Vital signs

City Council loosens rules on digital signs

On Tuesday (Sept. 19), the Chico City Council voted 4-3 to amend the municipal code regarding digital signs. Now, businesses in “commercial services areas”—i.e., along roadways such as the north Esplanade, Nord Avenue and East Avenue—can install signs that change messages up to six times a minute.

Previously, digital signs were allowed only where required by state or federal law—such as gas stations—and places of assembly, such as churches and movie theaters. The changes were originally proposed by Councilman Mark Sorensen (pictured) and supported by Mark Page, owner of Fix Auto on East Park Avenue, who said the city’s strict code regarding digital signs adversely affected his business. In March, the council directed City Attorney Vince Ewing to draft changes to loosen the rules.

Councilmembers Karl Ory, Randall Stone and Ann Schwab opposed the amendments.