Proposed Electronic Sign Ordinance Sparks Debate In Edmond

Wednesday, February 12th 2014, 7:59 pm
By: News 9

Billboards are electrifying a debate in Edmond. For years the city hasn't allowed electronic signs, but a new ordinance will change that landscape, some feel, for the worst.

Three former Edmond mayors created the petition. The goal to send the new sign ordinance to vote in the hopes the people will say ‘no'.

"It's the saddest thing that could happen to Edmond," said former mayor Saundra Naifeh.

Naifeh loves her city's status quo.

"Edmond, America," said Naifeh.

Burgundy and gold signs backed by trees welcome drivers each day, but she fears signs of change.

"It breaks my heart to be honest, I'm practically grieving," said Naifeh.

Contrary to Saundra's grieving, Allen Glass is pleased with the technology.

"We can put whatever we want on it," said Glass.

Allen is able to have this type of sign because his business is in OKC just outside Edmond city limits.

"It really grabs people, so this is a nice tool for our business," said Glass.

Now with the ordinance passed, Edmond could be in lights.

"I would want you to visualize every sign in Edmond now being a message center," said Naifeh.

But even if the ordinance stays the signs in Edmond wouldn't look like this; with restrictions like no animations and each message must last 30 seconds.

"You could see it as an electronic version of the ones you see all over the place, the one where guys put the numbers on the board," said City Councilman Nick Massey.

Massey spearheaded the ordinance to allow the signs and he thought it was created in middle ground.

"We felt met the needs for the business community but not go too far," said Massey.

But if the former mayor's petition goes through, Edmond business owners have less of a chance.

"It changes the look of our beautiful community," said Naifeh.

The ordinance is set to go into effect on Thursday, and according to the city attorney it will only be reversed by a vote of the people.

The former mayors have 90 days to collect 650 signatures. If all signatures are collected, the ordinance will go to a public vote.