One can easily spot fluttering banners looming over car dealerships or strip malls in Hialeah, promoting sales and specials.
These flapping advertisements are currently illegal, but the Hialeah City Council has moved to legalize and regulate the banners.
The council gave initial, unanimous approval to an ordinance that would let business owners erect the banners for up to 90 consecutive days after getting a permit for $75. Businesses can display the flags for another 90 days as long there is a 90-day break between display periods.
Business owners would have to submit a sketch of the proposed signs, which are sometimes teardrop- or feather-shaped, to the city’s planning and zoning department, and the signs would only be allowed up for 90 days.
Mayor Carlos Hernandez said the city had to adjust to current trends in the community.
“I think it’s important for us to work hand-in-hand with the businesses to be able to allow them to have these signs in a legal, controlled and regulated manner,” he said.
Debora Storch, director of the city’s planning and zoning division, told the council at its last meeting that the maximum dimensions allowed by the ordinance are 2-feet-wide by 12-feet-high, and the that there has to be at least 30 feet between the flags.
“[Banners] are allowed only when associated with the promotion of special events,” she said.
Assistant city attorney Lorena Bravo said the move will also help to reduce visual clutter along city streets.
“We know that regulating signs is a sensitive issue,” she said. “But by the same token, I think the mayor recognizes that this is an area the city can improve in to advance the mission of beautifying the city.”
If the ordinance is adopted, code enforcement would give businesses warning notices and time before issuing fines, which are $100 for the first violation and $200 for repeat violations.
“They’ll get a notice and a period to correct it,” Bravo said.
The council is scheduled to vote on the measure at its regular meeting Tuesday.
Follow @joeflech on Twitter.