CONYERS -- After months of tweaking, Rockdale County's proposed sign ordinance appears ready for a vote at the Board of Commissioners' meeting on Nov. 27.
In a work session Tuesday, Planning and Development Director Marshall Walker was asked if he had received further input on the proposed ordinance since last week, when the BOC voted to defer action in order to give residents more time to address concerns.
Walker said he had not received any new comments. He said David Shipp, chairman of a Conyers-Rockdale County Chamber of Commerce committee that had reviewed the ordinance, had been contacted after last week's meeting and asked to submit comments in writing. Walker said some of the Chamber committee ideas have been incorporated into the ordinance.
Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness asked about specific concerns from business owners and sign shop owners.
Walker replied that he had received no response from sign shop owners, other than one owner who submitted comments through the Chamber.
"They are primarily concerned about the expense to small businesses. If a nonconforming sign is destroyed, for whatever reason, they cannot put back that same nonconforming sign," Walker said.
Instead, the replacement sign would be required to conform with the new ordinance.
"They are concerned that what they put back will cost more than the old sign," Walker said.
Walker noted that business owners can conduct normal maintenance on nonconforming signs without replacing them.
Asked by Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt if the ordinance was ready to move forward, Walker said yes.
"Technically, (we've had) a year of public input into this, a little bit longer than a year, actually," Walker said. "My recommendation would be to move forward. There are always issues that will come up ... and we will come back to you if we need to revise or edit in the future."
Nesbitt said he thought small business owners had had ample time to comment on the ordinance.
"I think we're at a point, based upon what I'm hearing from staff, that it is time for us to move forward and make a decision."
The proposed ordinance will be on the Nov. 27 agenda for a second reading. The BOC will meet at 10 a.m. at the Assembly Hall at 901 Main St.