Task Force to review Sign Ordinance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Task Force to review Sign Ordinance

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January 4, 2008

Albany - If you own a business, you know just how important signage is. Without it, folks wouldn't know where you were located, or that you even existed. That's why the city of Albany has been reticent to even enforce the current sign ordinance it has on the books and why a task force, including local sign companies has been formed to review changes to the code.

Before a sign order is finalized at Art Sign Company, Mark Brown makes sure that order is in line with the city ordinance. "Virtually every customer that we deal with, we make sure that they're legal," he said.

Otherwise, making that sign could be a waste of time for Mark and a waste of money for the customer. "If there's any gray area," Brown said, "we make sure we're informed."

But there seems to be a very large gray area these days when it comes to digital signs. The current ordinance expressly prohibits signs with any animation or signs that flash. 

"As a result of not updating our ordinance," said Howard Brown, director of Planning, "We've had to allow, for a lack of a better word, allow things that we shouldn't have allowed. We've made some mistakes along the way, but at the same time we have not enforced our sign code appropriately."

That's why a sign task force has been organized, including not only city staff, but sign companies as well. "The local sign companies know what their customers needs and wants are, so they'll be able to help us define what can or cannot work or what will work," said Howard Brown.

Mark Brown said, "We want to do what is best for the community and I think this committee will come up with something in that order." The task force will meet twice to discuss any changes that need to be made to the new ordinance regarding digital signage.

Code enforcement officers are still working on identifying violators. Those found guilty will have to pay up to a thousand dollar fine.

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