Join in the fun and festivities at the Spring Festival in Downtown Albany!
Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 10am – noon!
Join in the fun and festivities at the Spring Festival in Downtown Albany!
Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 10am – noon!
Congratulations to AB&T, this week’s Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Star Business. AB&T is a full-service commercial bank offering a wide array of retail and commercial banking products and services including: checking, savings and money market accounts; time deposits; loans; lines of credit; mortgages; safe deposit boxes; Trust services; credit cards; merchant services; treasury management and a full slate of leading-edge convenience services such as EVM-enabled debit cards, ATMs and the AB&T Go digital banking suite (mobile app and online banking). AB&T strives to be a valued community partner and leader by keeping laser-focused on the issues impacting the Albany MSA.
Congratulations to Engineering and Equipment Company, this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. Engineering and Equipment is a third-generation family-owned business and has been the proud supplier of Kohler products since 1937. When visiting their location, you are guaranteed superior service from knowledgeable consultants. Being a Kohler registered showroom, they offer the best place to view and purchase the latest trends for your kitchen or bath.
Atlanta, GA- March 22- Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, a leading provider of assurance, tax, consulting and advisory services, is proud to announce Tim Lyons, Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Columbia office, has been appointed as a member of the AICPA’s State and Local Government Expert Panel, beginning May 2021.
The Expert Panel exists to serve the needs of AICPA members on financial reporting matters as well as audit and attest matters relevant to audits of state and local government financial statements. It also works closely with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) by analyzing exposure documents and various proposals that impact state and local governments.
As a member, Tim will help bring together knowledgeable parties in the state and local government industry to deliberate and come to agreement on key state and local government issues.
Tim is a Partner in the Governmental Practice of Mauldin & Jenkins, working with state and local government agencies and institutions of higher education throughout the Southeast. Services provided to clients include traditional audit and attest engagements, transaction and advisory services, and internal control and process consulting. Tim is also a member of the Firm’s Assurance Committee.
Tim is involved in a variety of state and national organizations – both to support client industries and the community at large. He is a graduate of the AICPA’s Leadership Academy (Class of 2012) and is a regular speaker on state/local government topics around the Southeast. He has served as a director for various organizations and currently is a member of the board for Children’s Trust of South Carolina.
Please join us in congratulating Tim on this achievement.
To learn more about Mauldin & Jenkins and its services, please visit our website, mjcpa.com/industries/governments/.
Mauldin & Jenkins is recognized as one of Atlanta’s Top 25 Largest Firms by the Atlanta Business Journal and a Top 100 Certified Public Accounting firm by Inside Public Accounting. With nine offices located across the Southeast (including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee), the Firm provides assurance, tax and advisory services to clients in a range of industries, including government, health care, construction, not-for-profit, financial services, film & entertainment, entrepreneurial, and higher education. For more information, please visit www.mjcpa.com.
Congratulations to Stanley Steemer this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. Stanley Steemer has been in the market since 1985 and locally owned by Steve and Jackie Adkins since 2017. This franchise proudly provides cleaner, healthier homes to customers in Lee, Sumter, Tift, Dougherty and Crisp Counties. Supported by a carefully selected staff and a fleet of vans, the team has the resources needed to meet or exceed customer standards. Services include air duct cleaning, carpet and hardwood floor and tile cleaning, water damage restoration, leather and area rug cleaning. For more information visit www.stanleysteemer.com
Save the Date ~ April 29, 2021
ARTICLE IV. – SIGN REGULATIONS
Sec. 4-71. – Statement of purpose.
In adopting these sign regulations, it is the intent and purpose of the mayor and board of commissioners of the City of Albany not to impose an outright ban on signs, but instead to:
(a) Balance the right of individuals to convey their messages through signs and the right of the public to be protected against the unrestricted proliferation of signs;
(b) Further the objectives of the City’s comprehensive land use planning;
(c) Protect the public health, safety and welfare;
(d) Reduce traffic and pedestrian hazards;
(e) Maintain the historical and cultural heritage and image of the City;
(f) Protect property values by minimizing the possible adverse effects and visual blight caused by signs;
(g) Avoid the harmful aspects of the unrestricted proliferation of signs;
(h) Promote economic development and tourism;
(i) Protect private property values; and
(j) Ensure the fair and consistent enforcement of sign regulations.
