The City of Santa Barbara has long recognized that signs are an integral part of the cityscape and, as such, can detract from or enhance the City's image and character. The City first adopted a sign ordinance in 1922, and many changes in sign review have occurred since that time. In 1960, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) began reviewing certain types of signs.
Their purview expanded intermittently until all signs - permanent and temporary - were subject to ABR review. In 1977, the Landmarks Committee began to review signs in El Pueblo Viejo in order to assure that such signs complied with the Historic Structures Ordinance. In July, 1977, due to the amount of time required to review signs, a Sign Sub-Committee was formed to review, approve, conditionally approve or deny all signs subject to ratification of its actions by the full bodies of the ABR and Historic Landmarks Committee.
Also in 1977, lengthy studies began on amending the sign ordinance, in an effort to reduce processing time, clarify the sign ordinance requirements and include Sign Sub-Committee policy in the ordinance. The Sign Ordinance was adopted in the Spring of 1981 and changed the Sub-Committee to full committee status as the "Sign Committee", with two members and an alternate from the business community added, appointed by City Council.
In 1995, the Sign Ordinance was again amended, and the composition of the Sign Committee was again changed, this time to reduce the membership to five members and two alternates with qualifications as outlined below.
|Membership||Four Members and Two Alternates
Note: In an effort to create administrative efficiencies in the review of sign permit applications, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 10-092 on November 16, 2010, which temporarily revises the composition of the Sign Committee from 5 members and 2 alternates to 4 members and 2 alternates. The Resolution is effective upon the adoption of Ordinance No. 5537.
|Length of Term||Four years and until successors are appointed and qualified. Staggered terms expire on December 31 of the appropriate year. No member shall serve for more than two consecutive four-year terms or an uninterrupted period of more than eight (8) years. Members from the ABR and Historic Landmarks Commission shall serve terms concurrent with their terms on said board or commission, and shall serve only so long as they are members of said board or commission.|
|Meeting Schedule||The Committee meets weekly, alternating between Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. and Monday at 2:30 p.m., in the David Gebhard Public Meeting Room, 630 Garden Street. Please check the meeting schedule on the City Calendar.|
|Time Involved||Approximately 6 – 8 hours per month for meetings and related activities.|
|Financial Disclosure Requirement||Members must file a Statement of Economic Interests upon appointment, annually and when leaving the advisory group.|
|Staff||Design Review, Community Development Department, (805) 564-5578|
|Reference||City Charter Sections 800 - 805, and 817; Municipal Code Chapter 22.70; Resolution Nos. 10-092, 10-091, 06-084, 95-083, 90-028, 81-053, and 79-093; Ordinance No. 5537|