CITY SEEKS CITIZENS' INPUT ON SIGN ORDINANCE

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The City of Thomasville Planning and Zoning Commission will meet to review proposed revisions to the City’s Sign Ordinance. The meeting will be held on Monday, August 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at the City of Thomasville Operations Building located at 944 Smith Avenue. The meeting is open to the public.

“The Planning and Zoning Commission meeting provides an opportunity for the citizens of Thomasville to learn about proposed revisions to the City’s sign ordinance and to provide feedback,” said Kenneth Thompson, City Planner. “Our goal is to recommend an ordinance for adoption by our City Council that will strike the proper balance between our community’s historic character and the needs of local businesses.”

According to Thompson, the process to revise the ordinance began several years ago and included input from numerous community stakeholders. “In 2016, the Planning & Zoning Commission proposed revisions to a draft ordinance to the public and received a lot of great feedback,” he said. “After numerous opportunities for public input, we crafted a draft ordinance that reflected the comments of our community. The newly revised draft ordinance was then presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission, who endorsed this draft to be presented to Council for adoption.”

Unfortunately, the adoption of this draft ordinance hit a roadblock when it was presented to the Council with additional revisions. “The draft ordinance that was ultimately presented to the City Council included additional edits that not been vetted by the public or by the Planning and Zoning Commission,” said Thompson. “City Council did not vote on the ordinance and it has been sent back to the P&Z for review and recommendation.”

Thompson said that now is the time to move forward with the ordinance, as originally endorsed by the Planning and Zoning Commission. “Our community needs a sign ordinance that will provide guidance to our business owners,” he said. “The draft ordinance that will be presented next week to our current Planning and Zoning Commission will mirror the draft that was approved by this board in 2016. It is important that we begin this process with the original draft ordinance that came together through the work and input of our citizens.”

Once the final draft ordinance is reviewed by an attorney and approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, it will then be recommended to the City Council for their consideration. “The draft presented to the Council will be the exact same draft that is ultimately approved by our Planning and Zoning Commission,” Thompson said. “For this reason, it is important that our citizens have the opportunity to be updated on this process and provide feedback at our August 3rd meeting and throughout the remainder of August.”

“Providing our community with the guidance that is outlined in a new sign ordinance is very important, but it is also important that the final draft represents the desires of our community,” said Thompson. “For that reason, I encourage our citizens to join us and be involved in these important discussions.”

The meeting will be held in a manner that observes active Executive Orders and Health Advisories provided by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Public Health, and local health officials in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Seating will be limited and additional safety measures will be required such as, but not limited to, social distancing and temperature screenings to ensure the health and safety of meeting participants and the citizens of Thomasville. Citizens attending are encouraged to wear facial coverings.

For more information about the proposed revisions to the sign ordinance, please contact Kenny Thompson at 229-227-4118 or Mollie Powell at 229-227-3306.