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New Tallahassee Sign Ordinance


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New Tallahassee Sign Ordinance to Beautify City

Sign Ordinance hasn't been updated since 1971





Coming before the city commission is an introduction of a New Sign ordinance designed to enhance the beauty of the Capital City, while at the same time providing opportunities for Tri-Faced billboards in places where they were once banned. We currenly operate under cumbersome signage rules from 1971.

The point of the ordinance is to cap and reduce the amount of billboards in Tallahassee, namely the areas known as the All Saints and Univeristy Village areas (Roughly speaking the south side of town, downtown, and the Gaines Street Cooridor). The Ordinance calls for a cap placed on the number of Billboards in Tallahassee effective December 31, 2005, and offers incentivies to remove some.

For every two billboards removed, the city will allow a Tri-Vision billboard to be erected (where three messages can be displayed on one billboard, on rotating panels). Ordinance calls for a yearly inventory to be taken of the billboards affected (currently there are over 200 billboards in Tallahassee, nearly 40 will be affected by this ordinance).

This could be a positive sign (no pun intended) for designated communities to improve their image and attractiveness. This ordinance will address gateway issues, and provide for a more exciting advertisements where suitable. Sign owners will have three years affective the adoption of the current langauge to comply or face penalty.

Other issues will be addressed in this sign ordinance, outside of Billboards, details to follow.

Ordinance is being sponsored by Commissioner's Gillum and Mustian.

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This is fantastiac... more use outta less space... I agree that too many builboards in certain developing areas does damage to the image. We want our new retailers and resteraunts signs to be visable, nbot lost in chaos of gigantic capitalistic remenders of something else! I vote yes on this.

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Its not a petty ordinance if you truly understand it.

What the language says is, the city is capping the number of billboards within the Urban Service area at what we will have at the end of this year. The law encourages companies to reduce the number of billboards they own by allowing a 2 for 3 exchange. Meaning, if a company removes 2 billboards in the Urban Service area, it can erect a tri-vision billboard that will allow it to recoup more income from its advertisers using one location instead of three.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 months later...

After 2 yrs, yes 2 yrs or more of my pestering and pleading w/the less than hospitable folks at COT, I am happy to report there will finally be a change at the Old Steak and Ale Restaurant/Gil's Tavern location as far as signage. As you know there are two signs there now: one a new sign not very tall and the older Steak and Ale sign that is huge.

Well it's a long long story, but basically the tall old sign you see there really isn't a sign. The City code reads that as long as the location is in operation and not abandoned, a sign like that can remain even when a new sign is put up as long as you can't read the copy on the old sign. Well thanks to Mother Nature, you can now see the words Steak and Ale. So the biz was issued a citation to either cover up the old signage or remove one of the two signs (see there's two there now that you can see copy.) They've decided to remove the new sign and use the old sign and put new copy on it b/c it's grandfathered in as a non-conforming sign due to its height and they don't wanna lose that grandfathering. Why they didn't do this in the first place is beyond me....seems like a lot of wasted money.

I had to ask for a City Attorney ruling on this b/c as long as the sign has no copy and a biz is in operation, it's not considered a sign. So technically if this current operation goes out of biz at this location, the new biz could cover both existing signs from showing their copy and erect a THIRD sign. And if they fail, another biz could cover the old signage and erect a fourth sign...and so on and so on. I truly believe this a wrong ruling by COT attorney's and powers that be and it surely doesn't fulfill the spirit and intent of the sign ordinance IMHO. Soon (who knows what that means) they will be revising the sign code and I'm trying to get this problem addressed specifically in the code. Who knows what will happen.

Look for a new/different signage at this location by 7.4.

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