Downtown signage code to begin soon

Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 6:06pm

Metro government is preparing to address for the first time a comprehensive downtown signage code, with the announcement of the selection of a consultant looming, Metro Planning Department spokesman Craig Owensby said Thursday.

Owensby said the sign code assessment, analysis and recommendations as noted in the request for proposals will focus on a myriad of elements, including physical form and placement; total number of signs for any single business; sign types (for example, murals and signs capping skyscrapers); temporary signs; lighting; and materials.

The Metro effort coincides with the recent placement of some prominent downtown signs — including those of Metropolitan Wines, Puckett’s Grocery, Virago and Wells Fargo — that have spurred wide-ranging comments via built-environment-related message boards and discussion groups.

“The proposals will be reviewed in the next two weeks, which could result in a selection or a short list,” Owensby said, adding the department received seven proposals.

The planning department effort evolved from discussions with multiple downtown stakeholders in 2009 and the February finalization of the more broad Downtown Code, inspired by the 2007 Downtown Community Plan.

Owensby said the budget allocated for the consulting assessment is capped at $34,800. The firm hired will be required to finalize the sign code assessment, analysis and recommendations by June 30, 2011. 

5 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 11/5/10 at 5:29

It takes a consulting group with all the years of service
the existing planning commission has to come up with
a sign ordiance? It doesn't matter what is purposed or
put into their code. It's who wants what kind of sign,
who the developer is, who the tenant is, and how much
clout do they have is what the council approves! Why
play all these games and spending of money and time
when it been the same way ever since Metro came into
existence and before. Oh the games.

By: Kosh III on 11/5/10 at 8:45

I have to agree. Metro seems to LOVE to hire expensive consultants while the rank and file get ignored. For instance, why do we hire "search" firms to find employees? Isn't that what the Dept of Personnel is for?

By: airvols on 11/5/10 at 10:14

Billboards blocking the view of downtown should be eliminated. Anythng inside the inner loop should not be allowed as a free standing sign. It's not attractive, and and many cases with the electronic signs, dangerous when raining, due to glare on the roadways.

By: on 11/5/10 at 11:29

For all the problems that businesses have today, it seems that a new sign code is the most unnecessary thing that Metro should be concerned about. This city needs a mayor that has run a business. Someone who has made a payroll and has had to pay health insurance premiums for their employee's. We never had so many consultants and study groups before Purcell was elected, these types of expenditures only show what deficiencies are in our local government in the first place. If the mayor would pay attention to who is running and working in our departments we might not have these expenditures to bear. But the most important thing is to eliminate this type of burden from downtown businesses in the first place. Less attention should be payed to the voices that want Nashville to look like Brentwood where you cannot find any business or office building unless you are familiar with the locations to start with. Metro council has got to stand up to this faction that wants everything to look the same. The current administration needs to be looking at ways to help small business's make money not place roadblocks in their way!

By: WE231 on 11/5/10 at 6:45

Why do we even have Metro employees in the Planning Dept.?
Every time something needs doing, Metro hires an outside consulting firm. Either contract out the entire department OR let the employees do the job they are paid to do.