Council to Host Public Hearing to Consider Electronic Signs

Staff members say electronic signs could display law enforcement messages and more.

Tonight's Newark City Council will include a public hearing on a proposal to allow signage visible from Newark freeways that includes non-site specific advertisements.

Current municipal codes limit signage that can be seen from freeways to contain only a name of a building, person, firm, corporation or product, according to the council's agenda packet.

City staff is proposing that this be changed to allow signage similar to electronic billboards that can "serve as a public information 'bulletin board'."

According to the council's packet, city staff believe this move would benefit the city by serving as a means of community identification.

It would provide a way for local non-profit groups and businesses to announce events and advertise meetings as well as display law enforcement dates such as Amber Alerts, according to the staff proposal.

A company that is interested in constructing two electronic signs has approached the city, according to the agenda. Community Development Director Terrence Grindall said the proposed sites for the signs are along Interstate 880 and State Route 84.

If adopted by the council at a future date, the construction of the signs would not have any "significant impact on the environment" and is exempted from the California Environmental Quality Act, which requires public agencies to identify environmental impacts of proposed projects, the agenda states.

Staff members are in the process of analyzing how to ensure the benefits are substantial for the city and how to exclude advertising on the signs that would be "in direct competition to a Newark business."

No action will be taken regarding this matter tonight, and the council will revisit the proposal and vote on it at a later date.

Two other public hearings for conditional use permits are also scheduled for tonight's meeting.

The Tri-Cities League of Volunteers (LOV) is requesting a conditional use permit and planned unit development to host a circus June 17-20 at Newark Junior High School.

The fundraising event would be a one-ring circus with no animals, known as the American Crown Circus. The LOV has sponsored similar events for the past two years.

The council was also hold a hearing for the Newark Chamber of Commerce's request for a permit to host SummerFest, a two-day festival inthe NewPark Mall parking lot.

If approved, the event will be held July 9 and 10 and feature activities from arts and crafts to live music and a car show.

Also on the agenda:

  • A vote on a bid that would award a contact to Advantage Fitness Products to replace fitness equipment at the
  • A vote on the approval of plans and acceptance of a bid to contract with Jet Mulch, Inc. for renovation projects at and
  • A vote to set a June 23 date for the annual public hearings for landscaping and lighting improvement projects in various areas around town.
  • A vote on an amendment to the city's 2010-12 biennial budget that would include monies.

The council will meet at 7:30 p.m. at City Chambers, 37101 Newark Blvd.

Ella May 26, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Signs for Amber Alerts and major traffic issues are one thing because they serve and important purpose, but do we really need signs advertising events and meetings on the freeway, where people should probably be concentrating on driving? I don't get why this is even being considered. Is it revenue generating?
Kat Blair May 26, 2011 at 04:34 PM
What about opening up the Newark Library on Sundays again?
Nick May 26, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Agree with Kat on this, lets restore services that were shutdown, before looking into spending on others.
Nadja Adolf July 17, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Staff will say anything to get a project that generates a quick buck approved. These signs are for commercial advertising, not for public service. You can see what they look like up by Union Landing, or over by the Ikea in East Palo Alto. Really classy. Not.
Nadja Adolf July 17, 2011 at 12:44 AM
You can write written communications opposed to this idea and give them to the planning commission before the Wednesday meeting. If you are a member of SustainableNewark on Yahoo groups, I will come to your house and pick them up for hand delivery to the city clerk on Wednesday morning.


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