PTC planners want strict limits on ‘walking’ signs

This costumed sign holder for Southeast Gold Buyers showed up at the planning commission meeting Monday night in costume with his sign in tow. Some sign holders for other businesses do not wear costumes. Photo/John Munford.

City Council will make final decision

UPDATED PRINT version for 03-16-11 — Roadside “mascots” and other sign-holders, drumming up business for local companies, may soon face heavy restrictions in a new city ordinance.

The planning commission voted 3-1 Monday night to recommend an ordinance that would allow such handheld or “walking” signs to be used only four times a year and for up to 5 days at a time.

The regulations will be considered by the City Council at a future meeting, as the commission’s vote is one of recommendation only.

The vote against the restrictions was from Commissioner David Conner, who said the walking and handheld signs should not be allowed at all.

With the golden-suited, clock-necklace-wearing “Cash 4 Gold” mascot in the audience displaying his sign, Conner said the signs are “tacky” and not in keeping with the city’s aesthetic values.

Also in the audience was a non-costumed sign holder for the Picnic Basket restaurant, also displaying his sign.

“This just falls back to the core values and virtues of Peachtree City, and I think this is doing a disservice to the 50 years that Peachtree City has been here,” Conner said.

Picnic Basket owner Debbie Sanders said her business will suffer significantly with the new restrictions because she is located in a retail center that is not visible from Ga. Highway 74. Her walking sign has been stationed at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Hwy. 74 on property owned by another business.

Sanders pointed out that her sign-holder doesn’t dance or cause a stir, nor does he spin the sign or throw it in the air. The technique is effective in driving customers to her restaurant and also her ladies’ fitness facility at the same center, Sanders said.

Under the proposed ordinance, Sanders will be unable to deploy her handheld sign along Hwy. 74, because it requires the handheld sign to be used on the same property where the business is located. Also, each company wishing to deploy a handheld sign would have to get the permission of the property owner to do so, in addition to paying a fee for a permit.

Sanders and a representative of the Cash 4 Gold store claimed that if the ordinance was approved, they would have to fire their employees who hold signs for them.

It was noted that the ordinance was a compromise from a complete ban, which was initially favored by the commission last year.

After the 3-1 vote to recommend approval of the ordinance, a despondent Sanders handed out coupons to members of the audience before leaving the room. Voting in favor of the ordinance were commissioners Horace Batiste, Lynda Wojcik and Patrick Staples.

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EARLIER ONLINE VERSION — Final say on ordinance up to City Council

Peachtree City businesses which depend on handheld roadside signs to drive customers into their stores may soon be heavily restricted. The planning commission voted 3-1 Monday night to recommend an ordinance that would allow such handheld or “walking” signs to be used only four times a year and for up to 5 days at a time.

The regulations will be considered by the City Council at a future meeting, as the commission’s vote is one of recommendation only.

The vote against the restrictions was from Commissioner David Conner, who said the walking and handheld signs should not be allowed at all.

With the golden-suited, clock-necklace wearing “Cash 4 Gold” mascot in the audience displaying his sign, Conner said the signs are “tacky” and not in keeping with the city’s aesthetic values.

Also in the audience was a non-costumed sign holder for the Picnic Basket restaurant, also displaying his sign.

“This just falls back to the core values and virtues of Peachtree City, and I think this is doing a disservice to the 50 years that Peachtree City has been here,” Conner said.

Picnic Basket owner Debbie Sanders said her business will suffer significantly with the new restrictions because she is located in a retail center that is not visible from Ga. Highway 74. Her walking sign has been stationed at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Hwy. 74 on property owned by another business.

A handheld sign drives people to come to her restaurant and also her ladies’ fitness facility at the same center, Sanders said.

Under the proposed ordinance, Sanders will be unable to deploy her handheld sign along Hwy. 74, because it requires the handheld sign to be used on the same property where the business is located.

Sanders and a representative of the Cash 4 Gold store claimed they would have to “fire” their employees who hold signs for them.

It was noted that the ordinance was a compromise from a complete ban, which was initially favored by the commission last year.

