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Sign ordinance revisions tabled

Albany planning commissioners discuss revisions to a controversial sign ordinance Thursday. The Board recommended that the Albany City Commission adopt all but one of the revisions discussed.

Albany planning commissioners discuss revisions to a controversial sign ordinance Thursday. The Board recommended that the Albany City Commission adopt all but one of the revisions discussed.

ALBANY — The Albany Planning Commission recommended city leaders adopt most of what City Manager James Taylor called Phase 1 of revisions to the city’s controversial sign ordinance Thursday.

City staff presented the revisions to the Planning Commission at the request of Taylor, who, along with a sign ordinance task force, had been reviewing the much-maligned ordinance for the last several months.

“This is just the beginning,” Taylor said. “I’d like to consider this Phase 1 of the revisions, with many more to come as we work with business owners and the public to get an ordinance that is feasible.”

Most of the recommendations heard Thursday by the Planning Commission sailed through the body: a change to allow LED signs for businesses to alternate messages every 30 seconds rather than every minute; the extension of the ordinance to vendors who participate in special events; the establishment of an application process for reconsideration of non-conforming signs; and prohibition of roof signs.

But one revision dominated the conversation and sparked nearly two hours worth of debate among commissioners: flagpoles.

The current sign ordinance limits the number of flagpoles that a business can have on its property to one for every legal lot.

The concern arose after the Boy Scouts of America wanted to put three poles onto property it’s using and, because the ordinance doesn’t allow it, was denied.

Staff’s recommendation was to keep the ordinance as is to avoid the cluttering of flagpoles and because “we just don’t receive complaints about them,” City Building Inspector Tracy Hester said.

But the discussion quickly spread to what would be considered a “legal lot” versus a “business site,” as offered in a motion by Commissioner Art Brown.

“I think we’re opening up a Pandora’s box here,” Commissioner Steven Kaplan said. “I’ve been in real estate a long time, and there are very distinct differences between lots, parcels, sites and the like.”

After lengthy discussion, Commissioner Aaron Johnson moved to keep the ordinance as it’s written — a move which died after being out-voted four to three.

Brown then motioned to table the matter for one month to give staff time to research what language should be included in the ordinance before coming back to the commission for a decision.

Comments

Abytaxpayer 2 years, 1 month ago

Ok I have read this over and over.

Flagpoles “we just don’t receive complaints about them,” City Building Inspector Tracy Hester said.

So why did Code Enforcement Demand not ask politely but DEMANDED the removal and not the relocation but the REMOVAL of Mr. Gieryic’s Flag then write him a ticket. And just how do you have a two hour discussion about flagpoles? Sounds like Albany has some real qualified people on that Commission too, no wonder the Sign Ordinance is so screwed up. I know two people on the sign ordinance task force and they both say it was just a Farce so city officials could say they talked to businesses owners. BIG Difference in talking to and Listening to business owners. And last but not least they are anti-Boy Scouts. Wow Albany is such a winning place! City Officials who pass an Anti-business Sign Ordinance, have No pride or Honor for the American Flag and now they are bullying the Boy Scouts. No wonder Leesburg is growing so FAST!!!!

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 1 month ago

I have talked to a major business owner in town and he has said the same thing you said about it being a farce. You are exactly right. Besides what is Aaron Johnson doing on the commission? He is a college professor for God's sake, not unless he owns a business I don't know of. It was probably a favor from another college professor at Darton that is on the city commission, I am sure. This commission should be made up of business owners and not non-business owners. That's the problem right there!

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Moe 2 years, 1 month ago

"We just don't receive complaints about flagpoles," so let's put them in an ordinance anyway and hire a bunch of slobs to harrass businesses.

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BigEd 2 years, 1 month ago

The current sign ordinance limits the number of flagpoles that a business can have on its property to one for every legal lot... Better watch this one, how many churches, govt buildings, miltary facilities, Veteran orgs, (maybe hospitals too) have multiple flag poles for Old Glory, State Flag, MIA, Organizational etc

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rock 2 years, 1 month ago

The commission them selves are a bunch on bumbling idiots, Make the decsions you are there to make. Any freaking moron can make the easy decisions, these morons get paid to make the tough decisions and they choke. Tabling is chocking. Grow a pair and make the hard the decisions or step down and put in place some one that will.

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DoctorDorite 2 years, 1 month ago

In the article I just read and as written by the reporter there was a lot of "moves" and "motions" made during the meeting, but after all said and done NOTHING, with all that action was CHANGED ??? Wheel Spinning and Albanys finest at work, you gotta love it !!!!

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Moe 2 years, 1 month ago

Shut down KADB and flush Judy Bowles, then her lickspittles on Code Enforcement will have to go back to collecting welfare.

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