Route 66 News

Albuquerque soon will enact neon sign incentives

The Albuquerque City Council last week passed a series of proposals that will encourage neon signs along Route 66 in the city, and Mayor Richard Berry says he intends to sign them, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The proposal will go into effect about a month after Berry’s signature. According to the newspaper, the packages will:

– Allow bigger signs. A free-standing neon sign, for example, could be up to 50 percent bigger than what is normally allowed in the underlying zoning category, and a building-mounted sign could be up to 25 percent larger, with some exceptions.

— Allow free-standing, pole-mounted signs in the Nob Hill and Highland area of East Central, where they’re now prohibited. There would be limits on how big and tall they could be. The signs would have to be mostly neon, in addition to other requirements.

— Waive one-time permit fees that normally range from $75 to $150.

To qualify for the incentives, applicants would have to meet certain design guidelines, such as using novel shapes or meeting other standards.

The only councilor who voted against the package was Isaac Benton, who fears historic signs will be lost amid “the sea of new pseudo-historic signs.” But Councilor Rey Garduno said he thinks business owners will pursue “self-regulation” and try to appeal to the area where they operate.

(Image of Albuquerque’s Nob Hill neighborhood at dusk by Aurora Michele, via Flickr)

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