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Sign Ordinance changes for City of Orange

By Martha Tallent

The Orange Leader

The Orange City Council, at their monthly evening meeting on Tuesday night, held a public hearing for the changing of sign regulations within the city limits.

Director of Planning and Community Development Kelvin Knauf explained that the current ordinances no longer met the criteria, as there was a Supreme Court ruling last year that required some changes. Some of the City Council approved changes include:

Shopping Center signs will be changed to restrict businesses to only having one sign, as well as restrictions on what the size that sign can be.

Exhibition signs that have not been regulated up until now will be required to adhere to a limit of advertising for only 45 days prior to an event.

Wording of the regulations will be changed to reflect a more positive outlook.

Signs on business windows will be limited to covering only up to 30-percent of the glass, allowing for better security and a less cluttered appeal. Councilman Larry Spears Jr. says this would be a positive ordinance because, “It will help keep Orange beautiful, which will attract new businesses.”

Councilman Patrick Pullen asked whether this would affect current signs, and Knauf answered that only new signs would need to meet these regulations at this time.

It was further explained by Knauf that land previously annexed into the City of Orange were zoned “R-1″ Low Density Residential Zoning District. Action by the City Council will reflect that these tracts of land are now to be “I” Industrial Zoning. The following tracts of land will be affected: A 1160.870 acre tract or parcel of land out of the Charles Morgan Survey Abstract No. 18, the William Morgan Survey, Abstract No. 266, the Jacob Towensend Survey, Abstract No. 180, and the John Allen Survey Abstract No. 1, all in Orange County, Texas (International Paper Company).

Leslie E. Barras addressed the Counsel regarding her objections to City Hall being moved from the downtown area in which it is currently located. She wishes Orange to remain a beautiful city and not lose the heart of what makes Orange so unique. It is her desire to see the downtown area continue “supporting the energy and vitality of the city.”

The counsel adjourned at the end of the evening to a closed executive session regarding the pending or contemplated litigation by Leslie E. Barras and Historic Orange Preservation Empowerment, Inc., Plaintiffs VS. The City of Orange, Texas, et al, Defendants. No action was taken by the Council at this time because of the hearing scheduled for next week.

The city filed an answer to Barras’s petition and applied for a temporary /permanent injunction on Monday. According to the answer, the city believes the ‘movement of some City facilities out of Old Town Center does not violate the City Charter or its Comprehensive Master Plan.