Tall signs start coming down in Columbus

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, February 4, 2010

One tall sign came down yesterday to comply with Columbus sign regulation that gave I-26 corridor businesses six years to take down tall signs.
The Shell/Burger King removed its tall sign to comply with the towns deadline of Feb. 16. Columbus enacted a new sign ordinance in 2003 and gave businesses a six year moratorium to comply with the new 30 foot maximum sign regulation.
The area affected is the I-26 corridor that extends 500 feet on each side of I-26.
Columbus Town Planner Melanie Sand says the signs must be in compliance on Feb. 16. Sand said the Shell/Burger King had applied for a permit to take down its tall sign and doesnt plan on replacing it with another sign.
The businesses of Waffle House, McDonalds and the Texaco, all owned by the same company, have not yet complied. Those businesses at one time a few years ago sued the town over the new regulations. The town, however, won in court.
Columbus approved the new 30-foot-maximum regulation in 2003, with officials saying then that the corridor is the first thing visitors see when getting off the interstate. Town officials say they want the I-26 corridor to be consistent with regulations in other parts of town and have often noted the danger of the tall signs. On several occasions high winds have torn off large plastic shards of the tall signs and flung them to the ground in the busy commercial corridor along West Mills Street.
Town officials have not said what the town will do if all signs are not in compliance by the deadline.

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