In adopting these sign regulations, the mayor and board of commissioners of the City have carefully considered and especially recognize the case law coming from Georgia courts, the federal courts, and courts throughout the United States, which recognize that the regulation of the size, location and quantity of sign structures is a valid and lawful means of achieving the above-stated intents and purposes, and that such intents and purposes are valid and lawful governmental interests. These decisions include: Granite State Outdoor Advertising, Inc. v. Cobb County, Ga., 193 Fed. Appx. 900 (C.A.11th 2006) (finding that the stated goals within a sign ordinance of protecting against traffic hazards and the adverse impact on the county’s aesthetic qualities are substantial government interests); Gregory v. Clive, 2007 WL 2914515 (Ga. S.Ct. 2007) (recognizing as within a local government’s police power the power to enact legislation governing billboards and signs, as such legislation clearly addresses the public health, safety, or general welfare of the community); H & H Operations, Inc. v. City of Peachtree City, Ga., 248 Ga. 500 (1981) (holding that, under its police power, a municipality can enact and enforce reasonable regulations governing the erection and maintenance of signs within its jurisdiction); Harnish v. Manatee County, Florida, 783 F.2d 1535 (C.A. 11th 1986) (finding that aesthetics are a substantial governmental goal which is entitled to, and should be accorded, weighty respect, and that the governmental entity charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment must be given discretion in determining how much protection is necessary and the best method of achieving that protection); Lamar Advertising Company v. City of Douglasville, Ga., 254 F.Supp.2d 1321 (N.D.Ga. 2003) (finding that where a sign ordinance asserts the goals of public safety, traffic safety, health, welfare and aesthetics, a municipality has shown an important or substantial governmental interest unrelated to the suppression of free speech); Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego, 453 U.S. 490 (1981) (holding that the goals of traffic safety and aesthetics advanced by a municipality as justification for regulating signs are a substantial governmental interest); St. Louis Poster Advertising Co. v. City of St. Louis, 249 U.S. 269 (1919) (finding that billboards may be prohibited in the residential districts of a city in the interest of the safety, morality, health and decency of the community); Members of the City Council of the City of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789 (1984) (finding that a government entity can regulate signs and billboards when necessary to advance a significant and legitimate state interest, such as the protection of the aesthetics and quality of life within its jurisdiction); City of Doraville v. Turner Communications, Corp., 236 Ga. 385 (1976) (finding that under its police power authority, a municipality can regulate the location and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs within its territorial jurisdiction); Spratlin Outdoor Media, Inc. v. City of Douglasville, 2006 WL 826077 (N.D.Ga. 2006) (upholding sign ordinance where the ordinance’s height and setback restrictions were rationally related to its stated goals of promoting the health, safety, morality and general welfare of the community, promoting the orderly and beneficial development of the city, promoting adequate access to natural light and air, improving the aesthetic appearance of the city, and encouraging the most appropriate use of land and buildings in accordance with the city’s comprehensive plan).
Sec. 4-72. – General provisions and definitions.
(1) No sign structure shall be placed or maintained within the City except in conformity with this sign ordinance. The City reserves the right to take legal action to remove signs erected in violation of this article, to summarily remove signs illegally placed in the right-of-way, or to otherwise enforce the provisions of this article.
(2) Notwithstanding any other restrictions in this sign ordinance, any sign, display or device allowed under this article may contain any commercial or non-commercial message, or any political or non-political message, except that such messages cannot depict obscenity, as defined by O.C.G.A. § 16-12-80, nor can they depict sexual conduct or sexually explicit nudity, as defined in O.C.G.A. § 36-60-3, nor can they advertise any activity illegal under the laws of Georgia or the United States.
(3) Definitions. As used in this article, the following words have the following meanings. The general definitions and interpretative rules of the zoning ordinance shall also be used. To the extent those general rules or definitions conflict with these specific definitions, these definitions shall control.
Animated sign. Any sign that, in whole or in part, visibly moves or imitates movement in any fashion whatsoever. Any sign that contains or uses for illumination any lights (or lighting devices) that change color, flash or alternate, show movement or motion, or change the appearance of said sign or any part automatically.
Balloons. Any lighter than air or gas-filled object tethered in place or otherwise anchored to the ground.
Banner. A temporary sign, requiring a permit, consisting of durable and flexible material such as but not limited to coated, corrugated or non-corrugated paper, cardboard, vinyl, plastic, canvas, or fabric of any kind, intended to be hung rigidly, either with or without a frame, attached to one or more poles, or mounted as a temporary sign device, with or without characters, letters, illustrations, or ornamentations.
