Archived Story

Priceville business butts heads with sign ordinance

Published 10:55am Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Priceville businessman Larry White hit a brick wall when he appeared before Priceville Town Council seeking relief from a 2003 sign ordinance at an April 14 meeting.

White owns and operates USA Tire on Alabama 67 and is using eight small ground signs to promote his business.

The signs do not comply with the town’s sign ordinance, according to building inspector Chip Spicer.

Spicer said he has talked with White about the illegal status of the signs from time to time since he opened the business 11 month ago.

“I asked him to remove the signs and he complied but later put them up again,” Spicer pointed out.

“White said he is using the signs to advertise the services his business offers to the public.

“Most people didn’t realize we offer brake services when we first opened because the former owner didn’t,” he said. “We put up the signs to let them know.”

“I’m not trying to raise a fight with the sign ordinance,” he added. “I want to work with everybody. I’m just trying to promote my business and make a living.”

“We support and patronize your business and we want it to be successful,” said Mayor Melvin Duran. “In fact, we used you to replace the tires on one of the town’s vehicles a couple of days ago. But what if two or three other tire dealers located in town and each one of them used non-conforming signs to promote their businesses?”

“What about the signs other businesses are using? White asked. “I’ll take mine up when you have them remove theirs.”

Spicer pointed out that some of the non-conforming signs were there when the sign ordinance was passed and were allowed to remain under a grandfather clause. Others are classed as temporary.

Spicer explained that a business is permitted to use one 200 square foot ground sign. He told White he would be glad to work with him to incorporate different advertising message on a sign of that size.

White was also told the only way he would be able to use the ground signs in front of his business was to have them waved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Town Attorney William S. “Woody” Sanderson pointed out the applicant would need to show hardship in order to be granted such a waiver.

When White asked how much time he had to remove the signs, he was told by Spicer that he had only as long as it took time to give a written notice.

“I’ll prepare the notice tomorrow,” Spicer said Monday.

The council acted on other matters as follows:

• Approved bills totaling $168,831.91 for the month of March.

• Approved the issuance of a special event retail alcohol license to Fredricks Equipment at 1312 Bethel Road for Sat., April 26. A condition was made that the noise level not exceed 105 decibels.

• Approved an alcohol review committee recommendation to add to the 160 special retail alcohol license ordinance provision any other valid responsible organization of good reputation.

• Approved increasing the 160 special event retail liquor (on premises) license fee for more than 30 days from $350 to $1,500.

• Voted to suspend the rules and approved an ordinance regulating the storage and display of tires within the town limits and establishing punishment for such violations.

• Approved an ordinance restricting the locations and duration of temporary storage units within the town limits, and establishing punishment for such violations.

• Approved $500 for advertising the Priceville Community Recreation Association 5K run at Veterans Park May 31.

• Authorized the mayor to sign a contract renewal for remittance processing services.

• Authorized the mayor to sign a contract renewal with the Morgan County Commission for solid waste/sanitation services.

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