Local business owner speaks out about proposed sign ordinance

Local business owner speaks out about proposed sign ordinance
Local business owner speaks out about proposed sign ordinance

EVANS, GA (WJBF)- Marc Yount’s Tire Pros opened on Washington Road more than 20 years ago– back then it didn’t have much competition.

“But not anymore,” Yount said. “The big box stores are here. We have some big stores here; we really do.”

But he still has the benefit of his location, which is why he says his sign is so important.

“There’s a lot of people that drive by this every day, they need to see who we are and what we are,” he said.

Columbia County law makers are considering an ordinance that would require that new signs be significantly smaller than most of the existing signs in the area.

“If you took all the signs out there, 95 percent would not meet the current code. And that is based upon an industry expert,” said Tammy Shepherd, CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

However, existing signs would be “grandfathered in,” meaning they could stay.

But Yount is nervous that he’s going to lose his sign. Washington road is set to be widened in front of his business, and he’s afraid it could force him to take down his sign and put a new one up, which would mean he would have to follow the new rules if they pass.

“It’s going to be a much smaller sign than it is now,” he said. “Not to mention to the issue you have with signage on the building itself.”

His sign right now is about 117 square feet on each side. Tire Pros is a business less than 10,000 square feet– businesses that size are allotted 48 square feet for their signs, as per the proposed ordinance.
But because it’s on a major road, it’s allowed to be 25 percent bigger than that, bringing the final allowance to 60 feet, which is about half the size it is now.

But large buildings of more than 100,000 square feet would get 144 square feet of sign, more than twice as large as a new sign for a business Yount’s size.

The proposal would also prohibit building signs on tall poles.

The proposal is supposed to go to the planning and zoning commission on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend and give input.

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