MOTION-- Numerous businesses citywide, including small restaurants, are being cited with $356 fines for
posting banners without a permit which inform customers that a business is open for takeout during the
These 'temporary signs' are critically important during this time period given that the rules
about when businesses can and cannot be open have been changing as the cases of COVID-19 increase
or decrease. Whether or not a business can be open may be dependent on what the particular required
protocols are for being open, and whether the business is ready or able to implement those protocols at
a particular point in time.
Knowing every type of business-use will not be ready to open at the same time, being able to
clearly communicate whether or not a business is open is critical to their survival, and critically
important to the public trying to navigate food and services during the crises. Consequently, the need
for businesses to communicate during a pandemic outweighs blight prevention/reduction and the
'temporary signs' regulatory controls. All safety regulations pertaining to installation of 'temporary
signs' should continue to be observed.
Business operators were cited for displaying 'temporary signs,' as defined by Municipal Code
Section 14.4.16 (Temporary Signs), as signs that are 'tacked, pasted or otherwise temporarily affixed to
windows and/or on the walls of buildings, barns, sheds or fences,' and displayed for a maximum of 30
days and which require a building permit.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that many businesses citywide are struggling to
keep afloat, the continuation of these citations by the city during this unprecedented period are
counterproductive to the economic viability of the city, and towards increasing the high unemployment
numbers in the Southern California region, and foremost, the city.
I THEREFORE MOVE that the Council instruct the Department of Building and Safety, in
consultation with the City Attorney, to prepare and present an ordinance to suspend all citation
enforcement provisions, and thereby waive the requirement for businesses to obtain a permit for
'temporary signs' that are tacked, pasted or otherwise temporarily affixed to windows and/or on the
walls of buildings, barns, sheds or fences, as defined by Municipal Code Section 14.4.16, and rescind the
fourteen Order to Comply citations for temporary sign violations issued from March 4, 2020 through July
24, 2020, and allow temporary signs until the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, with
notifications to property owners as to its sunset date.
I FURTHER MOVE that the Council instruct the Department of Building and Safety, in
consultation with the City Attorney, to prepare a report with recommendations on which codes present
life safety concerns and should continue to be enforced during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.