Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - February 12, 2013
REVISED February 12, 2013, Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #39

Parks & Recreation Athletic Field Sign Policy


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Contact:  Cynthia Gray / Sr. Admin. Spec. / x6002

Presenter:  Cindy Turner / Director / x6001

Action Requested

Staff recommends adherence to our current Board adopted sign policy.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Municode - Section 2-24-8: Vending and posting signs

Recreation Fee Schedule & Policy - Exhibit B - F. Signs

Youth/Adult League Manual - page 18 - Signs

Background Discussion
  • Staff conducted a site visit in May 2012 and found that several leagues were in violation of our sign policy:
  • Leagues were notified to remove signs per our current sign policy:
    • Youth League Manual (attached)
    • Recreation Fee Resolution (attached)
    • Municode (attached)
  • Lakewood Ranch Little League submitted a Citizen Action Center (CAC) complaint on July 23, 2012. 
  • Upon receiving a policy reminder from staff, the league did not remove the signs and requested a meeting with the director.
  • During the site visit, the league asked the director that the metal signs be able to stay.
    • Staff found metal signs hanging outside of field fences, along walkways, parking areas, and on backstops and bleachers.
  • The director agreed to look into this further.
  • Staff benchmarked various municipalities and the Pittsburg Pirates facility at McKechnie Field.
  • Industry standard is:
    • Vinyl banners with air vents allows cross ventilation on the field for players and the wind passes through so that the fence is not pulled down during inclement weather.
    • All vinyl provides uniform signage for aesthetic reasons to curtail sign pollution.
    • Metal signs on the fence can cause injury to athletic participants if they hit the sign.
  • On January 24, 2013, Risk Management visited Lakewood Ranch Park and concluded (attached):
    • There is more than one policy concerning signs at public facilities, specifically parks, in place that either derive from an agreement with the little league or by the Parks & Recreation Fee Policy as amended in July 2012 or others
    • The display of metal signs at Lakewood Ranch Park violates county policy and that signs must be vinyl, with "cut outs" to allow for wind passage and be placed "facing into" the playing field. 
    • The intent of this policy is based on safety and aesthetics.
  • Staff recommends adherence to our current Board adopted sign policy.


County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
The County Attorney's Office reviewed the league's License Agreement and the Youth & Adult League Manual. The response from the County Attorney's Office said that it clearly provides, in several sections, that the league's activities and improvements on the site are subject to the Parks Code and administrative regulations. No clause that could be found creates an exception for hanging metal signs on our fences if same is not sonsistent with current parks rules. While the league complains that taking down the signs would result in significant effort on the part of volunteers, if you, as director, determine the signs are not in accord with policy, and create a safety danger, then you are well within your rights to request the league to remove them and replace them with signs made of the approved materials.  It would be desirable to allow the league a reasonalbe time to comply.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please return a copy of the approved agenda to Cynthia Gray, Parks & Recreation Department

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Youth-Adult League Manual - Signs.pdf
Attachment:  Recreation Fee Schedule & Policy - Signs.pdf
Attachment:  Municode Chapter 2-24-8 Vending & Posting of Signs.pdf
Attachment:  Letters to League President regarding Signs.pdf
Attachment:  Risk Management Emailed Assessment 012413.pdf