Billboard. A type of ground sign which is permitted in certain zoning districts as provided by this article, and which shall be a maximum of 35 feet in height and 382 square feet in sign face area, and which is greater than 100 square feet in sign face area. Billboards may be double-faced.
Building frontage. The front outside building wall facing a public street.
Canopy. Any permanent roof-like structure, including awnings and marquees, projecting beyond a building or extending along and projecting beyond the wall of a building, generally designed and constructed to provide protection from the weather.
Canopy sign. Any sign attached to, or made a part of, the front, side, or top of a canopy. These signs are regulated as wall signs.
Custom flag. A sign consisting of loose or semi-rigid material supported by a small to large, sometimes bowed, horizontal or vertical pole, including, but not limited to, signs commonly referred to as bowflag, flutter, stick, teardrop, drop, blade, small flags, beachwing, shark, U-shaped and feather signs.
Directional sign. An unofficial or non-standard traffic control sign, freestanding or mounted on a building, and dedicated to providing traffic direction such as enter, exit, drive through, etc., which may contain logos. These are limited to three feet in height and no larger than four square feet in area.
Double-faced sign. A sign which has two (2) display areas placed back to back against each other or where the interior angle formed by the display areas is sixty (60) degrees or less, where one face is designed to be seen from one direction and the other face from another direction.
Flag. Any outdoor display or device made of fabric that is larger than two square feet in area and used to convey a message. A flag differs from a banner because a flag is typically attached along only one side to a pole or hung from only one side beneath a beam or other overhead structure.
Flag Code. United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1, The Flag. The laws relating to the flag of the United States of America.
Ground sign. A sign that is anchored to the ground and is wholly independent of a building for support. Freestanding signs are included in this definition, as are signs on poles, frames, or other mounting structures other than buildings.
Hanging sign. Any non-fabric sign hanging or suspended from the exterior walls of a building structure, which is directed so as to be plainly visible from a public right-of-way. Includes projecting signs.
Historic sign. Any sign, other than a billboard, which existed and was displayed in the City a minimum of 50 years prior to the present day, and is deemed to have historic merit based on its uniqueness, age, character or association. Signs of less than 50 years old may be deemed historic if they possess exceptional characteristics. The National Register of Historic Places’ Criteria for Evaluation will be applied to determine if the sign qualifies as a historic object.
Illuminated sign. A sign which contains an internal source of light or which is designed or arranged to reflect light from an artificial source.
Incidental or informational sign. A small sign that has a purpose secondary to the use of the parcel on which it is located. This includes, but is not limited to, credit cards accepted, official notice of services as required by law, trade affiliations, business hours, “telephone,” “self-service,” “private drive,” “no trespassing,” etc. These signs are typically located on doors, windows or building walls. Unless noted elsewhere in this article, these signs shall not require a permit. Signs shall be one square foot or less in size.
Luminaire. A complete lighting unit, comprised of a light source (lamp or lamps), together with the parts that distribute the light, position and protect the lamps, and connect the lamps to the power supply. The luminaire’s function is to direct light to appropriate locations, without causing glare or discomfort.
Mansard sign. Any sign attached to or erected within 12 inches of an actual or simulated mansard of a building, with the sign face parallel to and within the limits of the building, but not exceeding the roofline, and not deemed to be a roof sign. These signs are regulated as wall signs.
Mobile sign. A sign display area attached to a wheeled vehicle (whether motorized or not) which may be legally operated upon any public road or street. A mobile sign is distinct from a vehicle with a sign in that a mobile sign is typically used for the purpose of advertising for hire as opposed to a message that directly relates to the vehicle, like those found on delivery trucks. Mobile signs include multiple-message type signs.
Monopole sign or unipole sign. A freestanding sign that is erected on a single pedestal attached to the ground for the display of messages irrespective of the number of faces or the configuration of the faces.
Monument sign. A permanent sign, other than a freestanding pole sign, placed upon or supported by the ground, independent of any other structure and constructed of stone, concrete, masonry, stucco or equal architectural material. These signs are regulated as ground signs.
Multiple-message signs. Signs which change the message or copy on the sign face mechanically or electronically by movement or rotation of panels or slats, or by changing electronic display on the sign face.
