Oxford mulls new limits on signs

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Aldermen are considering two changes in the city’s sign ordinance that would place further limits on businesses’ use of highly visible signs in the downtown area.
One proposed change would limit businesses in the Central Business District to just one interior lighted sign – neither flashing nor moving – that could be seen from the street.
The proposal has been attributed to several bars whose bright beverage logos contrast starkly with the more subdued advertising on most downtown businesses.
“We’ve had an absolute proliferation of neon signs,” Mayor George “Pat” Patterson said. A downtown business owner himself, he added that he has reservations about how best to handle the issue.
“You’re crossing something of a divide when you start regulating what they have inside their business,” he said. “I take that more seriously than outside regulations. But we’ve been getting a lot of complaints.”
Temporary commercial banners also could face further restrictions. Currently businesses citywide may, with a permit, display a banner for up to 30 days on four different occasions throughout the year. The new rule would limit any given business to having a banner three times per year, for no more than 15 days each time.
The proposal had its first reading at this week’s Board of Aldermen meeting. Its public hearing will be April 6, and a vote could follow on April 20.
Assistant City Planner Katrina Hourin noted that the proposal “will most likely have minor changes for final approval.”

Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.