City limits brightness of signs

Grand Junction has determined businesses can display signs regardless of their content, in keeping with citizens’ First Amendment rights to free speech. The city regulates signs based on size, location, the number of signs, height and other physical attributes.

On Wednesday night, Grand Junction City Council voted 6-0 to amend its sign code limiting the brightness of electronic and digital signs. Councilor Duncan McArthur was absent.

Interactive signs are prohibited in Grand Junction. New signs shall have photocell technology that automatically dims displays at night, and business owners considering installing electronic or digital signs must first obtain a permit. The maximum brightness levels for signs shall not exceed three-tenths of a foot-candle over ambient light levels.

A foot candle is the amount of illumination produced by one candle at one foot.

Paul Schritter, an employee with Bud’s Signs, told councilors on Wednesday night he only noticed three signs on some of Grand Junction’s main routes that appeared too bright and may cause a safety hazard. Those signs can be altered to be dimmed, but it may be costly for owners.

He said all the digital signs Bud’s Signs sells come with automatic dimming capabilities to avoid being overly bright.

Schritter praised Grand Junction staff for work on updating the sign code because he believes more business owners will purchase digital signs in the future as owners tire of manually changing out wording on non-digital signs.

“The city did an excellent job,” he said. “You were headed for a train wreck and you averted that.”


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