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Posted on: May 7, 2020

Sign regulations update

WavyFlagCollageThingDid you know, AB?

The City of Atlantic Beach adopted its first sign ordinance in 1966 and has updated it 19 times to address new issues. In 2013, the Atlantic Beach City Commission specifically added flags to its sign regulations by a unanimous vote, without public opposition during either reading of the ordinance. The 2013 ordinance amendment (see http://coab.us/DocumentCen…/View/11811/Ordinance-No-60-13-18) defined flags and restricted the number of flags to two (2) per parcel and limiting each to 24 sq. ft. per flag.

On Aug. 8, 2016, the City Commission recognized the City’s content-based sign code restrictions to be unconstitutional, agreeing with a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In its unanimous vote, the Commission agreed to suspend enforcement of all regulations governing temporary noncommercial (residential) signs and guided staff to develop constitutionally compliant, content-neutral revisions to the sign code.

Here is the Commission’s executed resolution stating its intent to comply with Supreme Court: http://coab.us/DocumentCenter/View/11824/Resolution-No-16-04

Here is the video recording of the 2016 meeting at which the topic was discussed in detail, the resolution unanimously approved, and guidance was provided to staff to revise the code: http://atlanticbeachfl.swagit.com/play/07252016-826.

The City Commission is closing the loop on that decision by considering a constitutionally compliant sign regulation update. Among the provisions being considered are expansions to the number and size of flags allowed per parcel or removing the 2013 inclusion of flags from the sign code, altogether.

Here is a May 6, 2020, memorandum from the City Attorney addressing whether U.S. flags can be exempt from content-neutral flag regulations: “Sign Code – United States Flag Exception”: https://www.coab.us/…/View/…/Memo-re-flag-exception-May-2020

The sign regulations update has been addressed during numerous public meetings and the City continues to actively seek public input before the ordinance is considered for second reading at the Commission’s regular meeting May 11. The 6:30 p.m. regular meeting will be proceeded by a 5:30 p.m. workshop on the sign regulations update.

The City Commission members can be simultaneously emailed at electedofficials@coab.us.

Here’s the City’s website devoted to the sign regulations update: http://coab.us/942/Sign-Regulations-Update

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