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Jefferson council puts off vote on sign regulations

POSTED: January 26, 2009 11:58 p.m.

JEFFERSON — The Jefferson City Council isn’t making any hasty decisions when it comes to signs.

During its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, the group voted to postpone approving amendments to its sign regulations until it convenes again in February.

The amendments, which the council has been discussing since December, primarily address advanced technology that allows multiple messages to be displayed electronically on a single sign face. The current sign regulations do not address flashing, blinking or scrolling signs.

"Currently, flashing and blinking signs are allowed because they are not specifically prohibited by the sign ordinances," said John Ward, city manager.

Several council members, including Steve Kinney, expressed concerns about messages continuously scrolling across a message board and questioned if the nonstop movement was distracting to drivers.

"We don’t want to do anything to prohibit people from getting their message out, but we don’t want to create a safety hazard either," Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner said during the meeting at the Jefferson Civic Center on Kissam Street.

Currently, there are only two signs in Jefferson that have moving messages. Before other signs are allowed, the council wanted to take a closer look at its ordinances and whether existing signs pose any problems to public safety.

During the meeting, council members also agreed to annex three parcels of property at 1629, 1639 and 1665 Washington St. The council also voted to rezone those properties from agricultural rural fringe to highway commercial and office-institutional.

The council also voted to allow Harvest Chapel Ministries to withdraw their rezoning request without prejudice. Allowing an applicant to "withdraw without prejudice" allows them to return immediately to the council with a different proposal. Denying a request means an applicant has to wait 12 months before presenting a new request.

Harvest Chapel Ministries was seeking to have 2106 Old Pendergrass Road rezoned from office-institutional to highway commercial in order to build a Dollar General Store.

The City Council’s next meeting is a Feb. 9 work session.



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