphic is affixed to the wall shall be reviewed and approved prior to installation. Wall Graphics are permitted only in the B-1 Zoning District. All permit applications for Wall Graphics shall be reviewed by the Town of Clayton Public Art Advisory Board. All non-conforming wall graphics added after January 1, 2008, shall be made to conform or be removed by December 31, 2010.”

When, with a recommendation from the Public Arts Advisory Board, the Town Council finds that a wall graphic meets the intent but not the criteria of this section, a waiver may be granted. The Town Council may grant a waiver only after a formal finding of the following criteria is met:

a. The granting of the waiver will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare or injurious to other property or improvements to the neighborhood in which the property is located;

b. The conditions upon which the request for a waiver is based are unique and not generally applicable to other properties;

c. Because of the particular physical surroundings, shape, or topographical conditions of the specific property involved, a particular hardship to the owner would result, as distinguished from mere inconvenience, if the strict letter of the section were enforced;

d. The purpose of this waiver is not based primarily upon financial consideration.

For more information contact Downtown Development Coordinator Bruce Naegelen at bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org

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