‘Walking signs’ discussion moves back to planning commission

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A proposal to regulate businesses’ “walking signs” is headed back for consideration by the Peachtree City Planning Commission.

The ordinance, however, has a good chance of passing, based on comments this week by Mayor Don Haddix.

Haddix said “there is a will” to bring the walking advertisements in line with the city’s character.

The last version of the walking sign ordinance did not get a warm welcome from the planning commission. It would allow business mascots to be along the city’s highways and roads, but they would not be allowed to display a sign of any kind.

Those with “walking signs” would also be forbidden from being visible from any part of a public street, under that ordinance proposal.

Currently the city requires sign holders working along roads to get a solicitor’s permit from the police department, which includes a fee and a criminal background check.

Several business owners at the July planning commission meeting said walking signs were vital to their business. They argued that a ban would hurt their business because walking signs are effective.

The commission suggested that the city instead work with local businesses to develop restrictions instead of a ban on walking business signs. Among the suggestions were a limit on the number of days a business can use walking signs, how far they must stand back from the road and perhaps standards for the quality of the sign.

Planning Commissioner Larry Sussberg, himself a business owner, has said he thought the walking signs were a backlash to the city’s restrictive sign ordinance.

The matter is expected to be discussed at the June 14 planning commission meeting. It would then be discussed at the June 17 city council meeting.