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Atascadero cuts fees so business owners can install proper signs

An example of temporary signage that Atascadero officials are trying to discourage.
An example of temporary signage that Atascadero officials are trying to discourage. Courtesy of the city of Atascadero

Signage costs have been temporarily slashed for Atascadero’s business owners in the city's latest attempt to clean up nonpermitted signs throughout the city.

After receiving complaints the last two years about temporary signage such as sandwich boards, flags and banners that clutter city streets, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved short-term changes to its fee schedule.

For 18 months starting March 1, those looking to install a permanent sign need a building permit, which the city reduced from a typical $450 charge to a $50 flat fee. And, anyone looking to install a permanent sign outside of the city’s rules, such as oversized signs, needs the building permit plus a signage administrative use permit, which the city reduced from $650 to a $100 flat fee.

The changes came out of recent community outreach efforts where businesses said the city’s permanent signage fees were a disincentive to local businesses who opted to go with cheaper, temporary signs instead.

However, most temporary signs the businesses are using don't conform to the city's rules, city planners say. Compliance efforts, which could include future violation fees, may be discussed at a future council meeting.

The changes and other sign outreach programs are detailed on the city’s new Improve Atascadero Signage Campaign website, www.atascadero.org/signage, which launched Friday.

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