Within a few months, Frederick city planning officials hope to begin posting a set of newly revamped signs to notify the public of upcoming hearings on zoning and property changes.
The stronger, more durable, color-coded signs will retire the large, flimsy, black and white public hearing signs officials have plastered on properties for the past two decades.
On Tuesday, members of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals, the final public body set to weigh in on the changes, gave their feedback on the designs. Gabrielle Collard, the city’s division manager of current planning, said officials will begin an educational outreach process to let the public know about the changes, which includes presenting prototypes of the signs to the Neighborhood Advisory Councils. Once the effort is finished and a text amendment for the content is passed, they will be ready for posting.
Members of the zoning board had minimal comments and questions Tuesday about the new design, which Collard said is still slated for some tweaks, namely in the color codes.
Initially, the colors for the signs were orange for public hearings before the mayor and Board of Aldermen, light blue for the city’s Planning Commission, purple for the Historic Preservation Commission and yellow for the zoning board.
Based on suggestions from other board members Collard said staff members are planning to make the Planning Commission signs a darker blue, so they do not blend in with the sky, and change the yellow for the zoning board to red based on concerns that yellow looked too washed out. Plans are also in the works to make the signs a little bigger than initially planned to ensure visibility.
The new signs will contain the same information regarding the hearing dates and reason for the hearings and other pertinent information about the cases. The new signs will also include QR codes — which are square, checkered symbols scannable with a smartphone — directing users to the city’s website for more information on the cases.
Officials expect to save money with the new signs because they will not need to be replaced as often as the existing signs due to being stronger and more durable. The overall cost is also dropping from $5.75 per sign to $3.05 to $3.22 per sign with the hiring of a new vendor.