Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sebree council to allow electronic signs within the city

J-E News Editor
Sebree City Council approved two ordinance amendments during the last week that will make it possible for electronic message signs to now be used within the city, although only if they meet very narrow specifications. The move is aimed at granting a request made by the Sebree First Christian Church earlier this year.

In April a representative of the church addressed the council with their concerns.
“We started raising money and I went around to different communities to find a sign that would work,”    church goer Brice Marsh told Sebree’s city council. “We did not realize that there was an ordinance that did not allow digital signs within the city limits of Sebree.”
The specific ordinance that banned the signs was adopted by the council in April of 1998, when such signs were both rare and expensive. These days the cost of digital signs has decreased and they are popping up in communities all over the country. 
Today’s digital signs can display everything from flashing messages to animation and video, but you wont be seeing any of those in the city of Sebree anytime soon. The amendment passed by the council will only allow the use of ‘electronic changeable copy’ (ECC) signs, and only in commercial and industrial zones.
The amendment defines ECC signs as those where ‘copy is changed by electronic or electrical control of a bank of light-emitting, light-reflecting or light-silhouetting copy elements.’ The elements of the copy can scroll, but the message itself may  not change any sooner than every five minutes.
In order for the church to put up their sign, the city was also required to approve an ordinance that would rezone the property on which the building sat. Previously it had been considered Town Residential (R1), but with digital sinage only allowed in commercial and industrial zones, the property had to be rezoned to Neighborhood Commercial (C1). The church owns a piece of property adjacent to that lot which was already zoned C1.
In other business, Mayor Ozzie O’Nan announced the resignation of Carolyn Catlin, chairman of the Sebree Planning Commission.
“We appreciate the job that she has done and the time she has volunteered for the city of Sebree,” O’Nan said. “This is a five person commission, and we currently have two openings. Hopefully we will be able to fill those soon.”
City attorney Dorin Luck suggested that the council consider amending the ordinance that governs the planning commission. Currently the commission meets monthly, but volunteering for the office might be more appealing to the public if they were only required to meet every other month. The council agreed that this was something they should consider.
Local pastor Bob Hardison addressed the council on behalf of the Sebree Chamber of Commerce. He explained that recently Sebree Forward, a sub-committee of the chamber, had met with Brad Schneider the CEO of Kentucky Network for Development, Leadership and Engagement Inc. (KYNDLE).
“Brad came to see us and said that the number one thing to get new businesses is that the town needs to be neat and clean,” Hardison said. “Sebree Forward wants to ask that the city enforce their existing codes on properties around town.”
City employee Kim Campbell told Hardison that the city does address these issues, but it is a slow process. Sebree does not employee a code enforcement officer, which would normally handle such matters. Instead a representative of the city must locate properties that are not in compliance. The property owners are then notified by letter and it is handed off to county attorney Clint Prow.
“The appearance and cleanliness of Sebree is a top priority of this council,” said Mayor O’Nan. “But it is an ongoing, everyday task.”

No comments:

Post a Comment