Collegedale amends sign ordinance, receives pushback

Collegedale amends sign ordinance, receives pushback

January 4th, 2012 Rachel Sauls in Local Regional News

A recent unanimously approved Collegedale sign ordinance amendment is already causing problems with a local youth association and includes regulations for garage, yard and estate sale signs.

Bucky McCulley, a representative from the Ooltewah Youth Association, addressed the Collegedale Commission in regards to the association's basketball sign-up signs that have been removed from Ooltewah Elementary School, Ooltewah Middle School and the intersection of Old Lee Highway and Little Debbie Parkway because of the ordinance.

"We get a good bit of people from our signs, and we've already had seven or eight calls wanting to know why signs aren't up," he said.

According to city of Collegedale Building, Codes and Safety Officer Andrew Mokert, the OYA signs were removed from the intersection because they were placed in the city's right of way, which violates the sign ordinance. The signs at the schools were removed because they violated the ordinance's definition of an "event," which only allows a nonprofit organization to leave a sign up for 12 days.

OYA usually leaves its signage up for approximately one month, said McCulley.

Commissioner Larry Hanson suggested the youth association submit a formal request for an exception that would accommodate its signage needs. Collegedale City Manager Ted Rogers suggested the commission work to adapt the ordinance instead, to prevent the city from receiving more exception requests in the future.

"The Ooltewah Youth Association is a big asset to the community and it seems like we're kind of undermining something that's good for the community," said Hanson.

The commission agreed to work with McCulley as much as possible to accommodate the association's needs for upcoming baseball sign-ups that bring more than 700 people into the city of Collegedale each week.

McCulley was present at the most recent Collegedale Commission workshop, and the sign ordinance will be discussed further in upcoming commission meetings.

The amendment also places restrictions on garage, yard and estate sale signs. It states that these signs may not be illuminated, can not exceed 6 square feet, shall be placed and removed no more than 48 hours before and after the event and that only one sign is allowed per street property.

Garage, yard and estate sale signs require no permit. No signs are permitted in the city's right of way, on natural fixtures or on existing signs that direct traffic.

For more information, visit www.collegedaletn.gov.