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Flash! Manteca may OK electronic signs
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Nearly 30 years ago, the big controversy in Manteca had to do with a revolving chicken bucket sign.

It was erected by the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise at its former downtown location in the 300 block of West Yosemite where Athens Burgers is located today.

It was such a cantankerous debate that it prompted the city to create an expanded sign ordinance that clamped down on many potential signs including flashing and moving signs that weren’t proposed at the time.

The city staff has revisited the sign ordinance to update provisions addressing regional recreation/hospitality centers in regards to signage along Highway 120 and Highway 99. More specifically it zeroes in on electronic display signs that could be used by businesses such as water parks, outlet malls, conference facilities, horse-racing tracks, professional sports team complexes, gaming casinos, or large formal retail centers.

Some of the proposed rules for such signs include:

• They can’t exceed a height or a sign area that would be a nuisance to neighboring properties or motorists.

• They must be constructed of quality materials and of similar design and architecture as the regional recreation/hospitality center it is advertising.

• The hours of operation and illumination as well as changing images on the electronic display will not create a nuisance to surrounding uses, the vicinity, or traffic.

• The sign shall aid in the generation of sales tax revenue and/or promote the City of Manteca in a positive manner.

• The sign will be maintained in such a manner that the screen is fully functioning at all times. If the screen does develop areas with no or improper illumination that affect the overall quality of the images, the screen shall be turned off until necessary repairs have been made. The city’s Community Development Director has the authority to make such a determination.

The council will consider the sign ordinance changes when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001, W. Center. St.

And, for the record, rotating signs are still illegal if the rotation exceeds eight revolutions per minute.