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ISA Signals | February 2012

In this Issue
Meet ISA’s Sign Code Experts!

Rapid Response 
Successes in Utah and Florida
My Kind of Town
Down by the Oceanside

Heard on the Hill
Keep Your Hands Upon the Wheel
Helping Small Businesses

Outreach & Education
New ADA Standards to Take Effect
Automotive Aftermarket Learns Value of Signage
Tax Break Tips for Sign Companies

ISA Proposals Accepted by NEC Panel
ISA Sign Structure Research Now Available

A Look Ahead
Teaching in Memphis
We Love L.A.

Meet ISA’s Sign Code Experts! – ISA’s sign code experts Kenny Peskin and James Carpentier will be available for one-on-one complimentary consultations during the ISA International Sign Expo. At no cost, any ISA member can sign up for a 15-minute meeting with ISA’s sign code experts. Whether it is a proposed ordinance, needed variance, or difficulties with expediting permits, ISA is there to help work with you. To schedule advance appointments, please contact [email protected]. Walk-in consultations also will be available in the ISA Booth #1559.

Available times:
Thursday, March 22
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Kenny Peskin)
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (James Carpentier)

Friday, March 23
2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Kenny Peskin)

Saturday, March 24
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Kenny Peskin)
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (James Carpentier)

Rapid Response
Successes in Utah and Florida – Strong support from the sign industry, end users and ISA’s government relations team helped craft positive sign code legislation in Tallahassee, Fla., and altered potentially restrictive EMC regulations in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In Tallahassee on January 25, city commissioners approved changes to the sign code that reduced the change rate for EMCs from eight to six seconds and removed a burdensome regulation on abandoned signs. The move came after ISA’s James Carpentier, members of the Southern States Sign Association and end users testified on the positive impact of signs on small businesses.

On January 3, the Salt Lake City Council voted to strike proposed restrictive regulations for EMCs and separate the city’s on-premise and off-premise regulations. The vote occurred after more than 30 individuals spoke out in opposition to the proposed regulations. The city council has opted to keep the issue open; in the meantime, ISA and the sign industry will continue to educate city officials on the benefits of effective signage. For more information, please contact [email protected].

My Kind of Town – The Chicago Zoning Committee recently adopted language which changes requirements that neighborhoods be notified when an on-premise electronic sign is proposed. The amendment requires notification only for a small number of on-premise signs that already were subject to notification because of size or height. ISA’s Kenny Peskin and Chicago land representatives testified that on-premises contractors previously have not been subject to enforcement of other notification regulations, despite the existence of these earlier rules in the Chicago codes. The issue should come before the full council in the coming months. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Down by the Oceanside – The coastal city of Oceanside, Calif. (population 180,000+), is currently revising their sign code and ISA has been involved in the process in order to make a positive difference. Thanks in part to the testimony and efforts of ISA’s James Carpentier on February 13, the Planning Commission removed ill-advised language mandating a lighting curfew for signs and cut the proposed hold-time for digital signs in half. The Planning Commission’s recommendations now go the Oceanside City Council for consideration on March 28, and the sign industry – including ISA and the California Sign Association – will continue to educate local officials on the importance of visible and effective signage for the community.

Heard on the Hill
Keep Your Hands Upon the Wheel – New regulations for truck drivers who drive
across state lines prohibit use of handheld cell phones while operating commercial motor vehicles. The new regulations became effective January 3 and carry a hefty fine — civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense for drivers and up to $11,000 for companies. Make sure your company communicates and enforces this policy! For more information, please contact [email protected].

Helping Small Businesses – ISA recently joined with dozens of other manufacturing trade groups in urging Congress to support the inclusion of the bonus depreciation provision in the House of Representatives-passed version of HR 3630. This provision, which would allow businesses of all sizes to deduct 100% of the cost of capital investments made in 2012, would spur much needed business investment and job creation. Bonus depreciation, which is simply a timing change allowing taxpayers a benefit now rather than later, draws broad, bipartisan support in Congress as well as the administration. Small businesses can also use increased bonus depreciation standards to “write off” the costs of signs in 2012 as well. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Outreach and Education
New ADA Standards to Take Effect – The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design will become effective March 15, 2012, and are designed to ensure signage has maximum accessibility to all people. All manufacturers of architectural signage must be compliant with these standards after that date. On Thursday, February 23, ISA is offering an AIA-accredited course via webinar that will educate you about ADA requirements as they relate to room identification signs, directional and informational signs, typography, spacing, height and other ADA guidelines. Please contact [email protected] for more information about this informative and timely educational offering or register online.

Automotive Aftermarket Learns Value of Signage – ISA provided four pages of information on how signage can attract potential customers for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association’s member magazine, Aftermarket Insider. The AAIA includes thousands of sign users, from your local repair shop to national automotive parts chains. The information is the latest example of ISA working with other sign-user groups to educate their members on the importance of on-premise signs to their businesses. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Tax Break Tips for Sign Companies – On February 9 ISA offered a webinar educating sign companies on tax provisions that allow small businesses to deduct any sign purchased this year. The sign-user company can write off much of the cost this year, instead of depreciating it—an important advantage in difficult economic times. More than 50 sign companies have learned about the depreciation and expensing tools that sign purchasers can use to their advantage through ISA’s webinar. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ISA and TRB – Digital signs, sign retroreflectivity and sign structures were all on the agenda at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting in January, which drew numerous sign industry leaders. The event also included new research on allocation of curb space and the safety impacts of LED traffic signals. The TRB is a division of the National Research Council that advises the federal government on technical questions of national importance and promotes innovation and progress in transportation through research. ISA staff participates in this yearly conference in order to more fully understand the academic and federal research priorities that affect our products. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ISA Proposals Accepted by NEC Panel – ISA’s Electrical Subcommittee continues to represent the sign industry perspective through active participation in the 2014 National Electrical Code process. A number of ISA’s proposals were accepted at the January Code-Making Panel meetings in Hilton Head, S.C. Proposals for the NEC may be adopted by the panel in full, in part or in principle, so the sign industry’s input and influence can be expressed in a variety of ways. A key aspect of ISA’s efforts involves updating NEC requirements to reflect the ongoing evolution in sign-lighting technologies. For example, included among the ISA proposals accepted by NFPA Code-Making Panel 18 are new requirements for signs that incorporate LED lighting and LED retrofits. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ISA Sign Structure Research Now Available
– ISA has released research that it commissioned through the University of California at San Diego on single pole sign structures. The research makes recommendations for repairs and retrofitting of telescoping single pole sign structures and consideration of tapered designs for new construction. The research report can be found here. For further information, please contact [email protected].

A Look Ahead

Teaching in Memphis – The Mid South Sign Association, the Signage Foundation, Inc. (SFI) and ISA are presenting a day-long educational event in Memphis, Tenn., on March 16 for planners and other local officials on sign code issues. This event is modeled after similar programs held in 2011 in Seattle, Wash., Phoenix, Ariz. and Dallas, Texas, and that helped educate over 100 planners on the importance of visible and effective signage for small businesses and communities. For more information, please contact [email protected].

We Love L.A. – The annual conference of the American Planning Association will take place in Los Angeles, Calif., from April 14-16, and ISA will be there. ISA will be manning a booth on the exhibition floor in order to meet with and talk to the various rank-and-file planners, planning students, planning consultants, lawyers and academics about sign code issues. For more information, please contact [email protected].

is an ISA members' only e-newsletter to help you stay ahead of the sign code, legislative, regulatory, environmental and legal issues that affect your business.