City of Newnan

Business signage rules to be enforced downtown

by Celia Shortt

The city of Newnan will now be writing citations to downtown business owners for violations of its signage regulations.

The existing regulation being enforced is part of Newnan’s sign ordinance – §31.160 Signs Permitted by Type and Zoning District – and pertains to “A-Frame, T-Frame, sandwich and sandwich board signs.”

This ordinance has been enforced since it was created in 2010. Until now, however, Newnan has taken a different approach in enforcement, according to the city manager.

“They have been enforced since the ordinance was adopted but we have typically taken a verbal or educational approach instead of writing citations since they are temporary signs and easily moved,” said Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips. “These signs are a benefit to the business, so Main Street took a proactive approach to remind the merchants of the proper placement of such signs.”

Main Street Manager Courtney Collins notified members of downtown Newnan in an email on Friday.

“Please accept this email as notification that the city of Newnan’s code enforcement officer will begin enforcing an existing regulation that relates to A-Frame sandwich board signs,” Collins wrote in the email.

The sign regulation requires the sign to be no larger than 4 feet high and 8 square feet in area. Each piece of property or business is allowed one sign for its “planned center or storefront development.”

The signs may only be displayed during the operating hours of the business it is advertising, and within the downtown area, “the signs must be positioned against a building and cannot be positioned in a sidewalk or curb.”

Kendra’s is a store located on Jefferson Street, just off the downtown square, which utilizes an A frame sign for its business.

“I think they’re (A frame signs) very helpful,” said MaKayla Phillips, assistant manager of Kendra’s. Her parents also own the store.

“It would be more helpful if we could place them more in sight,” she added. “It’s not as helpful as it could be to have them so close to the building.”

Phillips said the city initially allowed these types of signs to help with advertising.

“It wasn’t too long ago, that A frame and menu board signs were not allowed at all,” he said. “We made this change to allow for advertising opportunities at the end of 2010. The ordinance was designed to allow for advertising but required placement of the signage adjacent to the building.”

Phillips added the recent trend has been for businesses to display their signs out by the streets and on the corner bump-outs. Both of which “tend to block sidewalks and limit visibility.”

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