ESCANABA — A review of Escanaba’s zoning ordinance was presented to the Escanaba Planning Commission Thursday night. It was a step required to qualify for the Redevelopment Ready Community certification.
Planner Richard Smith with CUPPAD gave several recommendations for changes including used a form-based code as a way of regulating development along Ludington Street.
“For traditional zoning you look at the land use, it’s either allowed or it is not. With form based code you are looking at what is the overall presentation. You are looking at the streets, you are looking at the surrounding development, the sidewalk, lighting, all of that,” Smith said.
Smith also suggested regulating lighted or LED signs. He said technology is making the signs brighter and more garish.
“The can virtually be a television screen or a movie screen, and they can be as large as your ordinance will allow. And they can run non-stop. That, in my opinion, is an invitation to traffic accidents, traffic hazards and I think they tend to distract from the community as these things get brighter,” he said.
City Manger Jim O’Toole said the form-based code concept was included in the master plan and he expects signage regulations to be reviewed next year.