EL CAJON CONSIDERS SIGN ORDINANCE CHANGES, ZONING CODE EXEMPTIONS FOR MUNICIPAL PROJECTS

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By Miriam Raftery

March 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon is considering an amendment to sign standards regulating the height and size of freestanding signs downtown. In addition, the city is considering exempting municipal projects and uses from the zoning code and entitlement process.

The Planning Commission will hold public hearings  on each of these proposals on Tuesday March 19 at 7 p.m.  The City Council will also hold public hearings on Tuesday, March 26 at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon.

According to Anthony Shute, director of community development, the sign ordinance would only impact approximately three properties.  It would allow downtown properties with more than 10 or 12 acres to have signs up to 20 feet high (taller than the 8 feet currently allowed) and about 80 square feet.  

One of those properties is the civic center site that includes the East County Performing Arts Center soon to reopen under management of Live Nation.  “We think there is a better opportunity for the city itself to promote what is happening at ECPAC,” Shute told ECM. The changes (still being fine-tuned) may also apply to the Ross/24 Hour Fitness Center and to a property that includes Motor World, a credit union and Rubio’s.

The proposal to exempt municipal projects and those on city property is consistent with state law and was proposed by the City Council at its Feb. 26 meeting as a means of saving city resources and taxpayer money, according to Shute.

The public is invited to attend and participate.  Agenda reports will be available 72 hours before the meetings at www.cityofelcajon.us/yourgovernment/city-meetings-with-agendas-and-minutes-all.  Copies will not be available at public meetings, but can be obtained in advance at the Project Assistance Center and City Clerk counters on request.

According to the public notices, both projects would be deemed exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

If you have questions, contact Anthony Shute at 619-441-1742 or via email at tshute@cityofelcajon.us and reference “Downtownsigns” in the subject line regarding the sign ordinance changes, or put “Exemption” in the subject line for e-mails regarding the proposed municipal project exemptions.

More information about planning and zoning in El Cajon is available at www.cityofelcajon.us/yourgovernment/departments/community-development/pl....