Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo eases sign restrictions for U.S. 19 businesses

Largo officials will revise an ordinance to allow signs tall enough to be seen by passing motorists on U.S. 19. Several signs, like this one for Chili’s, had already been grandfathered in.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Largo officials will revise an ordinance to allow signs tall enough to be seen by passing motorists on U.S. 19. Several signs, like this one for Chili’s, had already been grandfathered in.

LARGO — These days U.S. 19 through the city is a speedway compared to the parking lot it once was.

As construction projects have turned the road into an elevated, limited access highway, a new problem has arisen for businesses dwarfed by U.S. 19 overpasses: Nobody could see them.

A tough sign ordinance that took effect in 2007 strictly limits the height and style of business signs, leaving Largo's U.S. 19 business owners fearing that their competitors along the highway in Clearwater and Pinellas Park would have an advantage.

But at a meeting on Tuesday, Largo commissioners cleared the way for a more relaxed sign ordinance for businesses dealing with seemingly endless U.S. 19 construction and faster traffic.

Commissioners voted 6-0, with Mayor Pat Gerard absent, to suspend sign ordinance enforcement for businesses along the corridor. They also ordered a sign ordinance revision that will provide more relaxed sign standards for U.S. 19 businesses.

Teresa Brydon, Largo's economic development manager, said the problem had been brewing for some time.

"For a long time — prior to the construction — there were some concerns that when the new sign ordinance came into play it would be difficult for the businesses to have effective signage," Brydon said.

U.S. 19 is the only major elevated roadway in the city, and Largo's codes didn't provide for any special exemptions.

Now, Brydon said, the city is taking a cue from neighbors Clearwater and Pinellas Park in drafting changes that will allow signs tall enough to be seen by passing motorists on the elevated highway.

Several signs are already high enough to be seen from the highway, but they were grandfathered signs that would have been required to comply with the 2007 code's lower heights by 2017.

Business owners along the route were pleased by the decision.

"Better signs would really help businesses around here," said Steve Interdonato, who operates Bicycle Express, a bike shop dwarfed by the highway overpass as it begins its rise over East Bay Drive.

Dominick Tao can be reached at dtao@sptimes.com or (727) 580-2951.

Largo eases sign restrictions for U.S. 19 businesses 02/22/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.