By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Overriding recommendations of the city’s planning department and planning commission, Tupelo City Council voted Tuesday to allow Carlock Toyota to display one of the largest signs in the community.
With a 4-3 split vote, the council overruled advice to uphold city sign ordinances, aimed to maintain uniform size and control aesthetics around the Barnes Crossing shopping area.
The sign approved for Toyota Carlock near Highway 45 will be 48 feet tall and 170 square feet in width, more than double the size allowed.
The dealership had previously requested an even larger sign but was rejected by the council.
Philip Waters, director of corporate services for Carlock Toyota, explained to the council that the large sign by city standards would symbolize the relationship between Toyota and Tupelo.
“It’s almost like a piece of art,” Waters said of the proposed sign.
In November 2011, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi in nearby Blue Springs opened an $800 million plant that employs nearly 2,000 workers.
City Council President Fred Pitts voted against it, saying the company knew city ordinances before it located here.
The sign will likely appear at the business in a few months, Waters said.