Nonconforming sign. A sign that was formerly a legally permitted sign. Subsequent to the sign being installed, the zoning of the property was changed, the parcel lines were altered, or regulations applied to signs were amended so as to make the sign no longer in accordance with the current requirements.
Order board. A sign for a drive-through window that includes an intercom allowing customers to place an order.
Out-of-store marketing device. An object located outside of a primary building on a site zoned for non-residential uses on which may contain messages or logos. Examples of out-of-store marketing devices include, but are not limited to: fuel pumps, bank ATM units, newspaper racks, drink machines, ice boxes, and phone booths.
Parapet signs. Signs affixed to a low wall along the roof of a building.
Portable signs. A movable sign not permanently affixed to a building, permanent structure or the ground including sign structures which are attached to vehicles, trailers, movable structures, or any sign which may be transported. Such signs include, but are not limited to, printed banners or billboards attached to vehicles and trailers and signs designed to be transported with or without wheels attached. Except as provided herein, the definition of portable structures does not include messages painted directly upon or attached by sticker or magnetic backing to a motor vehicle or placed within a motor vehicle such that it may be viewed from outside the vehicle through windows. Portable signs with the wheels, hitch or other apparatus which makes them portable removed and attached to the ground, or other permanent structure, will be considered as ground or wall signs.
Preview board. A sign for a drive-through window that does not include an intercom allowing customers to place an order.
Projecting sign. A sign which is attached perpendicularly to a building and extends one foot or more from the plane of the building wall but not more than five feet. Includes hanging signs. Such signs are considered wall signs.
Roof line. The top edge of a structure which is visible from the ground level.
Roof sign. Any sign erected, attached or mounted wholly upon or over the roof of any building, or which is dependent upon a building for support and projects above the roof line.
Setback. The distance from the property line to the nearest part of the applicable building, structure, or sign, measured perpendicularly to the property line.
Sidewalk, sandwich or A-frame sign. A non-illuminated sign which is normally in the shape of an “A” or some variation thereof and which is usually two-sided. This includes a sign mounted on an easel. For the purposes of this article, these signs are not considered portable signs.
Sign. Any display of words, shapes or images designed to convey a message to the viewer, located on the exterior of any dwelling, building or structure, or located anywhere on a lot upon a dedicated supporting structure or device, including poles, banners, windows and similar devices.
Sign face. The actual message-carrying portion of the sign that can be used to display content, including any area that can display or does display words, pictures or other communicative elements of the sign, including the background color.
Sign face area. The area of a sign is calculated by determining the area of the smallest square or rectangle which encloses the sign face and the structure surrounding the sign face. For example, the pole or base would not be included, but any frame holding the sign face in place would be counted. See examples below. However, this example is not a substantive regulation as to permissible types of signs.
Sign height. Measurement from centerline of street grade upon which the sign fronts vertically to the highest part of the sign structure.
Sign structure. This includes all the elements of the sign, including its supporting structure, sign face, base, lights and every portion of the sign.
Small signs. Signs one square foot or less in sign face area, and which are either wall or window signs, or which are ground signs less than three feet in height.
Stanchion sign. A freestanding sign mounted on one or more steel poles set in the ground and of sufficient strength and size to support the advertisement portion of such structure which rests upon or is supported by such poles.
Streamer. Narrow strips of material used for decoration, intended to be hung and visibly affected by the movement of the wind.
Street frontage. The width in linear feet of a lot or parcel where it abuts the right-of-way of any public street.
Subdivision sign. A permanent sign placed at the entrance to a land subdivision development.
Temporary sign. Any sign that by its design and construction is intended to be used for a limited period of time and is not permanently mounted or anchored. Such signs are constructed of materials and to a standard meant to last for less than one year. Includes signs put up during periods of rent, lease, sale or construction.
Variance. A deviation from the set of rules set forth in the text of this sign ordinance.
Wall sign. A sign that is fastened directly to, or is placed or painted directly upon, the exterior of a building, with the sign face parallel to the wall, and extending from the surface of the exterior no more than 24 inches.
Window sign. Any sign, excluding incidental signs, placed inside or on the outside of a window, intended to be seen from the exterior.
(4) Except as provided herein, the provisions of this article shall be administered by the planning and development services director and enforced by the code enforcement director. Whenever this article places a duty, obligation, power or authority in the planning and development services director or code enforcement director, it shall be construed to include that respective official’s authorized designee.
