City council members unanimously approved an ordinance change and amendment to Article Six of the Lewisville City Code in a 4-0 vote on July 17.

The ordinance change creates Section 6-184, providing a unified sign area for multi-lot business properties. This will increase flexibility in size and number of signs based on the area of the property.

Assistant city manager Claire Swann said the ordinance was modeled after Frisco’s “Unified Development Area” plan.

Currently in Lewisville, adjacent businesses on separate pieces of property can only place their signs on the piece of property where the business is located.  This is true even if separately platted properties are owned by the same owner.  For example, there could be a single shopping center where the property was divided into separate lots, resulting in owners having to erect multiple signs, not all of which may have good visibility.

With the passage of Section 6-184, property owners can apply for a unified sign area to advertise their storefronts on one sign in front of the lot. The application includes a site plan drawn to scale and letters from all property owners involved agreeing to the creation of the unified sign area, among other requirements.

In the past, the city has granted variances in similar scenarios to business properties like Lakeland Plaza Shopping Center and Garden Park Shopping Center, but the city wanted to move forward with changing the code to avoid granting additional variances.

“The idea for this, or behind this is there are properties in our city, as with any city, that may not have a great front, right?” Swann said at the city council workshop session July 17. “Those are properties we want to be able to activate economically, but at the same time, we don’t want a proliferation of signs in our city. We want better-looking signs.”

The city will impose strict guidelines to regulate signage appearance. The location, materials of the sign and sign size will all have to be approved by the city before the sign area is approved.

The ordinance change will also make business park entry signs more developer-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. This would help developments like Majestic Airport Center, which has numerous parcels with frontage on several streets. The ordinance will allow up to seven signs depending on the acreage of the business park lot.

“We thought this was a win-win for the community on all sides,” Swann said.