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Planners scrutinize flashing sign rules

Posted: Sunday, June 06, 2004

Columbia County zoning enforcers want to outlaw flashing electronic signs.


Columbia County officials are considering a change in the laws governing electronic signs and how fast the messages can flash.

Photo by Jim Blaylock

At a recent Planning and Development Committee Meeting, Columbia County Commissioners gave preliminary approval to changes in the county's ordinance regarding electronic signs.

The current ordinance requires electronic sign owners to show the time and temperature for 20 seconds of every minute. The other 40 seconds can be used to display up to 12 messages.

The proposed revision was prompted by complaints that flashing messages violate the 12-message restriction.

"We think we need to have some code amendments to better define what a message is and what a change is," Columbia County Planning and Development Director Jeff Browning said. "Our primary concern is not to have the flashing and continuing movement."

Columbia County Attorney Doug Batchelor is working with sign owners to revise the ordinance, Browning said.

Browning proposed that each message should last three to four seconds before moving on to the next message.

Committee members also approved a 60-day moratorium on electronic sign permit approvals to give the county time to change the ordinance, but the full commission decided a moratorium was unnecessary at a board meeting last week.


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