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Olympic Park tower sign will dim, turn off earlier
Local resident says chicken ad shines into his windows
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An advertisement is seen on a lighted sign display on the side of the timing tower at Lake Lanier Olympic Park. - photo by Erin O. Smith

It’s like something out of a “Seinfeld” episode, where a bright red light from a Kenny Rogers chicken joint shines day and night through apartment windows, leaving residents sleepless.

For at least one resident living near Lake Lanier Olympic Park on Clarks Bridge Road in Gainesville, this fictional tale is all too real.

Burton Urbanick has complained about his sleepless nights caused by a bright digital advertisement for Springer Mountain Farms chicken on the side of the timing tower at the venue.

“The tower is lit up like Times Square,” he said, with the ad shining into his windows.

Hall County officials told The Times this week that they have worked with company officials to address these concerns.

“They have been very gracious in making some changes,” Commissioner Jeff Stowe said.

Springer Mountain donated money for renovations at the venue, which held championship rowing and paddling events during the 1996 Atlanta summer games. In exchange, they received access to display a bright advertisement on the venue tower, Stowe said.

The company, which has raised chickens for more than 40 years in Northeast Georgia, originally was given permission to operate the display 24 hours a day. It was then cut back to between 6 a.m. and midnight.

Now, county officials said, the sign will be turned off from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Additionally, the lights will be slightly dimmed when it is running. And the angle of the sign might be changed to reduce glare into nearby homes.

Urbanick was happy to hear of the changes, but said he still would like more to be done. For example, he would prefer the advertisement be turned off at dusk, particularly in the winter when nightfall comes sooner and there is less vegetation to act as a natural buffer to the display’s lights.

“It blinded me in my bedroom last night,” he added.

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