Planners vote down PTC walking sign ban

Mon, 07/13/2009 - 8:22pm
By: John Munford

A proposed ban on “walking” signs in Peachtree City got bad reviews at tonight’s meeting of the city’s planning commission.

The commission unanimously voted 5-0 to reject an ordinance that would ban any businesses from holding promotional signs visible from any public highway or road.

The proposed ban, which will be brought to the city council at a future date for consideration, would allow costumed mascots to continue appearing alongside the road ... they just wouldn’t be allowed to hold any signs.

Interim Community Development Director David Rast noted that the ban was formulated by working with the city attorney and also was requested by the city council. The idea was to control the situation before it got out of hand, he added.

Several commissioners said they would rather have restrictions adopted to regulate walking signs, perhaps with a cap on the number of days a year that a business can utilize walking signs.

Several local business owners agreed they would be OK with regulations; they also said the walking signs were necessary to draw attention to their businesses.

Debbie Sanders, the owner of women’s fitness center Curves said over three days she had 16 people come in to her business while she employed someone to stand alongside the road holding a sign advertising her business.

“It’s going to make a difference for me this summer if we make it or break it,” Sanders said.

Sanders said she also is going to open a nearby restaurant and she wants to use a costumed mascot with a sign to showcase its location.

“I need to have that as an available tool in my arsenal to keep the business open,” Sanders said. “Plus I like the fact we help people who can’t get a full time job right now because of the economy. I feel like I do them a favor.”

Tim Eagleson, who owns a company that organizes outdoor walking sign campaigns for local subdivisions, said safety of his employees is a top priority.

Eagleson pointed to a group of more than 10 employees who came to the meeting with him, noting that the sign ban would in essence be telling those people they can’t work in Peachtree City.

It was also mentioned that currently the city requires any people holding business signs along the road to get a solicitor’s permit from the city police department which includes a criminal background check.

Among the potential regulations suggested by the commission included restrictions on the locations in which walking signs could be used, a limitation on the number of days a year any one business can deploy such signs and also restrictions on the quality of the sign.

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oodlesOpoodles's picture
Submitted by oodlesOpoodles on Mon, 07/13/2009 - 10:50pm.

Put these tools in your arsenal and you will not need to have some one working part time, standing outside, and having to drum up business:

1. Good Food
2. Good Service
3. Clean Establishment
4. Resonsible Pricing

In this town, word will spread quicker than you can get a kid in a foam hot dog outfit on what type of product package you provide. Provide a good one and people will partake. If you find you "need" the hot dog outfit, you may want to rethink your investment.

Submitted by ncardilli on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 9:46am.

Peachtree City has some of the most restrictive codes in Metro Atlanta, most of which I agree with. Peachtree City also has some of the highest unemployment in metro Atalanta (as stated in a recent Forbes article "Best Places to Live"). We have to wonder why? You can't have the corporate tax base or the sales tax without businesses being sucessful. Look at the shortages in the county due to shrinking sales tax revenue, possible increase in SPLOST.

I to looked at puting a business in Peachtree City and decided not to for finacial reason, but can tell you that the process is extremly restrictive.

It takes more than word of mouth for any business to be sucessful and when people lay it all on the line the will leave nothing to chance. Can yo blame them, there is not a bail out to be had for the small business person. Despite the fact that the small to medium business are the largest employer in th US.

Submitted by reagleson on Mon, 07/13/2009 - 11:00pm.

Different businesses different marketing. Sometimes in Peachtree City businesses have to be discovered to build a client base. This is due in part to an over restrictive sign program. I spent 20 years in the Air Force and understand a sterile environment, but they had signs everywhere to direct to your destination. And buildings were allowed to have proper signage visible from the street to ensure customers could get to their destination. So your formula may work for an eatery but not for a specific service company.

Submitted by jevank on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 7:21am.

Bussinesses know about the sign restrictions before opening in PTC. If they don't, they really never had the business sense to make it anyway. I, for one, am happy about the sign ordinance here.

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