Council mulls updated development code

By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Reviewing drafts to the city’s updated development code, Tupelo City Council members favor eliminating the $5 fine to retrieve political signs placed in prohibited locations.
Council President Fred Pitts made the suggestion Tuesday to do away with having to pay to get signs confiscated by zoning officers in the city. An ordinance regulating political signs in the city was passed years ago to try to limit visual pollution caused by election season.
So far this election season, many candidates had signs collected for improper placement. However, Pitts said few, if any, candidates have paid fines.
“If this isn’t being enforced, what’s the point of having it?” he said.
Aimed at simplifying red tape in City Hall related to building and development, the updated development code has been a work in process for months. Having held six public hearings on the proposed codes, most council members appear ready to vote on the updates before the current administration ends in June.
Also discussed in Tuesday’s work session was larger signs in the city. Council members reached little consensus on the maximum size of commercial signs along major thoroughfares such as Highway 45 and 78. Markel Whittington of Ward 1, Jim Newell of Ward 3 and Nettie Davis of Ward 4 supported allowing larger signs in the areas, while Pitts and Mike Bryan of Ward 6 opposed it. Councilmen Jonny Davis and Willie Jennings were not at the session.

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