Sec. 4-73. – Permits, inspections, etc.
(1) Permit required. Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, enlarge, move, or convert any sign in the City or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a sign permit from the planning and development services director. These directives shall not be construed to require any permit for change of copy on any sign, replacement of the sign face, nor for the repainting, cleaning, or other normal maintenance or repair of a sign or sign structure for which a permit has previously been issued, so long as the sign or sign structure is not modified or enlarged in any way.
(2) Application. Sign permits may be applied for by the owner of the property upon which the sign will be located, or by that person or entity’s authorized agent. In order to obtain a permit to erect, alter or relocate any sign under the provisions of this article, an applicant therefor shall submit to the planning and development services director a sign permit application which shall set forth in writing a complete description of the proposed sign including:
(3) Issuance of permit if application in order. It shall be the duty of the planning and development services director, upon receipt of a completed application for a sign permit, to examine such plans and specifications and other data and, if the proposed structure is in compliance with the requirements of this section and all other applicable provisions of this article, to issue, within twenty (20) days from date of filing a completed application, a written permit evidencing the applicant’s compliance therewith. An incomplete application shall not be accepted or processed by the planning and development services director. Sign permits shall be issued in the name of the property owner upon which the sign is to be located. Issuance of the permit shall in no way prevent the planning and development services director from later declaring said sign to be nonconforming if the permit is obtained based on false or misleading information submitted by the applicant. Should the planning and development services director deny a permit, the reasons for the denial shall be stated in writing and mailed by first class mail or via hand delivery to the address on the permit application on or before the twentieth (20th) day after the receipt of the completed application.
(4) Permit duration. A sign permit shall become null and void if the construction of the sign for which the permit was issued has not begun within a period of six months after the date of issuance and completed within 12 months after date of issuance.
(5) Work on illegal signs. No person shall erect or assist in the erection, construction, maintenance, alteration, relocation, repair or painting of, or do any work upon any sign for which a permit is required but has not been obtained. Any such sign shall be illegal, and the planning and development services director shall order the owner to remove the same immediately. If the owner fails to remove the same within 30 days, the planning and development services director shall proceed in accordance with this article.
(6) Inspection. All signs for which a permit is required by this article are subject to inspection by the planning and development services or code enforcement director.
(7) Revocation. The planning and development services director is hereby authorized and empowered to revoke any permit issued by him upon failure of the holder thereof to comply with the provisions of this section within 30 days after notification in writing.
(8) Permit fees. Before any permit is issued under the provisions of this section, the applicant shall pay a fee as follows:
(9) Exemptions. Except as otherwise provided, the following signs may be erected without a permit, provided that each is in accordance with the prescribed conditions and all other applicable codes and regulations.
Sec. 4-74. – Permitted signs by zoning district.
(1) If not otherwise stated, any sign not specifically permitted in a zoning district as provided under this section shall be prohibited. These regulations apply to signs located on any lot or development, except that any sign not visible from the outside of a structure or to passing members of the public is not restricted or regulated by this article.
(2) Signs permitted in R-E, R-G, R-1, R-2, R-3, C-8, R-MHS, R-MHP, and C-R zoning districts:
(3) Signs permitted in the C-1, C-2, C-3, C-5, C-6, C-7, M-1, M-2, FH and AG zoning districts:
|Distance from wall sign to the right-of-way of the abutting street frontage:||Maximum surface area, as determined in subsection 1. above, may be multiplied by a factor of:|
|50 – 100 feet||1.5 (but no larger than 150 square feet)|
|100 – 175 feet||2 (but no larger than 200 square feet)|
|175 – 250 feet||2.5 (but no larger than 250 square feet)|
|250 + feet||3 (but no larger than 300 square feet)|
(4) Billboards. Billboards are permitted only in the C-2, C-3, C-7, M-1 and M-2 zoning districts. In those districts, billboards may be constructed subject to the following conditions:
Sec. 4-75. – Regulations for signs.
(1) Location and setback.
(2) Restrictions in Residential Zoning Districts.
(3) Residential Subdivision Entrance Signs.
monument sign at each entrance to the subdivision. Such sign shall not exceed a height of five (5) feet above the grade level of the center line of the adjacent street and shall not
have a sign area greater than twenty-five (25) square feet. Such entrance signs shall not
count toward the maximum allowable signage on a residential parcel.
