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North Bend city planners seek citizen input on sign code revision

NORTH BEND - Those interested in the business and aesthetic health of North Bend will get a chance to have their voices heard in coming weeks.

As part of updating its current city sign code, North Bend will be eliciting public comment before the City Council approves any changes later this summer.

City planners said the new code is meant to address the provisions of North Bend's Community Vision Plan that was prepared in 1992. The plan set out to address the retention of the town's rural character, natural beauty and small-town scale as North Bend grows. The plan also calls for enhancing the existing environment of the downtown and the city's gateways. This vision plan has been the focus of the comprehensive plan and is the basis of the draft sign code.

Consolidating the existing sign regulations and design standards should make it easier for customers, according to city officials. The combined code will include a list of business districts, what is allowed in each of those districts and what sign codes some of those districts are exempt from. There will also be a revised statement of "purpose" and "definitions," and a new listing of general and specific design standards, new sign allowances for multiple tenant sites, a list of prohibited sign types and administrative provisions including complete application requirements.

The language of the draft code has been simplified by using explicit terms and eliminating the passive language of the existing code. The draft code also establishes specific criteria for off-premises advertising signage along with enforcement procedures for illegally displayed or noncompliant signage.

The Planning Commission will review the sign code revision. It meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in City Hall located at 211 Main Ave. N. in North Bend. All meetings are open to the public.

The draft sign code has been placed on the North Bend Web site for public review at http://ci.north-bend.wa.us.

The commission is currently conducting a sample survey of existing business operators to gather their input on the draft sign code and will be reviewing the business survey results at the next commission meeting on May 26. The commission will review proposed revisions to the code based on its survey at the meeting on June 9.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to take comments on the revised sign code at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at the Mount Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S.

Written public testimony will be taken until June 30. The Planning Commission will finalize the draft sign code with the public comments from the hearing at its July 14 meeting and formalize its recommendation to the City Council on July 28. Written comments may be submitted to Larry Stockton, community services director, at 126 E. Fourth Street (P.O. Box 896) North Bend, WA, 98045 until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30.

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