Columbia County Planning Commission votes to recommend proposed sign ordinance

Columbia County is one step closer to a new sign ordinance. The Planning Commission voted four-zero to recommend a revised proposal to the Board of Commissioners.
Columbia County is one step closer to a new sign ordinance. The Planning Commission voted four-zero to recommend a revised proposal to the Board of Commissioners.

EVANS, Ga. (WJBF)- Columbia County is one step closer to a new sign ordinance.

The Planning Commission voted four-zero to recommend a revised proposal to the Board of Commissioners.

The proposal has been a long time coming.

“We have been working on this since August of last year, and so many things have been improved and changed,” said Tammy Shepherd, CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

She says the business community is pleased with the revisions to the original ordinance, which had much stricter guidelines, but she says there are a few more things business owners would like to see.

“It’s just three individual points that we would still like to see included in the revision,” Shepherd said. “I’m just not sure we’ll get those.”

They want larger allowances for sign height and square footage.

They also want businesses to be able to cover 100 percent of their windows with perforated vinyl signs. The proposal allows for half of business’ windows to be covered.

And finally, the chamber wants three-foot wide covered pylon signs to be allowed. But the proposal says the signs base must meet it’s width.

“We feel like it’s a safety issue trying to see around this,” Shepherd says.

Several people expressed concerns about the ordinance at the meeting Thursday night. Many of them are affiliated with sign companies.

Bobbie Stephens is with AAA Sign Company. She says the difference in cost between the covered pylon sign and the monument sign for Queensborough Bank, for example, would be $8,000.

Existing signs would not be affected by the ordinance.

There will be at least two readings of the proposal before it can be passed.

Stephens says she’s going to be pressuring the Board of Commissioenrs now to change the the rules against covered pylon signs.

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