Frederickson News – F-CCCC grapples with electronic sign issue

 

The Frederickson-Clover Creek Community Council met last Saturday and discussed a variety of political and social projects.

Foremost in the political arena was a unanimous vote not to support the widespread installation of electronic readerboards throughout the community.  However, the F-CCCC does embrace the construction of electronic signage if confined to public facilities and displaying public messages only, and council president Amy Pivetta-Hoffman agreed to craft a letter destined for the Pierce County spelling out the group’s perspective. 

Thus, the F-CCCC supports the installation of electronic readerboards at public schools, fire and police stations, and governmental buildings, which would be used to deliver important information, such as alerting the public to weather emergencies, power outages or Amber Alerts.

The Bethel School District, along with the Graham Fire and Rescue Department, has been pressing for several years for a county zoning code change that would allow them to erect electronic signs.  At the March F-CCCC meeting, Cathie Carlson, a Bethel official from the BSD planning and facilities management department, had asked the council for their support in their latest round of negotiations with the Pierce County Council and the Washington State Growth Management Hearing Board.

BSD has gained widespread support for its signage initiative, but when their petition reached the Pierce County Council last spring, the council expanded the code change to allow all civic organizations to have these signs, including churches and private schools, and possibly even fraternal clubs depending on one’s interpretation of the ordnance.

“If we had that, we’d have an electronic sign every 50 feet in this town,” said Dean Absher, vice-president of the F-CCC

The Growth Management Board also shares that perspective, and last fall it ruled the Pierce County code change out of compliance with state statutes, thus denying any usage of electronic signage within unincorporated areas of the county.  As a result the PCC is drafting new regulations, and the Bethel School District has resumed its effort to pass a code amendment that everyone can live with.

Besides an opposition to a proliferation of electronic signs, the F-CCCC also expressed its concern that these readerboards, if allowed on church and other private properties, would be very difficult to regulate in terms of content, flash intervals and other qualities that might make them eye-sores.

“We would have a much easier time getting input with public signs on public property, than with private ones,” said Absher.

The Frederickson Land Use Advisory Commission is also expected to discuss the matter of electronic readerboards at its May 16th meeting.

On social issues, the Friends of Stan and Joan Cross Park announced that their spaghetti fundraising gala will be held at Frederickson Elementary School on Friday, April 29, starting at 5 pm.

In addition, the F-CCCC will be hosting Family Movie Nights this summer at the Pierce County Skills Center on Canyon Rd at 160th St.  These free events are designed for family fun and will feature “Despicable Me” on June 12, and “Up” on August 12.

Before those festivities, however, the F-CCCC will be joining other local businesses and civic organizations to team with the Sound Life Church on 176th St for its Easter Extravaganza – an Easter Egg Hunt replete with over 30,000 eggs.  The event will have other activities as well, such as pony rides.

The Extravaganza is scheduled from 9am-noon on Saturday, April 23, and over 6,000 people are expected to attend.  Parking and shuttle buses will be provided at Clover Creek Elementary School.

©  2011  The Mountain News WA

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