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LAKELAND, FL (July 8, 2021) In March 2020, in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on local businesses, the City Commission directed staff to relax enforcement of the City’s sign code provisions. This action was in regard to prohibited sign types such as banners, pennants, streamers, and inflatables. 

Since that time, signs that would otherwise have been prohibited have been allowed to help businesses advertise their various products and services.  City Manager Shawn Sherrouse said, “This decision was set into action to assist small businesses in the community who were directly impacted by the economic downturn caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

With the effects of the pandemic subsiding, and both state and local emergency orders expiring, the City will resume enforcement of the sign code effective August 1, 2021. At that time, signage in violation of the City’s sign code will be cited and subject for removal by the business owner.

The following signs are prohibited within the Lakeland corporate limits per the Land Development Code Section 4.9 and shall be removed in accordance with the procedure established for each category of prohibited signs.

1. Abandoned signs. 

2. Animated signs and flashing lights on signs. 

3. Banners, pennants, spinners, streamers, balloons, inflatable objects, fluttering devices other than flags, and lights designed to attract attention. 

4. Billboards and Off-premises signs.

5. Parasite signs. 

6.Portable signs, except sidewalk signs where specifically permitted. 

7. Signs located on public rights-of-way or public property, except signs displayed by the governmental agency having jurisdiction over the public right-of-way and as may be authorized by law. 

8. Roof signs, unless retained and maintained as the one nonconforming sign an owner is permitted to continue in use. 

9. Horizontal and vertical advertising, not required by State or Federal laws, located on motor vehicle fuel pump island canopy supports, “spanner boards”, and on light poles or other supporting structures at non-canopied pump islands, to be removed within 30 days after written notification. 

10. Vehicle signs as defined by these regulations. 

11. Any sign that is not specifically described or enumerated as permitted by these regulations.

Brian Rewis, Interim Director of Community & Economic Development said, “The City Commission’s decision to suspend enforcement of the sign code was critical given the pandemic’s impact on businesses and consumers. With the expiration of the local emergency order, however, staff will spend the next few weeks informing local businesses so hopefully there will be very little sign code enforcement needed.”

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