Metro government is preparing to address for the first time a comprehensive downtown signage code, with the announcement of the selection of a consultant looming, Metro Planning Department spokesman Craig Owensby said Thursday.
Owensby said the sign code assessment, analysis and recommendations as noted in the request for proposals will focus on a myriad of elements, including physical form and placement; total number of signs for any single business; sign types (for example, murals and signs capping skyscrapers); temporary signs; lighting; and materials.
The Metro effort coincides with the recent placement of some prominent downtown signs — including those of Metropolitan Wines, Puckett’s Grocery, Virago and Wells Fargo — that have spurred wide-ranging comments via built-environment-related message boards and discussion groups.
“The proposals will be reviewed in the next two weeks, which could result in a selection or a short list,” Owensby said, adding the department received seven proposals.
The planning department effort evolved from discussions with multiple downtown stakeholders in 2009 and the February finalization of the more broad Downtown Code, inspired by the 2007 Downtown Community Plan.
Owensby said the budget allocated for the consulting assessment is capped at $34,800. The firm hired will be required to finalize the sign code assessment, analysis and recommendations by June 30, 2011.