Category Archives: General

Mapping

Hello all!

We’ve started working on some of the distance separations mapping that we talked about at the last meeting.  

For reference, here is a map showing all of the state controlled roads within the city limits (in dark blue) with most of the billboards pinpointed to actual location.  There are a few missing, due to technical glitches, but it does give you a sense of where billboards are located.

Map-Existing Locations

These next set of maps show what a distance buffer would look like.  We have restricted the area where digital conversion would be allowed based on a distance separation from residentiall zoned parcels, at 100, 300, 500, and 700 feet, as options.  These were just arbitrary numbers to show a range of options.  There is certainly an option to use other numbers, but this can get us started.

Map-100 foot buffer

Map-300 foot buffer

Map-500 foot buffer

Map-700 foot buffer

We are still working on the linear restriction, as that one has to be hand drawn.  It should be up by the end of the week, along with the initial draft of the ordinance based on the direction staff received at the last stakeholder committee meeting.  As a reminder, we will be meeting Monday, May 6th from 12-2 here at the Stockbridge Office.

Map

As promised, here is a map showing the billboard locations, with zoning.  We are having some technical difficulties (and by technical difficulties, let us be clear that we mean that our resident mapmaker, Andrea, does not know how to do what she’s trying to do), and this isn’t as illustrative as it could be.  Ideally, there would be a pinpoint where each billboard is, but instead the entire parcel is highlighted, which can distort the scaling of the billboard.  We will have a better, more accurate map in the near future, but this should get everyone started.  Thanks for the patience!

 

Billboard Locations

So, you want to get involved?

We have received many, many volunteers to be part of the Stakeholder Committee to look at digital billboards.  The city would like to thank everyone in the community for their passion.  As you can imagine, there is a lot of interest on this subject, and we have tried to create a committee that is both 1) representative of various interests; and 2) of a manageable size to be able to be effective.  To that end, we have asked 12 people, representing neighborhoods, business interests, officials, and policy experts.  Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room for everyone who is interested to be on this board…

However, don’t despair!  The stakeholder committee will not be the only avenue for public input.  We are planning on soliciting input in the following ways, as well. 

  1. There will be two official public hearings: one before the Planning Commission and one before the City Commission, where public comment will be taken and noted by the Commissioners;
  2. Staff of the city of Kalamazoo (specifically the Planning Office) will make themselves available to the public via phone (269.337.8044), Facebook (Plan Kalamazoo), Twitter (@AndreaKzoo), email (augustinea@kalamazoocity.org), letter, or in person (415 Stockbridge Ave) to hear comment;
  3. Staff has created a website (www.kalamazoobillboards.wordpress.com).  We will be uploading all of the documents and studies that the stakeholder committee reviews, as well as notes from the meetings.  There will be opportunity for comments on the site.  
  4. Staff will be happy to come to meetings and update folks on the process as we get going.  The bulk of our work will happen from March-May.

 

What We Do and When We’re Going To Do It

A reminder… what we are charged with accomplishing:

“To discuss major issues related to the size, brightness, sequencing, and location for large, off-premises signs; to become educated on relevant Michigan precedent related to billboard regulation; to investigate appropriate studies and literature and to listen to expert testimony related to property values and traffic safety as it relates to illuminated off-premises signs; to understand illumination and regulations related to illumination; to come to consensus on city staff-generated language related the above topics and to recommend appropriate ordinance changes to the Planning Commission, and ultimately the City Commission for adoption.”

Here is the schedule we are aiming for, in terms of our work… as you can see, it is a very aggressive schedule.  Though six months can seem like a long time, it actually requires us to be diligent and to constantly move forward.

Proposed Schedule

January 22nd, 2013—Beginning of 6 month moratorium

February 2013—Creation of public participation plan, staff research, creation of stakeholder committee

March 4, 2013—First meeting of Stakeholder Committee

Topic: Discussion of Process, Syllabus, Topics of Conversation, Role of Stakeholder Committee

March 11, 2013—Stakeholder Committee Meeting

Topic: Relevant Michigan-Based Precedent; Guest Speaker Clyde Robinson (City Attorney)

March 19, 2013—Optional Stakeholder Committee Training by Scenic Michigan in Troy, MI related to Sign Regulation and Legal Precedent

