Ascension Parish Library discuss signage issues with Historic Commission

Allison B. Hudson

The Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville would like to keep its uniformed look throughout the parish with its LED sign, but they’re our roadblocks being that the building resides in the Historic District of Donaldsonville.

THE ISSUE

The Ascension Parish Library wants to install a large illuminated sign with moving LED lettering that would advertise events and other events relating to the library. All of the other libraries in the parish have these signs but no other location is located in the Historic District.

The Historic District has rules regarding the signage, and a meeting was held with library officials and the Historic District Commission.

“They submitted an application about 18 months back and it was denied since the Historic Commission ordinance states no illuminated signs and lighting must be stationary,” said Liz Eure of the Historic District Commission.

After the library submitted an application, the commission sent a letter to discuss other options that would suffice for the district.

WHAT HAPPENED

The Historic Commission asked that they replace the illuminated sign with one that is illuminated with stationary exterior lighting or from the bottom up that would reduce the sign's size and reduce the size of the area of the led lighting under the sign limiting the time the letters move, which would help at night.

Eure stated that the ordinance was written taking into consideration that the historic district is a mixed blend of residential and commercial and blinking, flashing, neon lights disrupts residents at night.

One board member mentioned that the buildings around are unoccupied and although true, if the buildings across the street sold for a business at bottom and residential use at top then blinking flashing lights would reflect in peoples homes.

WHATS NEXT

The Historic Commission recognizes the Library’s need to advertise and the library officials were adamant that it needed to be via outside signage.

After much deliberation and discussion, the library decided to rework the design and submit to the board at the next meeting. They will change where they place the sign and not raise it in the air on a large pole but rather will tuck it in the existing raised brick flowerbed in the front right.