Dumb Laws–Ventura County and the signs of the times

All regulations have a purpose.  At least, they always define a purpose for the regulation, otherwise they would have no purpose at all except to annoy the public.

Sign regulations in the County of Ventura have a very good purpose.  Under Article 10 section 8110-0 they give that purpose, in a very clear and purposeful way.

The purpose of this Article is to promote traffic safety and the aesthetics of the visual environment of Ventura County through the regulation of all signs within the unincorporated areas, except in public rights-of-way. Regulations contained herein are the least burdensome regulations to carry out the above stated purpose.

However, to understand how you, as a law abiding citizen, can implement Ventura County’s sign regulations you may have to get a college degree in math, actually one in geometry would probably suffice.

Take the problem of calculating the allowable area of a sign.

Area of Simultaneously Visible Faces—Where the lettered or illustrative material of a sign is placed upon a sign board or other sign structure having a continuous or essentially continuous surface or face (whether plane, curved, angulated or otherwise), the background or face area of simultaneously visible faces of such sign board or sign structure shall be the sign area. For purposes of computation, single and double faced signs are considered to have the same area; in other words, a double-faced sign having two square feet of sign copy on each face is considered to have two square feet of sign area. (Am. Ord. 3730—5/7/85; Am. Ord. 3810—5/5/87)

Okay that makes sense. You can have a double sided sign and it’s equal to a single sided sign.  So if you were smart you’d only have double sided signs so you can get more bang for your buck.  

But now it gets tricky.

Geometric Unframed Figure—Where the lettered or illustrative material is not placed or framed in the manner described in the above, but is composed either vertically, horizontally, diagonally or otherwise, essentially in the form of a rectangle, triangle or similar geometric figure, the area of the geometric figure within which such material could be enclosed shall be the sign area; except that when the space between the elements comprising the sign exceeds 1½ times the average size of the elements themselves, the area of the elements may be measured separately as provided below.

So the area of the hypotenuse is equal to a triangular rectangle when squares are used. Maybe this is a form of Common Core math.  How many doubled sided signs equal a sign that is not oddly shaped?

There are 15 pages given to the regulations of signs in the Ventura County zoning code.  As stated we agree with the need to regulate them but then trying to find out what sign is okay and what isn’t can be hard because there are sign regulations for the size, shape, sparkly appearance, content, color, lettering, clock or no clock, tract signs, window signs, use of symbols, political messages, location, setbacks, no sandwich boards, no banners, no signs that emit sounds (do they really do that?), no captive balloons (as opposed to free balloon sign, we would like to see those), no pennants or flags, no roof signs, no bench signs, no unhealthy or hazardous signs (da) and on and on and on.

Like anything that has to do with government’s burdensome, decidedly confusing, over-regulation of something that is good–sign regulation in the County of Ventura is one more example of a sign of the times.

Signs can have helpful messages but may be too big or not the right color or something

Signs can have helpful messages but may be too big or not the right color or something

If you happen upon a dumb law, please, send it our way.  We will never tell where it came from, cross our hearts. editor@citizensjournal.us


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One Response to Dumb Laws–Ventura County and the signs of the times

  1. republitard May 11, 2017 at 11:25 am


    Editor’s note- try cleaning up your posts.


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