Wednesday Feb 22 2012
Residents can provide input on digital billboard proposal
By: Nancy Hagman, Colfax Record Correspondent
City begins process of courthouse ownership
A sign ordinance amendment has been proposed that would allow for the installation of digital billboards on city-owned property along Interstate 80 and Highway 174. The introduction and first reading of the new sign ordinance was scheduled to take place at a meeting of the Colfax Planning Commission on Feb. 22, and residents have a limited to time to provide their input. Some attendees at the Colfax Area Chamber of Commerce mixer held Feb. 18 generally agreed it would be a new, and welcomed, source of income for city coffers. The technology could also allow local businesses a new way to draw in freeway travelers. However, chamber president Frank Klein said the billboards “should not be garish.” Opposition and concern were also voiced over the weekend by patrons at Café Luna, including Colfax Area Historical Society president Janet Lee. Digital billboards, Lee said, “are too distracting. Drivers need to concentrate on the road, especially in winter.” Alan Shuttleworth also said he did not want the billboards to be garish. Under the proposed ordinance, the total billboard signs in the city, whether digital or not, could not exceed the number of billboard signs existing in the city at the time the new ordinance is adopted. The second reading, and adoption, of the ordinance is scheduled at the planning commission’s next meeting on March 14. The city is also moving forward in taking ownership of the former county courthouse located at the corner of Grass Valley and Culver streets. The property has sat idle since the courts were moved to the new judicial center in Roseville and is considered surplus by the county facilities department, according to Mary Dietrich, department assistant director. The city plans to apply for a federal Housing and Urban Development to renovate the building. One of the possible uses could be a youth center. At the February meeting of the Weimar/Applegate/Colfax Municipal Advisory Commission, David Nelson, a Community Development Block Grant consultant for the city, requested, and received approval for, an endorsement letter to the Board of Supervisors in support of transferring ownership of the building to the city.