(4) Height Requirements. The following height requirements shall be applicable to signs located in non-residential zoning districts:
(6) Multiple-message signs.
(7) Flags. Flags are permitted in all zoning districts, subject to the following size limitations:
(8) Banners and custom flags. Banners and custom flags are limited to 48 square feet; only one banner per property or road frontage; only one custom flag per 120 feet of road frontage up to a maximum of six per property; and only permitted in C-1, C-2, C-3, C-5, C-6, C-7, C-8, M-1, and M-2 zoning classifications; and the flag or banner must be mounted or attached to a building, pole, mast, arm or other structure. Banners and custom flags may only be exhibited six times each calendar year for a period of not more than 21 consecutive days during each period. Banners shall be attached to a rigid frame or displayed in such a manner that they do not sag or flutter. Banners and custom flags shall be maintained in good repair, and shall be maintained free of defects such as holes, tears, fading, cracks, breaks or missing portions. Upon written notice of any such defects, the banner or custom flag must be repaired or removed. Violation of any of these requirements will result in a six-month suspension of new banner or custom flag permits. Violation for one type will not limit application for the other. Flags properly mounted to a pole, streamers and balloons may also be exhibited and are not subject to the six times per calendar year/21 consecutive days set forth above. Flags, streamers and balloons shall be maintained free of defects such as holes, tears, fading, cracks, breaks or missing portions. Upon written notice of any such defects, the flags, streamers or balloons must be repaired or removed.
Permits are required for banners, flags, custom flags, streamers and balloons, and written application shall be made to the planning and development services director. The planning and development services director shall establish an application form and the permit fees.
(9) Vehicles with signs. For purposes of this article, motor vehicles which are used in connection with a business at the site and which have more than six square feet of painted or permanently affixed sign face may be parked onsite provided the vehicle is parked within the lateral lines of a parking space. Vehicles with signs are only permitted in the C-1, C-2, C-3, C-5, C-6, C-7, M-1 and M-2 zoning classifications.
(10) Sidewalk, sandwich or A-frame signs are regulated as A-frame, sandwich type, sidewalk or curb signs within a commercial zoning district. Signs may be two-sided and shall be limited to six square feet per side. Maximum height shall be six feet above the sidewalk or ground and shall be located within ten feet of the entrance of the building. A-frame signs shall be located so as not to obscure safe vision of vehicular or pedestrian traffic. One A-frame sign may be allowed for each entrance to the building or business. Signs shall not obstruct vehicle safety or pedestrian traffic.
(11) Mansards and parapets. Signs on mansards and parapets are allowed, provided that the sign must not extend above the top of the mansard or parapet roof line.
Sec. 4-76. – Safety and construction standards.
(1) Official confusion. Signs which contain or are an imitation of an official traffic sign or signal, or can be confused with an official traffic sign, are prohibited.
(2) Fire safety. No sign or sign structure may be erected or maintained which obstructs any fire escape, ventilation, or door; nor shall any sign or sign structure be attached to a fire escape.
(3) Corner visibility. No sign or sign structure above a height of three feet shall be maintained within 25 feet of the intersection of the right-of-way lines of two streets, or of a street intersection with a railroad right-of-way.
(4) Traffic visibility and safety. No sign or sign structure shall obstruct the traffic sight line, or the view of vehicles entering the roadway (i.e., the view of oncoming traffic by vehicles attempting to enter the road, or vice versa). No sign shall be erected on any traffic island.
(5) Location in general.
(6) Good Repair. All signs, together with all their supports, braces, guys, and anchors shall be kept in good repair. Any structure formally used as a sign, but not in use for any other purpose, must be removed by the owner of the property within ten (10) days after written notification from a designated City official or thirty (30) days after its use as a valid sign has ceased, after which time, the City may cause the removal of the sign at the owner’s expense.
(7) Removal of Unsafe Signs and Safety Hazards. The City may remove a sign in violation of this Ordinance, without giving notice to any party, if said sign is upon the public right-of-way or upon other public property, or said sign poses an immediate safety threat to the life or health of any members of the public.
Sec. 4-77. – Prohibited signs.
The following types of signs are prohibited in every zoning district:
(1) Roof signs. See subsection 4-78(3)(d) for regulation of roof signs in existence prior to the adoption of this article.
(2) Rotating signs.
