Flashing Signs Could Be Banned in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A meeting Thursday night could move forward a plan to ban scrolling, blinking, racing, or pixelating signs in Columbia.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is meeting Thursday night to review and possibly approve an ordinance that would change requirements for signs allowed in the city. A city document says the ordinance addresses signs that:

  1. Have text or symbols that race or scroll.
  2. Use LED, LCD, or other electronic technologies.
  3. Are located within 10 feet of a window or other opening on the wall of a building such that the sign presents its message to or attracts the attention of the public from outside.
Existing display signs would still be allowed under the proposed ordinance. Any new signs would be prohibited from having animation of any kind.
The ordinance also says any digital sign is unlawful. The provision would ensure future signs with LED, LCD, or other electronic technologies would not be allowed within the city limits.
The Columbia City Council met in October 2012 and signed an ordinance establishing a six month moratorium on illuminated window signs with electronic, changeable copy. The ordinance said the City Council found certain window signs could jeopardize public safety because they distract drivers more than traditional static signs. 
If the Planning and Zoning Commission approves the ordinance Thursday night, it would go to the Columbia City Council for approval.