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Oakwood council OKs new sign law

POSTED: March 9, 2009 11:51 p.m.

OAKWOOD — Oakwood City Council gave its final OK Monday night to a much-debated and twice-revised amendment to the city’s sign ordinance, changes that set controls on banners.

Under the new law, businesses must register with the city if they want to put up a banner. Registration is free.

Banners that aren’t registered must be removed within 10 days of notice from the city.

Also, banners are prohibited in shopping center parking lots and "multitenant commercial premises," according to the new amendment, which Councilman Ron McFarland read aloud in its entirety.

And banners must not be larger than 100 square feet, but depending on permitted sign size for a business, it may need to be smaller.

Councilman Montie Robinson, who voted against the sign law changes, questioned the law’s condition that banners "shall not be displayed more than 90 days in any one period of time."

He asked what that meant in terms of when a business could put up another banner.

McFarland said businesses could put up a banner the next day for another 90 days.

"What’s the purpose? I don’t see any significance in having an ordinance," Robinson said. "… This is not an ordinance. It’s eliminating and avoiding any ordinance we have against banners."

City officials have said that banners have sprung up around the city, with some businesses keeping them up indefinitely, and that the current law prohibits them altogether.

City Council gave its first OK to the banner law in January, setting limits on how many times a year businesses could display banners.

Some changes were made to the proposed law between the first approval and when the matter resurfaced in February.

The council, however, couldn’t agree on the changes at its February meeting and decided to table the matter.

Throughout the debate, Robinson was steady in his support for controls on banners.

He wasn’t swayed by the latest version of the banner law, hammered out by McFarland and city officials.

"There’s going to have to be a little more thought put into this," Robinson said at one point in the discussion.

Councilman Sam Evans said he believed the whole matter "is going to boil down to either we’re going to have banners or we’re not going to have banners."

He said the council could pass a law, then come back to address issues later.

"I don’t think we’re going to be able to get away from having banners in the city," Evans said.



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