Danville-Boyle chamber wants new sign language

July 19, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Danville-Boyle Chamber of Commerce wants to be allowed to post a sign about its Taste of Danville fund-raiser in November.

But the chamber is being sent in a circle.

The food-tasting event helps supplement the chamber's budget that is mainly fueled by membership dues. The chamber is non-profit, but it doesn't have a 501c3 federal tax status; it's a 501c6.

The chamber's executive director, Paula Kilby, noticed that the Danville-Boyle Planning and Zoning ordinance only allows 501c3s to post temporary signs off their property.

She asked P&Z to change it. They told her to go to the city. She asked the City Commission to change it. They told her they weren't going to discuss signs until after the ordinance was passed. They even incorrectly first pointed her to Boyle County Fiscal Court.


P&Z Director Paula Bary said that the change can be made by the city commissioners. Commissioner Terry Crowley said that after the nearly year-long battle for Stuart Powell's Mazda sign that he would rather P&Z make the change.

Crowley said Kilby's change isn't the only one to consider. Some churches don't have 501c3 status either. Some local hotels have disputed the sign height limits. The city has never considered the changes to auction and real-estate signs that the county passed.

Kilby said she plans to study the entire sign ordinance, and that the chamber wants all business owners to educate themselves on the sign issue.

Crowley said that P&Z wrote the original ordinance, and he thinks that agency ought to broaden it. He recalled a time he came up with a solution to Powell's sign problem. Powell already had two signs, and wanted to put in a third Mazda sign at his dealership. At the time, he wouldn't have been allowed.

Crowley's plan was for the Board of Adjustments to make decisions about whether businesses could have more signs. After a long debate, P&Z's attorney told the city that it wouldn't work. Crowley gave the whole issue to P&Z and asked them to draft an ordinance. P&Z did, and it was passed by the city.

Crowley said this time around he thinks the changes ought to start with P&Z.

The P&Z ordinance the city now operates from was written in 1988. P&Z took eight years to write another ordinance. It is before the City Commission now for a vote.

The commissioners want to pass that ordinance, and then go back and look at the entire sign ordinance. Will it get straightened out before Taste of Danville in November? Crowley said he doesn't know.

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