Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
After close to two hours of discussion, the Coppell Planning Commission voted to make some changes to the City’s sign ordinance.
The Planning Commission voted unanimously for the changes after modifying some of the amendments recommended by a sign ordinance review committee.
Discussion about the ordinance started in July 2011 when businesses expressed to the Coppell Chamber of Commerce that the sign regulations were “too restrictive,” Tony Moline, president of the Chamber, told the commission at a meeting on Sep. 20.
“Restrictions regarding size, trademarks and color are perceived throughout the business community to be obstacles to doing business in Coppell,” a 2011 letter to the City Council said.
But planning commissioners disagreed, pointing to the public hearing that drew only one person.
“We don’t have specific examples of businesses upset,” Commissioner Craig Pritzlaff said. “Our ordinance is designed to ensure aesthetic harmony in Coppell.
“If it was a huge concern, then people would’ve been here to tell us how many sandwiches they weren’t selling because of the sign ordinance.”
Moline said per the request of businesses, he could not name the businesses that had decided not to open in Coppell because of the sign restrictions.
“I can say they do exist,” he said.
“My brain sees color,” Moline said. “Green is Starbucks. Yellow and white is Subway. It’s not from reading it but from seeing those colors, I know what’s there.
“It’s up to these businesses if they want to locate in a place that’s more restrictive or to a place that allows their brand.”
Commissioner Anna Kittrell said she couldn’t vote to allow “any color” to dominate business signs and was not worried about deterring prospective businesses.
“If someone wants to be here, they will come,” Kittrell said.
Among the changes, a logo may cover 100 percent of the sign if that sign consists only of a logo. Also, if the sign only contains words and no logo, it may occupy 100 percent of the sign, but must use black, white, ivory or neutral color.
If a sign has both a logo and words, the logo must only cover 20 percent of the sign and the letters must be black, white, ivory or neutral.