City talks new development regulations for parking, digital signs

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New parking and digital-sign regulations
The Manhattan Development Code will establish new maximum standards for parking.
Assistant director of community development Chad Bunger says the goal is to limit the negative effects of large parking lots, such as inefficient land use and storm-water runoff issues.
Mayor Wynn Butler says he is not in favor of the restrictions.
“If I own the property and I want to put more parking there, I should be allowed to,” Butler said.
Commissioner Usha Reddi supported the standards, saying many spaces go unused.
Despite the new maximum standards for parking, the code will also create new minimum standards which will give developers and businesses more control.
The Manhattan Development Code will also establish new standards for off-site digital advertising signs.
The regulations will dictate various aspects of the display, such as brightness and message duration.
Commissioner Linda Morse says digital signs can be hazardous for drivers.
“It’s hard to drive by there and not look at it, which is their whole plan,” Morse said. “But there’s a safety feature there where you should be driving your car and not trying to read a message that’s typing out.”
The code will also require businesses to remove at least three static off-site advertising signs for every off-site digital advertising sign installed.
New flood regulations
Manhattan’s new development code will require landlords of properties located in certain locations to inform prospective tenants of flood risks.
The policy applies to established hazardous flood zones, such as those near the Anderson Ave./Seth Child Rd. intersection.
Butler says the creation of the regulation has been a long time coming.
“We’ve been waiting on this one for a while,” Butler said. “I’m glad to see it in there and I think it’s going to help so we don’t get folks surprised, which happened in the past.”
Commissioner Aaron Estabrook asked whether the city could look into also informing current tenants of flood risks.
Bunger says while it is a good idea, it would likely be expensive.
He added that the policy will only be enforced on a complaint basis.
For more information about the new regulations discussed during Tuesday’s city commission meeting, click here.
In other city commission news:
  • The city commission approved the first reading for the rezoning of a lot in the Eureka Addition “from C-6/AO, Heavy Commercial District with Airport Overlay District to I-3/AO, Light Industrial District with Airport Overlay District.” The lot owner, Larson Construction, Inc., wants to continue to use the lot for storage.
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