Over the past several years, handheld or “walking” signs have been deployed by local businesses with few restrictions. That has made them a rarity in Peachtree City, where sign restrictions are notorious for being stringent in the name of aesthetics.

DarkMadam
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.

.

ahavah_lachaim
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More important things...

Is there honestly no more important issue for our city council and city leadership to focus on at the moment? Surely our leaders could focus on valid issues such as encouraging new businesses to move into our area, filling in some of these long-vacant shops.

Look at the issue this way: these men and women are working which means they are paying taxes which means they have money to spend in a local economy.

And to whoever commented that these men and women were his citation to his children to stay in school: Sir, I would challenge you to talk to some of these people. It may be that they are, in fact, those who stayed in school but who have been unfortunate as to lose a job or be simply unable to find one. As a college graduate in May of 2010, I am still unable to find a job. I stayed in school just like my parents always told me, and I still may very shortly find myself waving a sign on the roadside dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

Cyclist
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And the purpose of the big clock...

that's hanging off his neck is to.........................?

carbonunit52
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Cyclist,

You do not remember Flavor Flav of the rap group Public Enemy?

Cyclist
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Sorry carbon....

this old fat boy has lived a rather sheltered life.

AtHomeGym
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Cy, Carbo & Flavor Flav

Cy , rest easy, you're not alone. Meangiless drivel in my opinion.

carbonunit52
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AtHomeGym,

I would say the people in the picture would wholeheartedly agree. Maybe they can regulate the animation of walking signs and institute a dress code that is appropriate for PTC.

An alternative that I have seen in other areas around Atlanta is making a legal vehicle into a billboard and parking it in a legal spot. There is no way for the city to regulate that. I would recommend working with walking signs, not so much against them.

hutch866
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Carb

I've seen a couple of box trucks with changing messages on the sides cruising along the highways in Atlanta, maybe that's whats needed, upscale and all that ya know.

carbonunit52
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hutch

Yeah, I've seen those kinds of vehicles too, very upscale and modern. Of course they would have to drive carefully and obey all of the traffic laws. As far as decorated cars, I saw a few up Whitesburg way that set a pretty high standard, looked like they used 1980s Oldsmobiles. Should that sort of advertisement start to show up, walking signs would look pretty good.

Citizen_Steve
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Review of Planning Commission in order?

So this is how the planning commission is spending their time and energy? It is a waste of our property tax dollars for the city to manage applications and enforce walking sign ordinances. And just because a walking sign irks someone working for (or on behalf of) the city does not mean they can impose new laws and take away our freedom with impunity.

Don't be distracted by my new walking sign:

"PTC Planning Commissioners are MORONS".

homefry
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Selective

I do not have a problem these signs. They provide someone with a job. Do I enjoy seeing them? Not so much. Are the affecting my life? No. The next time you see a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout selling their cookies and popcorn using their box as a "walking sign" they could be arrested or fined. If you don't like the walking signs then walk in and tell the business using them you do not like them and you will not shop at their store. Bottom line you earn the dollar you control where to spend it, use your influence.

iRonin
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Motive.

"Under the proposed ordinance, Sanders will be unable to deploy her handheld sign along Hwy. 74, because it requires the handheld sign to be used on the same property where the business is located. Also, each company wishing to deploy a handheld sign would have to get the permission of the property owner to do so, in addition to paying a fee for a permit."

"Also, each company wishing to deploy a handheld sign would have to get the permission of the property owner to do so, in addition to paying a fee for a permit."

"paying a fee for a permit."

Aye, there's the rub.

mthom5436
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gold guy

I think the gold guy could have done more for his cause by staying home.

sparerib
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Walking Signs

Same thing going on in Fayette-dale. I have been a resident of Fayette County since 1969 and I am very disappointed at what our once fine city and county has been reduced to. I say this because every day when I drive through Fayette-dale, there are “human signs”. There’s a chicken, a Statue of Liberty, and a guy holding a sign for some furniture store that is right on the Fayette/Clayton county line. The other day, on my way home, starting at Fayette Pavilion to the Blockbuster at the south end of town, there was a total of 8, giving us the appearance of Tara Blvd.
How can this be? I recall not that long ago when the city was raising a ruckus about the American flag at Crumpton’s! Yet now we have these human signs that are not only tacky, but also a distraction that might lead to an accident.
I am not against anyone that is trying to make an honest living, I am just stating that these human signs are an eyesore, a distraction to drivers, (and we already have enough of that with all the cell phones, texting, etc), and they need to be prohibited. Maybe then, we can restore Fayetteville back to the classy town that it once was.

