New sign district may be coming to Soledad

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SOLEDAD — More signs for businesses in the commercial district may be coming to the City of Soledad as the City Council showed support for sign districts within city limits.

According to Community and Economic Development Director Brent Slama, offsite signage for commercial businesses was not allowed within the city before the city approved it July 11.

“Basically offsite signage would be under the classification of billboards,” said Slama. “So there are those billboards that have been specifically permitted, those that have been grandfathered in, but in terms of promoting your business right now there is no other way other than getting on one of those billboards.”

The idea of an offsite signage district has come up in the past due to a number of pole signs in the city as well as having a business sign visible from the freeway. The item returned to the table when Premiere Cinemas was approved because the location site is further away from the freeway and is only visible once a driver can see the Foods Co. Soledad Mission Shopping Center.

“We’ve been talking with the developers of the Cinemas project and the Shopping Center about different ways to get that signage for perspective tenants,” said Slama. “One of those things proposed by Mr. Shaw 10 years ago was recommended by the Planning Commission but never got to the City Council for an ordinance for a structure that would allow offsite signs.”

Within the ordinance was only allowing signs in the Highway Commercial District. The City was looking at locating the sign district in the area right before the trailer park when heading north. The other area of a potential sign district would be right behind Foods Co. on the Mendoza property.

There is currently a 60-foot height limit for signs, poles and pile on signs. The current sign for the Soledad Mission Shopping Center is located next to the freeway and has a maximum of 700 square feet per side of signage.

“The idea is that getting more visibility is always helpful in terms of attracting tenants,” said Slama.

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