IN BRIEF: Conyers City Council unanimously approved changes to the city's sign ordinances that had been revised after meeting with representatives from the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce.
Councilman Vince Evans, Planning Director Marvin Flanigan and an attorney with the city, who specialized in the sign ordinance, had met with Chamber representatives, including Chamber President Fred Boscarino, Chamber Chairman Thua Barlay, and Chamber representative Darlene Hotchkiss for several hours.
"It was a good exercise," said Evans. "I think they understand why we have to do things...There's some wiggle room on our side. Some things we left alone beacause they needed to be left alone." But he felt everyone left the meeting getting done what they needed to get done.
However, during public comments, Puritan Cleaners owner David Shipp submitted a statement where he said, "Changes are being made to the sign ordinance yet there are no examples of what a conforming sign should look like. There is no standard look, only 10 differeing overlay districts to confuse business owners and citizens. During this time of economic peril, no help is being given to business owners in the city. The county has a weekend sign section in their oridnance to help businesses to get noticed on the busy weekends. The city has nothing."
Some of the changes included outlining the appeals process on a sign decision, requiring certification of the light intensity of electronic signs by an independent lighting engineer or contractor every five years, and clarifications such as requiring a decision on a sign permit application within 30 business days of the application.
An attorney with the city said business owners can appeal an order to remove or change a sign to city staff, then to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Adjustments, then to the city council and finally to the county Superior Court.