Northwest NEWS

August 17, 1998

Local News

City set to begin enforcing sign code

   by Woodinville Weekly staff
  
   WOODINVILLE--Starting in mid to late August, the City of Woodinville will being sending out letters to property owners with illegal signs.
  
   City officials gave business men and women the heads-up on enforcement of its new sign code last week at a Woodinville Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
  
   According to Stephanie Cleveland, the city will ask for voluntary compliance and is willing to work with sign owners, but for those who won't partner, the city will have to get tough.

   "We'd much rather do it voluntarily, but we need to clean this up," she said.
  
   Cleveland and Mayor Don Brocha, speaking before a crowd of 50 at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, gave a rundown on the code.
  
   Brocha said it lowers sign heights, reduces sizes and provides recommended colors and materials.
  
   "You're not going to find bright yellow, but it won't be just two colors; we have quite a pallet," he said.
  
   Colors are generally muted; businesses that follow city recommendations on shades and materials can actually install larger signs than would otherwise be accepted.
  
   While Cleveland previously estimated that perhaps three-quarters of city signs weren't up to the new code's standards, Brocha said that didn't mean owners necessarily had to purchase new signs.
  
   "Signs out of compliance don't have to change," he said, adding that they would, though, when a portion of the sign was damaged or a business changed. But signs that were illegal before the code are still illegal and will be targeted for change.
  
   Cleveland said the sign code arose from citizen advisory panels and reflected the "northwest woodlands character." She said it was a movement away from auto-oriented signs. "The bigger, faster signs lead to a gaudier image."
  
   For additional information, call Cleveland at (425) 489-2754 ext. 250.