Highway landscaping discussed at Columbus City Council meeting - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Highway landscaping discussed at Columbus City Council meeting

It's an ordinance designed to control the landscape and appearance of commercial properties along the Manchester Expressway corridor east of Highway 80 in Columbus. It's an ordinance designed to control the landscape and appearance of commercial properties along the Manchester Expressway corridor east of Highway 80 in Columbus.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

It's an ordinance designed to control the landscape and appearance of commercial properties along the Manchester Expressway corridor east of Highway 80 in Columbus.

News leader 9's Dante Renzulli spoke to business owners on both sides of the issue who addressed city council tonight.

It's called an overlay, and essentially it's where you draw lines on either side of a highway to create a zone. The laws will be different for buildings inside of that zone because they can be seen from the busy road.

There is already one of these along the J.R. Allen Parkway in north east Columbus. The overlay dictates what structures are allowed to look like so they all stay within a certain theme. The proposed overlay on Manchester Expressway extends from Highway 80 to the Harris County line. The ordinance would control things like the materials used in buildings and it would eliminate billboards. Realtor Marty Flournoy is opposed to the changes.

"When a private business decides they want to build a building, this ordinance requires you to go to the planning director, and he's got to review your plans. He's got to decide if he likes the colors. He's got to decide if it's aesthetically pleasing. It's got so many things that are prejudicial against a small business," says Flournoy.

Flournoy is a leader of the opposition and his brother, Thomas Flournoy, is in favor of the ordinance. He didn't want to speak on camera, but other people said they are backing the proposed law because they want to keep that part of Manchester Expressway from looking like Macon Road in midtown with all the big signs.

By the end of the more than three hour discussion, the issue was postponed for another day to give people on opposite sides of this issue more time to reach a compromise, and allow council members to gain a deeper understanding about the implications of this ordinance.

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