Dispute may bring new sign ordinance in Corinth

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – A 90-day extension for an outdoor sign advertising a downtown Corinth business has expired, but the 4-foot-by-8-foot sign remains in place on a lot at Cass and Foote streets, blocks away from the Waldron Street business.
Jennifer Brown, owner of J Brown’s boutique and women’s clothing store, is working with a committee to review the city’s sign ordinance.
“I have been served with papers again to take it down,” she said, but said she has been assured by city officials that she can leave it in place until the proposed new sign ordinance comes before the city board.
“We’ve met several times and made suggested changes to current policy that are more business-friendly, and we’re waiting for it to go back before the board,” she said.
Brown first requested a variance for her sign in May after the city planning and development department told her the sign did not comply with city ordinance and must be removed. She went before the Board of Aldermen, which referred her to the Board of Adjustment.
The Board of Aldermen decided they would not follow the adjustment board’s recommendation to leave Brown’s sign in place for a year, but instead formed a committee that included two aldermen and business owners to re-evaluate the city’s sign ordinance.
“The committee has met five or six times and come up with a very rough draft of a potential new ordinance to look at all signage throughout the city,” said Ward 1 Alderman Andrew Labas, a member of the committee. “We expect to have a finished draft to present to the board in about a month.”
The ordinance was last modified in September 2009, when changes were made to allow advertising on some of the banners on light poles throughout downtown Corinth.
The city planning and development department sent Brown a letter in late August saying she must remove her sign, said Dave Huwe, director of planning and development.
Any further action on the matter would be referred to municipal court, he said.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com