(3) Except where expressly permitted, changing copy, moving signs, or signs with moving parts are prohibited. This includes animated signs involving motion or sound; fluttering ribbons; “trivision”-type signs; signs displaying moving pictures or images; LED signs or EVMC signs with content that changes more than once daily; signs with moving words; signs with waiving elements, whether motorized or wind-powered; or similar moving signs. This regulation shall not be construed to prohibit flags, which are regulated as other non-moving signs.
(4) Signs on public rights-of-way other than publicly owned or maintained signs, signs pertaining to railroad crossings, or signs otherwise permitted by this article.
(5) Signs, including, but not limited to, banners, custom flags, streamers and balloons, erected by nailing, fastening or affixing the sign in any manner to any tree, fence, rock, utility pole, out-of-store marketing device, or other structure except as set forth herein.
(6) Signs which emit or utilize in any manner any sound capable of being detected on any traveled road or highway by a person with normal hearing.
(7) Portable signs.
(8) Temporary signs not otherwise allowed by this article. Examples of temporary signs allowed by this article include banners, streamers, balloons, A-frame signs and custom flags.
(9) Swinging or projecting signs.
(10) Signs with more than two sides.
Sec. 4-78. – Existing signs.
(1) It is the intent of this article to bring into conformity permanent sign structures which legally existed at the adoption of this article or an amendment thereto, but which are non-conforming to the provisions of this article or the provisions of an amendment to this article. It is the intent of the mayor and city commission to protect the investment-backed expectations of property and sign structure owners, and to accomplish conformity while allowing property and sign structure owners a reasonable return on their investment.
(2) The provisions of this section shall have no application to any sign which is subject to a valid and current permit issued by the state department of transportation under O.C.G.A. § 32-6-70 et seq. Nor shall this provision have any effect on any billboard which is existing legally at the time of the adoption of this article. A list of such billboards known to the City is identified as “Billboards existing in the City of Albany, Georgia” and attached [by reference] to the ordinance adopting this article as exhibit A, and in the future shall be maintained by the planning and development services director. In the event that any billboard sign is legally existing at the time of the adoption of this article, but not included on such list, the owner of such sign shall have a period of 90 days running from the adoption of this article to register such sign with the planning and development services director, who, upon confirming that such sign is a billboard lawfully existing as of the date of the adoption of this article, shall place such sign on the list. The planning and development services director shall place a notice in the legal organ of the City once each month during such 90-day period advising owners of billboard signs that they should register the sign with the planning and development services director within such 90-day period. For the purposes of this amortization section, any billboard which has not been registered shall be presumed to not be a lawfully-existing billboard existing as of the time of the adoption of this article unless the owner thereof can show that the billboard structure was existing in its current location, design, height and sign face size on the date of the adoption of this article. During such 90-day period, there shall be a moratorium on the issuance of any permits for the erection of billboard sign structures to allow for the registration of existing signs. After the running of the 90-day period and the automatic expiration of such moratorium, whenever a permit is issued for any billboard, such billboard will be added to the list, along with the date upon which the permit was issued.
(3) Except as otherwise provided and subject to the restrictions of this sub-paragraph, a nonconforming sign may be used, but not expanded nor improved unless the sign is made conforming. Nonconforming signs are subject to the maintenance requirements of this chapter and may be subject to removal for violations of maintenance standards. No structural repairs or change in shape or size of a nonconforming sign shall be permitted except to make the sign comply with all standards of this chapter, provided that a nonconforming sign damaged up to 50 percent of its value by act of God or by other circumstances beyond the control of the owner of the sign may be repaired without regard to the restrictions of this paragraph.
Sec. 4-79. – Sign and sign structure maintenance.
(1) The sign and sign structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound, with proper anchorage capable of supporting the imposed loads, so as not to pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare. All structural members shall be maintained free from deterioration, and shall be capable of safely supporting the imposed dead and live loads.
(2) All exterior surfaces shall be maintained in good condition. Exterior wood surfaces, other than decay-resistant woods, shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatment. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted. When required, all exposed surfaces of metal or wood shall be protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint or similar surface treatment. Sign faces shall be maintained in good repair and shall have neatly painted, posted or otherwise maintained display surfaces, free of defects such as holes, tears, cracks, breaks or missing portions, which are plainly visible from the public right-of-way.
