Hospital sign still stirring up debate

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

What’s the big deal about a sign? A lot, depending on whom you ask. Two weeks after the Port Isabel Board of Adjustments tabled a request for a variance to erect an electronic sign for an emergency medical facility that’s proposing to locate in the historic district the sign has remained a lively discussion topic at various City and committee meetings, including the Ordinance Review Committee (ORC).

The ORC met Tuesday to discuss the sign and a related amendment to the City’s sign ordinance — Ordinance 455-F — passed by the Port Isabel City Commission last Tuesday, which would exempt signs for emergency medical facilities from most restrictions.

ORC Chair Darrell Mangham said the amendment read to him like a “blanket exception” to the City’s existing sign ordinance. “I think that blanket exception is ill advised and bad public policy,” Mangham said, adding that he nonetheless supported the idea of a medical facility locating in the city.

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