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City wants to regulate human signs
Proposed rules also address flag banners, A-frames
Under rules proposed earlier this year a human sign such as this sign waver at Louise and Main could be illegal because they are not located in front of the actual place of business. - photo by Bulletin file photo


To view documents on the proposed changes in sign rules governing human signs and portable signs in  commercial zones, contact the Community Development Department, Planning Division, 1001 W. Center St., or call (209) 456-8500 for more information.

Human signs in Manteca are not currently regulated.

Nor or portable signs such as flag banners that you’ll find lining the edge of city sidewalks or A-frames.

That could all change in the coming months.

The city is now circulating their intent to adopt an initial study along with a negative declaration - that’s planning jargon for saying the new rules will have no adverse impact on the environment - through July 23. Comments are being sought on the proposed rules. A hearing is planned before the Manteca Planning Commission on Tuesday, July 24, at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Concerns have been raised about a proliferation of portable signs and the fact they are often placed on city sidewalks or at locations far away from property where the business doing the advertising is located. There also have been issues about safety with some signs blocking the view of drivers trying to see other traffic and pedestrians. They are also numerous instances of signs being placed in such a manner that they block pedestrians, flap in their faces as they are walking down a sidewalk, or make it impossible for the handicapped in wheelchairs to
pass safely.

While the proposed zoning amendment would make human signs legal, there were conditions proposed at a workshop earlier this year that could render some existing human signs illegal.

Those conditions include human signs:

• must be located on the property of the business that they are advertising or on the sidewalk adjacent to the property.

• must not interfere with pedestrians, cyclists, or vehicular traffic or impact visibility.

• worn, carried, or held shall not be larger than 12 square feet.

• cannot shout or generate any noise that would disrupt traffic or endanger pedestrians. Bull horns and amplified sound are prohibited.

• are restricted to one per location.

• are prohibited from having any type of animation flashing, blinking, rotating lights, or mirrors.

• must obtain a permit from city hall and pay the appropriate fee.

A-frame and flag signs would have to be placed in such a manner as to allow four feet of sidewalk to remain open plus be set a foot back from the curb. Often times signs – such as one often placed by Del Taco at Yosemite and Spreckels - are placed in the middle of the sidewalk leaving less than four feet on either side.

The signs can only be placed in front of the business they are advertising. Each business can only have one sign A-frame or two flag signs per 50 linear feet of business frontage. They cannot be placed on landscaped islands or medians within the public right-of-way.

A-frame signs can’t be over four feet in height and flag banners can’t exceed 15 feet.

 A-frames can’t be wider than three feet while flags are limited to two feet in width.