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New banner law on horizon?

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The city planning commission wrestled Wednesday with a new ordinance aimed at softening municipal restrictions on how businesses can advertise.

The new ordinance would allow business owners to use &8220;… temporary event signs, banners, pennants, etc. …&8221;

The ordinance being considered limits banners to 15 days at a time, and businesses may not use the banners more than four times a year (for a total of 60 days a year).

The planning commission added several amendments to the ordinance, planning to hammer out the details by their next meeting, so that they could make a recommendation to the city council.

The majority of the discussion Wednesday was about how much freedom to allow business owners in regard to the size of the banners and how often they could be displayed.

The banner ban has come under fire with repeated public meetings where city business owners have asked for relief from the city&8217;s restrictions.

While city politicians have thrown out suggestions &8212; one going so far as to craft an ordinance that repealed the banner ban for the rest of the 2008 calendar year &8212; Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce president Kelley Smith said business owners understood the process might be longer than they would like.

The commission will take up the ordinance when it next meets.