(3) When a sign or sign structure is found to be in need of maintenance, the code enforcement officer shall issue a notice of violation to the property owner, which shall describe the maintenance issue, and provide a reasonable amount of time to repair the violation.
(4) If, after receiving the notice of violation, the property owner fails to remedy the maintenance issue within the time provided, it shall be a violation of this article, subject to citation. The code enforcement director or designee may also institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal of the sign or sign structure. The reasonable cost of any action taken by the City or its agents to remedy the maintenance issue shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall constitute a lien upon such real estate.
(5) The issuance of a notice of violation may be appealed to the planning and development services director by written appeal received at the director’s office within ten calendar days of the notice. The appeal shall set forth in detail why the appealing party feels its sign or sign structure is in good repair, etc. as required by this section. .
(6) The planning and development services director shall consider the appeal by holding a hearing, open to the public, within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. The appealing party and code enforcement may present testimony and documentary evidence at the hearing.
(7) The planning and development services director has the authority to review what is presented by the appealing party and code enforcement and decide whether to affirm, reverse, or modify the notice of violation. This includes the authority to extend the length of time in which the maintenance issue must be completed.
Sec. 4-80 Variances. Variances shall be limited to the minimum relief necessary to overcome the hardship. No variance shall be granted to allow a greater number of signs than would be allowed if the hardship did not exist. A variance from compliance with the sign regulations of this ordinance shall be limited to the following hardship situations:
Sec. 4-81. – Appeals.
Appeal by an aggrieved party of a decision of the planning and development services director under this article shall be to the planning commission. The aggrieved party shall file such appeal in writing within 30 days of the date of the appealed decision. The planning commission shall consider the appeal at a public meeting conducted within 35 days of the filing of the appeal. The aggrieved party or its agent and the planning and development services director shall be allowed to present testimony and evidence as to whether the decision should be affirmed, reversed or modified. Such testimony and evidence shall constitute the record. The planning commission shall consider this record in light of the requirements and intent of this article, and shall vote to affirm, reverse or modify the decision at such public meeting. In the event that the planning commission fails to render a decision on the appeal within 35 days of the filing of the notice of appeal, the decision of the planning and development services director shall stand affirmed. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the planning commission or the planning and development services director, as the case may be, may petition for writ of certiorari to the Dougherty County Superior Court within 30 days of the decision.
Sec. 4-82. – Legal provisions.
(1) Any person or entity violating or refusing to comply with any provision of this article shall be subject to citation to the municipal court, and upon conviction, may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 60 days, to pay a fine of up to $1,000.00, or both. Each day a violation exists shall be considered a separate violation for purposes of citation and sentencing. The City may also seek civil remedies including injunctive, declaratory or equitable relief for violations of this article. The City may summarily remove signs in the rights-of-way.
(2) Should any section or provision of this article be declared by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such declaration shall not affect the validity of this article as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so declared to be unconstitutional or invalid.
(3) This article replaces the City’s prior sign ordinance existing and in effect immediately prior to the adoption of this article. In the event all of this article is struck down as void, unconstitutional or invalid, including therefore this provision, that prior ordinance shall be considered to not have been repealed, and shall therefore still be in effect.
(4) This article shall take effect and be in force as of the date of its adoption, the public welfare of the City demanding.
Congratulations to Dawson Road Pawn Shop, this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. Dawson Road Pawn Shop has served the Albany area for over 30 years and is dedicated to making their customers feel like family. They offer thousands of items for purchase or trade including jewelry, musical instruments, game systems and much more. They offer accredited jewelry appraisal and repair with Jason Sheffield, owner/manager as the Master Jeweler and Graduate Gemologist, GIA.
Congratulations to Yancey Rents – The CAT Rental Store, this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. Yancey Rents was founded in 1914 and since then has been involved with the construction industry. They offer a large assortment of late model, low hour construction equipment rental units. They also offer a wide selection of top-quality new and used general and heavy construction equipment for sale. From concrete saws to heavy construction equipment, The CAT Rental Store offers products from Caterpillar and other leading brands to meet job site needs.
Congratulations to SouthernAG Carriers, this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. SouthernAG Carriers, Inc. is an asset-based truckload carrier specializing in peanuts, cotton, pecans & agriculture. With over 30 years of experience, they continually strive to be the best freight and refrigerated transport service in Albany, GA. Learn more about this local company by visiting www.sou-ag.com.