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Code Changes Approved: Ordinance amends sign requirements for Office, Commercial, Industrial districts

By Bill Short
flag-city-logoThe Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously passed an ordinance on final reading that amends the sign requirements for Office, Commercial and Industrial zoning districts.
Board members took the action during their Dec. 12 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Bethany Huffman and seconded by Alderman Mike Caruthers.
The ordinance, recommended by the Millington Municipal Planning Commission, was unanimously passed on first reading at the board’s Nov. 14 meeting. It amends the Municipal Code’s zoning provisions by revising Section 14-2404.
Charles Goforth, planning consultant for the city, has said the ordinance does not change the number of signs a business can have, but where the signs can be placed.
Although a business can still have two signs, the previous ordinance required them to be on the front of the building.
But Goforth has said several businesses in Millington have “very narrow” buildings that are close to the road. So, a sign on the front of the building is difficult to see.
He has noted that the new ordinance gives them an opportunity to put the sign on the side of the building, so motorists will be able to see it when they are driving down the highway.
The new ordinance also allows two small signs on the canopy of a service station. Neither sign can exceed 20 square feet, which will be 2-by-10 feet.
Goforth has acknowledged that many of the older service stations in the city have signs on their canopies. But when the ordinance was amended in 2010, those signs were no longer allowed.
“So, for the gas stations on Navy Road, you can’t see the buildings,” he has noted. “The buildings are back, and the canopies are out front.”
Goforth has said the “real change” in the new ordinance allows signs on the canopy and a sign on the front or the side of the building, as long as it does not face a residential property.
“They won’t get additional signs,” he has noted. “But they can have it on the canopy instead of on the building or on the ground sign.”
At the Nov. 14 meeting, Caruthers said the planning commission asked Goforth to give the service station owners a choice of whether to have the sign on the canopy or on the building.
“They chose to double up on the canopy,” the alderman noted. “So, I think it’s a good thing for them.”
Alderman Frankie Dakin asked last month whether the prohibition of signs facing residential property will include multi-family as well as single-family.
“Basically, any sign facing any residential, we will make them put it on the front,” Goforth replied. “We don’t want lights from the signs reflecting on houses in the residential areas.”
While acknowledging that Dakin raised a “good point” with his question, Goforth said that is something the board can “think about” before the issue “comes up again.”

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