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Aldermen amend sign ordinance once more

A sign ordinance amendment defining and controlling temporary signs was approved by the Oxford Board of Aldermen Tuesday.

Temporary signs often are used for political campaigns, to advertise property for sale or lease or advertise new construction or remodeling, but are not limited to those uses.

The amendment was originally proposed in January; however, the aldermen pulled the amended ordinance off the table during the second reading and public hearing after the board received more than 50 letters of opposition about the changes, mostly from local Realtors.

The objections were mainly on how many signs would be allowed and the length of time they could remain there.

Under the original amendment, temporary signs would have been allowed without a permit but could not have been displayed for more than 180 days in any consecutive 12-month period, and only one sign per residential lot would have been allowed. A second temporary sign would have been allowed during an election season only.

The new amended ordinance approved Tuesday removed those restrictions and added some new verbiage. Now, a residence could have more than one sign; however, any signs that are exactly the same must be placed 50 feet apart. This would generally affect political signs.

Local Realtors pleased

Local Realtor Clayton Faggert thanked the aldermen for listening to the concerns of the Realtors.

“Through the cooperation of the North Central Mississippi Board of Realtors, the city council and the office of the mayor, our concerns were addressed and a reasonable solution was offered,” Faggert told the aldermen.

The only temporary sign limited to the 180 days would be for new construction projects. New commercial and residential developments consisting of three or more primary structures may post one temporary sign, no more than 64 square feet in surface at the entrance to the development. Once 50 percent of the structures have received certificates of occupancy, the maximum size of the temporary sign can only be 32 square feet. The signs can remain 180 days after issuance of the last certificate of occupancy.

All other temporary signs can not exceed 6 square feet in surface and 4 feet in height in all single-family-zoned residential areas, neighborhood business zoned areas or designated historic preservation districts. Temporary signs in other areas, including multi-family zoning and two-unit zoning, cannot exceed 32 square feet in surface and 8 feet in height.

Also updated in the new ordinance amendment was the size of monument signs on bases.

Residential subdivisions and developments containing multiple units can display one monument sign, not to exceed 8 feet in height and 24 square feet in sign area. The width of the base allowed will be 150 increase of height. Developments with multiple units can also have one wall sign, not to exceed 20 square feet.

The amended ordinance will go into effect in 30 days.