New Ordinance Proposed to Keep Athens Beautiful

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Athens residents and businesses owners wanting to send messages via sign must adhere to a new set of rules and regulations.

Athens City Council passed an ordinance Monday night to regulate physical signs that go up in the area.

Additionally, a proposed ordinance would amend city sign regulations to control the type, design, size, location, motion, illumination, enforcement and maintenance of signs.

According to City Council, the ordinance is put in to place to “promote and maintain high quality residential zones throughout the city and to improve the appearance of the city.”

In addition to the organizational component, the city cites a safety measure in favor of sign regulations.

According to Monday’s agenda, the new ordinance “will eliminate any conflict between advertising signs and traffic control signs which would be hazardous to the safety of the motoring public or pedestrians.”

Regulated signs include building signs, canopy signs, directional signs and free standing signs, and all promotional material must be a standard by design principles, width and height and illumination. 

For example, if an apartment complex sign is 15 sq. feet, it can not exceed 6 feet in height.

In addition, materials cannot contain a moving component such as a revolving, whirling or flashing sign.

Illuminated signs can not reflect their glow on the street; it must be appropriate for the message and only in close proximity to a business district.

“It will make the city just overall look better,” said 3rd Ward Representative of Athens City Council Nancy Bain. “It’s also a great way to keep all signs from becoming ignored clutter.”

Athens City Council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance November 21.