County approves signage regulations, participation in urban county program

Published 3:06 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission approved sign regulations for the county and authorized the signage of cooperation agreements with municipalities to participate in the Shelby County Urban County Program during a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 10.

The Shelby County Commission approved a proposed amendment to the county’s sign regulations in response to the ongoing proliferation of off-premises signs along rights-of-way in the county.

“Typically, these occur at intersections,” said Sharman Brooks, supervisor of planning and MS4.“Those signs pop up at intersections where everybody is stopped at red lights. This amendment would specifically address these off-premises signs.”

The approved resolution provides the county with clear definitions as it relates to types of signs.

“By adding this definition for off-premise and on-premise, that makes it easier for us to get these signs cleaned up through the enforcement process,” Brooks said.

Brooks shared that the resolution also establishes reasonable regulations on the prohibition of off premise signs and clarifies permissible signage on residential properties.

“Do we want to be regulating signs—no,” Scroggins said. “It does become an issue, when people start putting them out—they do block the right-of-way views, and it also takes away from the natural aesthetics of our communities.”

The new proposed definitions and enforcement will not affect signs on private property, unzoned properties or inside of municipalities.

During the meeting, the council also discussed and approved a cooperation agreement for municipalities in the county to participate in the Shelby County Urban Program for Fiscal Year 2024-2026.

“We hope that all municipalities participate in this,” Scroggins said. “This is a very, very good program for our county, it affects mainly the rural portions of our county more so than the highly populated.”

Through this program, the county can receive funding, due to its Urban County Designation, to distribute towards projects, with an emphasis on helping smaller communities in the county.

The Shelby County Commission also approved a proposed amendment to the Subdivision Regulations of Shelby County to expand the master plan requirements for non-administrative subdivisions.

“The amendment is intended to provide additional information on when master plans are required, when an exception may be warranted for a master plan, when a master plan may require an amendment to previously approved master plan and who may request to amend an approved master plan and conditions that may result in the expiration of a previously approved master plan,” Brooks said.

In other news, the Shelby County Commission approved the following items:

  • An agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation regarding the acquisition and establishment of the 2023 computerized mapping project
  • A resolution regarding the approval of the use of a customer electronic signature for the Shelby County Water User’s Agreement.