Commission considers policy change

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Planning commissioners for the city informed business owners that they were not allowed to overturn an ordinance that prohibits &8220;wind-blown&8221; banners hung outside businesses.

The banners &8212; traditionally used to advertise events like a grand opening or a sale &8212; have long been banned by a city concerned about its image.

The city and merchants may be coming to a compromise that would allow the usually temporary banners &8212; a move business owners say would stimulate sales.

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Merchants proposed a one-year suspension of the banner ban, asking the planning commission to &8220;Resend (sic) articles No. 904.4 and 904.12 for the period of one year to allow business owners to attract customers to their place of business by various means of advertisement.&8221;

Commissioners rejected that idea, in part due to vague language in the proposal.

Planning commissioners were open to revisiting the ordinance, but stressed that they could only make recommendations to the city council, which would have final say over the issue.

And a revision of the existing ordinance will take time.

The planning commission called a special meeting April 21 at 4 p.m. at Rooster Hall for a public hearing on the banner issue.

Commissioner Clarernce Brooker was charged with finding and presenting the research the commission did the last time it took on the banner issue.