UPDATE | Columbia County sign ordinance goes to Board of Commissioners for approval

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Friday, April 21, 2017

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) --The Columbia County Planning Commission gave the county's proposed sign ordinance the green light at Thursday's meeting.

The ordinance has been sent forward with approval recommendation to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, according to Public relations manager Cassidy Harris.

The Board of Commissioners now have to give the proposed ordinance two readings and a possible vote of approval.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has made their final recommendations on the proposed changes to its existing sign ordinance.

The discussion on the ordinance changes was tabled at the last planning commission meeting in March to allow more time to share and receive feedback from business members and to further discuss several recommendations.

The proposed ordinance will be voted on by the Planning and Zoning Commission on April 20 at 6 p.m. at the Columbia County Government Center, Building A.

The Chamber encourages local businesses to review the proposed sign ordinance and contact county officials with any questions or concerns.

If approved, the ordinance will be sent to the Board of Commissioners for two readings and a possible vote of approval.

The final recommendations for the proposed sign ordinance include:

- Recommendation of the maximum size and height requirements. The table falls within guidelines of the International Sign Association recommendations.

- Recommendation for Covered Pylons with a minimum of a 36 inch wide base should be allowed instead of specifically requiring only monument type signage. This type of sign increases visibility around the sign, can be more aesthetically pleasing, and may cost less for the business owner. The Chamber also recommends that images and wording may not be added to the pylon cover allowing for a more aesthetically pleasing sign. Electronic boards would still be allowed to be installed on the pylon.

- Window Signs: Window signs may be placed, inside or outside, with 50 percent of poster style signage and 100 percent of perforated vinyl sign on total window surface while keeping door of business clear of signage except name of business and contact / hours of operations.

- Perforated window covering allows visibility and security for businesses to see outside and time to react to potential threats. This would be the same effect as having tinted windows or blinds. In addition, these surfaces may provide energy efficiency for the business and lower operating cost.

- Allows for branding of business with a more professional type product.

Under the county's current sign ordinance, a small sign within a bigger sign is what they get.

Essentially, the changes would eliminate tall signs on utility poles completely and replace them for lower signs closer to the ground. It would give businesses the option to add signs on windows, something rarely allowed under the current ordinance. In other cases, it would make signs smaller and less visible.

Current business owners would be able to keep existing signs but future sign changes, according to the board, would have to meet the new code.

The changes would also allow bigger signs on high traffic corridors like Washington Road and replace signs up in the air with ones lower and closer to the ground.

The Chamber’s Government Affairs signage sub-committee and the Chamber’s Board of Directors have been reviewing and making recommendations to the County Planning Department on behalf its more than 1 thousand business members since August 2016.

The Chamber said it appreciates the opportunity to partner with the county to revise the current sign ordinance. The revision promotes a business friendly ordinance which allows a level playing field for current and future business owners of the county while ensuring a more uniform, aesthetic community.

Read the original version of this article at www.wrdw.com.