Fort Oglethorpe: Businesses say sign ordinance unfairly enforced

Fort Oglethorpe: Businesses say sign ordinance unfairly enforced

March 10th, 2009 by Beverly Carroll in Georgia

A local business owner said Fort Oglethorpe codes enforcement officials are unfairly targeting him while letting other businesses fly the kinds of banners that led him to a court citation.

"I was the only one targeted," Jay Patel, owner of the Quick Mart on LaFayette Road, said at the City Council meeting Monday.

Mr. Patel presented the council with pictures of about 70 businesses that he said have the banner-type signs that he was forced to remove from his business last month. He put the signs back up after he saw other businesses with the signs, he said. He later was cited to City Court.

Councilman Steve Brandon said enforcement employees are working to enforce the sign ordinance, which prohibits banner signs, fairly.

"I've seen other businesses take their signs down," he said. "I've had them complain to me. We are not going to single anybody out."

Mr. Brandon said there is one employee to inspect the 200 businesses in the city.

"And she's responsible for all the residences and people who don't mow their grass or have junk cars in their yards," he said.

City Manager Ron Goulart said he is gathering information for the committee appointed last month to review the sign ordinance. Mayor Ronnie Cobb said he thinks the law is too rigid.

Councilman Charles Sharrock, who last month complained about the city's spotty coverage, said Monday he is satisfied the employees are doing the best they can.