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Illegal signs could become legal
Manteca committee looking at A-frames, flag banners
A-frame signs such as this one that are placed in the public right-of-way are currently illegal in Manteca. - photo by HIME ROMERO

A-frame and flag banner signs dot the streets throughout Manteca hawking everything from haircuts to tacos.

Some have complained about the flag banner signs creating safety hazards by blocking the views of drivers trying to exit parking lots. Others - especially those in wheelchairs - have issues with A-frame signs that are sometimes placed smack dab in the middle of sidewalks.

Both types of signs are illegal if they are placed on public property under Manteca ordinances.

The city, though, has historically only enforced the rules based on complaints. If no one files a formal complaint with the city, then the city lets them stay without saying a word. But if a complaint is made, code enforcement would go out and issue a warning and then a citation if they are not removed.

All of that could change in the near future.

A City Council appointed committee is in the process of cobbling together recommendations to make changes to the city’s temporary sign ordinance to allow the signs under certain conditions. The committee consists of Crystal Downs, Jack Snyder, Lin Silverman, and Ed Fonseca.

Mayor Willie Weatherford expressed dismay last month that the city was considering changing the zoning code that includes a section on signs before the citizens’ committee was able to make their recommendations.

The zoning changes as proposed basically clean up language in the overall sign ordinance in a bid to make them less confusing.

The proposed modifications to the zoning ordinance are before the City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin said if the committee recommends changes to the temporary sign rules and the council supports them, then the municipal ordinance governing signs would simply be changed.

The committee is expected to make a report in the coming weeks.