Covington Council to hammer out sign ordinance

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

The city will hold a work session on a proposed sign ordinance at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

The council approved a sign ordinance in June, but Mayor Kim Carter later announced that she would not sign it into law, citing concerns that the document was less than thorough. Carter initially said she would veto the ordinance but the city attorney advised that tabling the matter would be appropriate.

Of particular concern was that certain items -- such as roof signs, courtesy benches, trash cans and other items including a sign or message, pennants, streamers and balloons -- had been removed from the prohibited list by the council during the second reading. However, those items were not listed as permissible in the ordinance, nor defined as where they would be allowed. If they are not specifically listed in the ordinance as permissible, they still will be prohibited, according to Senior Planner Scott Gaither.

At the work session, "I will be discussing the proposed changes and how they differ from what we have currently and fielding the questions from the council as well as discussing with them the potential impacts certain changes may have," Gaither said.

Gaither drafted amendments for the council's consideration that specified zoning districts for roof and temporary signs. The draft limits roof signs to the corridor mixed-use district while temporary signs requiring permits -- such as pennants, streamers and balloons -- would be allowed in corridor mixed use, light and heavy industrial districts, so long as they are not higher than the building.

The draft also establishes a one-time annual fee of $25 for temporary signs. As previously approved by the council, temporary signs could go up five times per year for 30 days at a time.

The council will discuss whether these and other provisions will stay or go at the work session in preparation for a re-vote on the ordinance at an upcoming meeting.