March 25, 2013—Stakeholder Committee Meeting

Topic: Traffic Safety, Property Values; Guest Speakers Jim Hoekstra (Traffic Engineer), Aaron Powers (Assessor)

April 8, 2013—Stakeholder Committee Meeting

Topics: Lighting Standards; Guest Speaker TBD

April 22, 2013—Stakeholder Committee Meeting

Topic: Initial Proposal Language

May 6, 2013—Stakeholder Committee Meeting

Topic: Consensus for Proposal Language

Late May 2013—Tentative Stakeholder Committee Meeting, if needed

Topic: Consensus for Proposal Language, continued

June 6th, 2013—Public hearing on proposed ordinance changes at Planning Commission

July 1st, 2013—First reading of proposed ordinance changes at City Commission

July 15th, 2013—Final adoption of proposed ordinance changes at City Commission

July 22nd, 2013—End of Moratorium

Who We Are

The following is to help get you acquainted with who we are and the rules we want to play by…

Charge of the Moratorium

“…that the City Planning Commission, along with City Planners and City officials, shall forthwith proceed to study off-premises advertising signs greater than 200 square feet that utilize internally illuminated digital computer controlled electronic displays and recommend changes to the City Zoning Ordinance addressing size, brightness, sequencing of changing copy and where such off-premises signs might be located.”

Charge of the Stakeholder Committee

To discuss major issues related to the size, brightness, sequencing, and location for large, off-premises signs; to become educated on relevant Michigan precedent related to billboard regulation; to investigate appropriate studies and literature and to listen to expert testimony related to property values and traffic safety as it relates to illuminated off-premises signs; to understand illumination and regulations related to illumination; to come to consensus on city staff-generated language related the above topics and to recommend appropriate ordinance changes to the Planning Commission, and ultimately the City Commission for adoption.

Rules of the Stakeholder Committee

  1. The Committee will operate on a consensus model.  For the purposes of this group, consensus is defined as the absence of concerns that are so important or insurmountable that any individual committee member is unable to move forward.  In the absence of consensus, a vote will be taken, with dissenting members noted.
  2. General summaries will be created for each meeting.  These will be for reference only, and will not be transcriptions of every word or discussion, but instead a record of the decisions made by consensus, and the topics of conversation.  These meetings are not subject to the Open Meetings Act.
  3. The Committee will be limited in size and scope, in order to maintain its effectiveness in completing an important task in a short time frame.  There will be an attempt to have representatives of all major stakeholders at the table.  With the understanding that this topic is one of great importance to the community, there will other avenues for public input as well (see: Additional Public Input Opportunities)
  4. The Committee will stay within the confines of its charge, both by topic and scope.  If we are to complete our work in a timely fashion, it is important that we stay on topic and focused.
  5. Civility is critical.  It is perfectly acceptable to disagree, but it is not acceptable to attack one another.  We all care a great deal about our community.  Think “Michigan Nice”.
  6. This Stakeholder Committee is doing good work for Kalamazoo.  We may not all agree with the outcome.  All members of the community may not agree with what we recommend.  But we all are doing our best for our town.

Stakeholder Committee

Name

Affiliation

Clyde Robinson City Attorney’s Office
Bob Cinabro City Commission
Nick Boyd Zoning Board of Appeals
Mark Fricke Planning Commission
Kevin Green Adams Outdoor Advertising
Lynne Jarman-Johnson Consumers Credit Union
Brian Peterson Westnedge Hill
Natalie Patchell Westnedge Hill
Brian Persky Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc.
Greg Milliken Planner
Mark Hoffman Oakland/Winchell
Tammy Taylor Kalamazoo Neighborhoods Coalition

Getting Started

Billboards.  They can get a lot of attention…. they’re designed to get a lot of attention.  And they are getting a lot of attention in Kalamazoo right now.  You may have heard that the City Commission issued a moratorium on new digital billboards at the end of January.  They asked staff to look at the issue of digital billboards and come back with recommendations for changes to our zoning ordinance.  So, that’s what we’re doing.  Over the next few months, we are going to be working with people who care (on all sides of the issue) to look at specific issues related to digital billboards and come up with ideas on the best way to interact with billboards in Kalamazoo.  We’re just getting started.  We’re hoping to end up in the best spot for our whole community.

MLive Article About Moratorium