After years of talk about the idea, the Tulsa city council this week finally began a process to set up new zoning rules along Route 66 that will allow bigger neon signs than what codes now allow.
Tulsa Public Radio reported:
The council has initiated a zoning code overlay to relax sign regulations along the corridor. As it’s currently written, the overlay will let businesses put up signs 50 percent larger than they’re currently allowed based on their building fronts if they use a certain proportion of neon lights.
“For example, if someone previously had been given 100 square feet of signage, they’ve now been boosted to 150 square feet as long as 25 percent is neon,” said INCOG Land Development Planner Nathan Foster. […]
The overlay would apply to nearly all of Route 66 in Tulsa, including stretches along 11th Street, Admiral and Southwest boulevards, Mingo Road, and 193rd East Avenue with extensions at major intersections. It would not apply to downtown, however, as there’s a prohibition on zoning overlays within Tulsa’s Central Business District.
Looser sign restrictions along Route 66 in Tulsa have been discussed since voters in 2003 approved the Vision 2025 sale tax that funded improvements along the Mother Road in the region. This is the first real action the council has taken.
As usual, the devil remains in the details. Foster said some of the new rules may be modified to allay concerns from residents. Those should be addressed in upcoming public hearings.
(Image of the Soul City Gastropub neon sign in Tulsa via Facebook)