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County’s sign ordinance updated

During their regular work session on Thursday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners discussed revisions to the sign ordinance draft that has been under consideration for the last few months. Among those updates is a change to what percentage of windows can be covered by signs.

Under the current ordinance, the entire window space of any business is allowed to be covered by signage, but the new ordinance would limit that coverage to 50 percent of the total window space on the building.

Safety concerns for law enforcement being able to see into a store during an emergency situation have been cited as one of the most pressing reasons for the change, along with study results showing that consumers tend to block out signs once they surpass a certain number and a general desire to declutter. Even with the updated ordinance, Troup County will still have one of the most lenient sign ordinances in the region.

The rewrite of the sign ordinance is partially due to rulings at the state and national level that showed it to be unconstitutional to regulate signage according to content, including regulating specific categories like real estate signs and election signs instead of the broad category of temporary signs.

“We are trying to write a sign ordinance that meets the current law of the land,” County Planner Tracie Hadaway.

The commissioners had also previously requested that staff review the ordinance to see if it would be possible not to place the same size restrictions on the American flag as other flags that would be covered under the ordinance. After discussion with the county attorney, staff found that it would not be possible to make an exception for any one flag, even the national flag, due to constitutional concerns.

“Any consideration that you give to one flag, you have to give to all flags,” Hadaway explained.

A copy of the most recent revisions to the ordinance’s draft can be found at http://troupcountyga.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=1315&Inline=True.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday at 100 Ridley Ave.