The city’s zoning and sign codes were the prevailing theme of the Tuesday, Dec. 4 meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen.
The pastor of a church at 1512 South Central Avenue asked the board for a variance to put up a directional sign more than three times the size allowed under the new sign regulations.
Marc A. Bowers, the “Lead Pastor” of Grace Pointe Church of God, asked the board to allow a directional sign of 15 square feet surface and height of 8 feet at the busy intersection of Interstate 22 and South Central Ave.
The new sign ordinance allows directional signs of a maximum 4 square feet surface and height of no more than 5 feet. The city zoning board had turned down the request for variance at its November meeting.
First Ward Alderwoman Amy Livingston said she is reluctant to grant a variance to the ordinance that the board passed just four months ago on July 18. Livingston instigated and led the year-long work of re-writing New Albany’s badly flawed 2006 sign ordinance.
The board asked Livingston and Third Ward Alderman Kevin Dale White to investigate the advisability of granting the variance sought by Bowers.
In another matter, the board unanimously approved changing the zoning of property owned by William Powell at 202 Highway 15 South. The zoning was changed from R2 to C2.
The board received a request from Imperial Wholesale to build a new freezer at its Carter Ave. location. That request was taken under advisement and was to be discussed during the boards regular “executive session.”
Community Development Director Billye Jean Stroud presented the board with a proposal she’d received from Bob Barber of the Orion Group of Hernando, MS. Barber spoke Aug. 30, 2018, to a group meeting at the Union County Heritage Museum. Most city elected officials were present at that meeting. Barber said at that meeting that New Albany does not need a new city plan, but that the city code regarding zoning and other matters is seriously obsolete.
Stroud said Barber’s proposal, which she presented Tuesday, was for work to revise the city code. She said Barber had stated that his work to revise the code would cost no more than $120-thousand spread over four years. The board voted unanimously to accept Barber’s proposal.
Stroud also asked the board to approve building a new access road to the stage at the Park-Along-the River. The board approved building the road, so long as the cost does not exceed $5,000.
The alderman also conducted routine business including approving the minutes of earlier meeting and paying the city’s bills.