City considers amending sign ordinance

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The city of Columbiana is considering changing its sign ordinance to allow business owners to display banners at their businesses.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a public meeting Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at City Hall to discuss the proposed change. Hilry King, the city’s public works director who is writing the amendment, said local merchants want the banners to advertise.

He said the city is crafting the amendment to allow merchants to display banners, while at the same time keeping the city free of sign clutter.

The city generally prohibits the use of banners, King said, but the planning commission “is trying to relax that a little bit.”

King said it’s premature to detail all the specifics of the proposed amendment. He did say that the amendment would include a permit process and time limits on how long banners could be displayed. Often, he said, banners that are left on display too long become droopy and unsightly.

“We encourage people to come to these things,” King said of the public hearing. “That will give people an opportunity to look at what we’ve come up with so far.”

After the Oct. 13 hearing, the planning commission will draft a final report to present at the city council’s Oct. 18 meeting, King said. If the council decides to move forward, it would have to call a second public meeting before moving to approve the sign ordinance.

“It’s ultimately in the hands of the city council as far as final adoption,” King said.

The president of the Columbiana Merchants and Professionals Association, Wayne Johnsey, said the amendment would be a welcomed change.

“We are certainly pleased as an organization that the city is going forward with their plans to revise the ordinance,” Johnsey said. “We’ve worked with them for a couple years now to help draft a new plan. It’s something that I believe is workable for both us and them. We’re pleased to see it finally coming to a head.”