Spartanburg passes regulations for digital signage


Illumination emanating from each sign may not surpass 0.3 foot-candles over the amount of existing (ambient) lighting in the immediate area.   File photo

Thoroughly pinpointing specifications for message duration and timing, location, and other physical requirements, the Spartanburg City Council recently approved limited outdoor LED digital lighting solutions for local companies and organizations.

With a 6-1 vote, the City Council completed its first reading of an ordinance for new rules regarding local digital signage presentation, identifying details for electronic message boards around town. Limitations include height, scheduling, and precise degrees of illumination.

In particular, signs cannot exceed 6 feet in height; contain over 30 percent of lighted digital messaging in its overall content; or display after 10 p.m. and before 6 a.m. daily.

Regarding lighting provisions, the ordinance states that illumination emanating from each sign may not surpass 0.3 foot-candles over the amount of existing (ambient) lighting in the immediate area. More specifically, the amount of emanated light as measured from the nearest residential building or backyard setback line “shall not exceed the moon’s potential ambient illumination of 0.1 foot-candle.”

In addition, signs will be required to include landscaping at their base; and messages must remain “static” for 15 seconds at a time.

Finally, signs will be required to be at least 100 feet from any single-family residence property line.

The City Council plans a second reading in January prior to enacting the ordinance.

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