The Yakima City Council will address enforcement of the sign ordinance when it convenes Tuesday and separately consider tightening procedural rules for approving action items placed on meeting agendas.
This year, city code enforcement has stepped up enforcement of a long-ignored ordinance regulating the use of temporary business signs on sidewalks and storefronts. The city has visited 717 businesses and removed 1,549 signs to date, according to a memo to the council.
But the effort hasn’t been without critics; some business owners have already complained at council meetings. On Tuesday, the council will consider sending recommendations for amendments to the code to the city Planning Commission.
Those amendments could include a revision of what signs are exempt from permits and fees and how those are governed; redefining size limits on temporary signs based on the size of the parcel where they’re located; and potential caps on the number and size of window displays.
Also on the agenda for the upcoming business meeting is a memo outlining a few potential changes to council procedure, topped by a proposal that would require any non-agenda action proposed at meetings to be put on a future meeting’s agenda before it can be approved.
The proposal comes after a discussion among council at a retreat last week.
The council would still be allowed to pass emergency legislation and vote to direct staff to research proposals and draft ordinances.
The council also will consider a resolution to withdraw from its membership in the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management.
The office was established in 1984 and includes Yakima County and all other incorporated municipalities in the county.
But according to City Manager Tony O’Rourke, the agreement only provides a generic outline for emergency preparedness and prevents the city from adopting its own unique plan.
The proposal was raised at the council’s July 15 meeting, but staff was asked to provide the council more information after Councilman Rick Ensey pushed against the proposal.
At that meeting, Ensey said to withdraw would go against the city’s stated goal of collaborating with community partners. The city currently pays $69,317 annually as part of its membership in the agreement.
The council will hold its business meeting at 10 a.m. instead of the normal 6 p.m. start time to allow for participation in National Night Out events planned in the city. Tuesday is also the day of the state primary election.