COPY-Auburn Sign Ordinance Upsets Business Owners - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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COPY-Auburn Sign Ordinance Upsets Business Owners

Some Auburn business owners believe the city is over stepping it's authority by forcing them to make changes to their signs. If they don't, they could be fined up to $500.

The ordinance was passed in 1997, and with extensions, business owners have until June to comply.

Now, the city will begin enforcement, saying it'll make the city more appealing.

For 27-years, Franklin Tire and Auto has relied on word of mouth and their sign to attract customers.

But Auburn's sign ordinance says it's sign display isn't appealing. So, David Franklin and other business owners got a letter this month from the city.

"We sent out 250 letters to 250 business owners and tailored those letters to inform business to the best of our ability how they were non compliant and what needed to be done in order to ensure compliance," said Auburn's City Planner, Forrest Cotten.

Franklin says in order to comply, he'll spend about 6-thousand dollars on a new sign.

"If we have to make this change they need to help us with it in some way, I mean times are tough and we don't look to throw money away," he said.

Exactly how the new signs need to look will depend on each particular business, but as a general rule on Pepperell Parkway, no more metal poles, and signs need to be encased in a natural material, like brick or stucco. Here in downtown Auburn no more free standing signs and again, no more metal poles than means for this Auburn McDonalds, no more Golden Arches.

Cotten says he's sympathetic to business owners cost concerns. Still, the ordinance will be enforced, and in the end, he believes it'll be worth it.

Business owners have until June to make the necessary changes to their signs out front. They will also have to apply for a new sign permit, that's another $75.

The ordinance was passed in 1997, and with extensions, business owners have until June to comply.

Now, the city will begin enforcement, saying it'll make the city more appealing.

For 27-years, Franklin Tire and Auto has relied on word of mouth and their sign to attract customers.

But Auburn's sign ordinance says it's sign display isn't appealing. So, David Franklin and other business owners got a letter this month from the city.

"We sent out 250 letters to 250 business owners and tailored those letters to inform business to the best of our ability how they were non compliant and what needed to be done in order to ensure compliance," said Auburn's City Planner, Forrest Cotten.

Franklin says in order to comply, he'll spend about 6-thousand dollars on a new sign.

"If we have to make this change they need to help us with it in some way, I mean times are tough and we don't look to throw money away," he said.

Exactly how the new signs need to look will depend on each particular business, but as a general rule on Pepperell Parkway, no more metal poles, and signs need to be encased in a natural material, like brick or stucco. Here in downtown Auburn no more free standing signs and again, no more metal poles than means for this Auburn McDonalds, no more golden arches.

Cotten says he's sympathetic to business owners cost concerns. Still, the ordinance will be enforced, and in the end, he believes it'll be worth it.

Business owners have until June to make the necessary changes to their signs out front. They will also have to apply for a new sign permit, that's another $75.

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