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New city sign code

Staff report
WALSENBURG — The new sign code developed over the last two years by the Walsenburg Planning and Zoning Committee and approved by Walsenburg City Council earlier this year is starting to show results.
The old sign code adopted back in 1975 didn’t meet the need, or desires, of some business owners or today’s business climate.
Signs on the sides of buildings, like the one pictured for First Choice Market, were not allowed under the old sign code although some businesses were grandfathered in prior to 1975 or some businesses ignored it and the city was not enforcing signage as it does now.
The new awning, put up by La Plaza Inn two weeks ago, is another example of a sign not allowed by the old sogn code, but allowed by the new one. Jeff and Karen Wilson, owners of the La Plaza Inn the past two years, wanted an awning like one many of us see in other towns that extends from the building outward to the end of the sidewalk. Many upscale restaurants and hotels prefer this kind of awning to suggest the ambiance of their establishment.
The Wilsons and Hugh and Denise Brown of First Choice Market worked with the current P&Z committee during the reevaluation of the Walsenburg sign code to see if their needs could be met in the new sign regulations. The committee had several meetings and spent many hours considering the pros and cons of some of the changes expressed by business leaders in town. The committee came up with changes they hoped would work for the foreseeable future.
It is important to note not all buildings are eligible to have signs painted on their sides nor will awnings, like the one put up at La Plaza Inn work just anywhere. It is important that businesses considering new signs or a change in signage to check with the City of Walsenburg, first, to make sure they are in compliance with the new sign code. There are numerous factors which can determine whether signs and awnings meet the legal criteria, such as location and zoning or size and kind of materials used. A phone call or visit to city offices can save a lot of headaches when business owners consider new signage.