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Hall County planners say yes to billboard location, no to height and setback
Panel says billboard company 'has some work to do' on proposal
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A Dunwoody company hit a roadblock Monday night in pursuing a digital billboard off Browns Bridge Road/Ga. 369.

The Hall County Planning Commission gave its OK for Advantage of Advertising to put up the billboard on property near Pearl Nix Parkway but disapproved the company’s height and setback requests.

“The height, to me, is out of the question,” Chairman Don Smallwood said.

The company is asking for the sign to be as high as 50 feet, or 15 feet higher than allowed by county ordinance. Also, it wants to be allowed to put up the billboard 4 feet from the right side of the property; the ordinance calls for 15 feet from any side of the property.

“Maybe this is not the place for this sign to go,” Smallwood said.

“I think it is,” company owner-operator Donald Danysh said. “It’s a well-traveled area. It is ... populated with billboards but not in a flooded way. There’s not that many. It appears that several of them in the area are over the 35-foot limit themselves. But I couldn’t tell you whether if each of those are on city or county property — likely the city.”

Smallwood said, “It looks like (the company) has some work to do (on the proposal) or they can appeal this to the (Hall County Board of Commissioners).”

Advantage of Advertising, as part of its request, is agreeing to remove a 1,200-square-foot billboard off Cleveland Highway/U.S. 129 in North Hall County.

Hall County has a moratorium on new billboards, Planning Director Srikanth Yamala said.

Gainesville, meanwhile, is once again considering allowing digital billboards to be erected within the city limits.

The issue first came up two years ago but gained little traction.

Now, following recent support from local business leaders, city staff is expected to prepare a proposal for council members to review later this year.

Limits on brightness, transition time between advertisements and the distance between billboards will be major considerations.

Concerns about cluttering the local landscape with more and more billboards would be addressed by requiring the removal of old billboards before a digital one could be put up.

In fact, city officials said they hope to significantly reduce the number of billboards altogether.

News reporter Joshua Silavent contributed to this report.

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