TUSAYAN, Ariz. - On June 26, members of the Tusayan Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission met for the first time and focused on the provisions of Tusayan's zoning code, sign and banners, and town lighting.
When the town incorporated back in 2010, they adopted Coconino County's zoning code. The P&Z commission has started the large task of going through the code to customize it to the specific needs of Tusayan.
"They really want to take a comprehensive look at temporary banner signs as well as signs in general and to propose changes," Interim Town Manager Tami Ryall said. "I think in the community there is a very big commitment to dark sky ordinance, so everyone wants to be particularly careful there too. Also mentioned was Tusayan parking and landscaping."
The commission also tackled temporary and permanent signs and banners, one of the many topics to needing modification.
"An application was put in by the IMAX Theatre for a temporary banner sign as a test to determine marketability and the effectiveness of replacing the sign with a different one," P&Z Commissioner Craig Sanderson said.
At the end of the season, IMAX management would then make the decision whether or not to keep it.
Sanderson said it was the P&Z's intention to increase the allowable size of signs that could go on the businesses in the community.
"When you think of banners you typically think about something that is hanging out temporarily like for a grand opening or for change of hours, something like that," Sanderson said. "But this was for an extended period and it wasn't being used in addition to signage, but rather to replace it."
The commission decided to approve the concept with the understanding that each individual request would have to go through the P&Z as opposed to going through the town manager.
"The problem was of course that we couldn't approve a usage of more than 75 square feet because the code has not yet been modified," Sanderson said.
After adopting the first step, the commission proceeded to the second, which was reviewing the IMAX's application.
Sanderson said, at the meeting, he had the idea to allow the theatre to increase the size of the signage.
"Basically, what they wanted to do on the south facing wall, they have a huge building, and it says IMAX on it and that takes up their full allotment of 75 square feet," Sanderson said. "So they wanted to, rather than cover it up, use an additional 75 square feet to put the banner that said 'National Geographic.' To me, it made sense."
P&Z elected to allow banners with the provision that it would have to be approved by the commission themselves. They also approved 150 square feet maximum for the IMAX to make certain that larger signs are acceptable on larger buildings.
"Effectively, what that does is gives a process for the community, as far as business to be able to have a way to come to us and 'here is what we'd like to do' rather than, as it seems to currently be a situation of 'just throw it up until someone decides to take it down.' We want to get rid of that concept and have it a little bit more formalized," Sanderson said.