Shawnee updating sign code, design guidelines for downtown district

Shawnee is in the process of updating its sign code and design guidelines.

Shawnee is in the process of updating its sign code and design guidelines after a downtown business requested city approval for a projecting sign.

Pegah’s Family Restaurant in June had requested approval from the planning commission on a new projecting sign at its downtown location, 11005 Johnson Drive. City staff and planning commissioners were concerned that the sign was “too large and out of scale for the building facade,” according to city documents.

The planning commission’s approval of the sign at the time called for a reduction of the overall size of the sign. The planning commission then directed city staff to review the city’s projecting sign requirements.

The Shawnee Downtown Partnership then reviewed current projecting sign requirements and indicated it would prefer that regulations “remain flexible to allow for variety in implementation,” according to city documents.

The Shawnee planning commission on Aug. 19 voted 8-0 to recommend the city council approve text amendments to the city’s sign code. There was no public comment. The council will consider the recommended amendments at a future meeting; city staff expects that to happen Sept. 9.

A comprehensive, detailed list is available on the city’s website, but here’s an abbreviated list of the new sign code requirements:

  • Applies only to ground-floor tenants in Town Square District
  • Limited allowance for mixed-use buildings
  • Only 1 sign per tenant’s street frontage
  • Only 1 sign adjacent to driving aisle and off-street parking area where there is also a public entrance
  • Only 1 sign allowed per street frontage for multi-story, multi -family residential located above commercial ground floor tenants
  • A secondary projecting sign is permitted in addition to a wall sign, and it must be located within 8 feet of a public entrance
  • Sign may be under an awning or canopy
  • Sign may extend above roofline with planning commission approval
  • When in lieu of other building-mounted signs, the sign can comprise up to 7% of signable area of a wall
  • Sign cannot extend more than 2/3 width of adjacent walkway, or no more than 6 feet (whichever is less)
  • Sign cannot extend below a canopy/awning more than 2 feet or less than 8 feet from grade

The planning commission also voted 8-0 to approve amendments to the city’s Downtown Design Guidelines.

The newly approved Downtown Design Guidelines, which can be viewed on the city’s website, apply to the Pedestrian Zone and the South Nieman Zone.

Commissioners Carrie Bingham, Randy Braley and John Montgomery were absent.