DarkMadam
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All this fuss...

How is it possible that they want to ban a "walking sign", but I complained once that I did not want the crap thrown at the base of my mail box and tried to force the issue by saying that it was littering and I was told that there was nothing they could do about it. It was seen as "advertising" not littering and it all boiled down to intent. As long as the walking signs do not obstruct traffic I say what is the harm? I too, find them entertaining. It is an honest living, and might I say, not an easy living by any means. With this economy in the shape that it is, I applaud people for doing this job. They are not sitting home and whining about not having a job. The did something about it. And, I am willing to bet that some of the money they earn, goes right back into the PTC coffers in taxes and such. So technically they are funding the very people that are working so hard to eliminate their jobs. How's that for the American Way?

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I also complained to the

I also complained to the council and mayor about the crap being thrown in my yard and was told that it was a "legally protected" practice. If I could find the addresses of the execs running these newspapers and advertising business I would go by their houses daily and advertise my favorite products in their yard. It's kind of hard to believe that a government body who can establish the laws in it's community can't stop companies from littering in every citizen's yard.

normal
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one day closer to death

Every day that goes by we are one day closer to being dead. When you die how long will you be dead. That is the question. So answer it. Why do we try to make life so miserable for everyone. Rules rules. Government cant get anything right. They screw up flushing the toilet. What difference does a sign make. How bout everyone mind their own business and let life just role along. Do any of you think the Japaneese give a damn about a hand held walking sign. So many selfish greedy bastards trying to change everyone else but themselves. You have to admit most of what everyone has a hissy fit over really does not matter. Oh I almost forgot have a lovely week.

MajorMike
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normal - hissy fit over really does not matter

You're dead on. I'm personally becoming more and more uncomfortable with "staff" recomendations.

BHH
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Not even in your realm of resposibility.

These signs make no permanent changes to the city's land use in the first place. That means the planning commission has no business even considering this issue. We understand that it is your job to restrict and say "no" to things that make lasting changes to the city. But watch your step. You are biting off more than you can chew here.

fluffybear
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My guess is that you are one

My guess is that you are one of these fools who stands out on the corner with a handheld sign.

BTW, The city does have the right to restrict temporary signs. peachtree City would not be the first city to do it and most certainly won't be the last..

BHH
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You must be the one who first complained, fluffybear.

My guess is that you are a jerk and probably a member of the planning commission.

fluffybear
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Actually, I'm the jerk who

Actually, I'm the jerk who points you out to a car full of kids and explains to them the importance of getting good grades. My reason for not liking these types of signs is that you are distraction to drivers on the road. Many drivers are already distracted as it is thanks to cell phones, texting, etc. and the last thing I want to see is yet one more distraction.

BHH
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At least you admit to being a JERK.

If I needed income I might well consider any job available. How else can your car full of kids learn this lesson if you have no one to point out to them? I think you're just angry because this innovative activity is actually doing what it was designed to do and these people are making extra money doing something that doesn't require the extensive education that you obviously have wasted a lot of time and money attempting to acquire.

fluffybear
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:Ignore Mode: ON

:Ignore Mode:

ON

iRonin
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Perhaps

You should focus on driving instead of teaching life lessons to your kids on the drive. I like how you can simultaneously admit to driving while lecturing children, but somehow lament the distractedness of other drivers.

He made a valid point about the scope and exercise of government power, and you retorted with a childish ad hominem. No wonder he responded in kind. You see, I'm the jerk that points you out on a forum to a room full of kids and explains to them the importance of learning rhetoric, debate, and the complexities of human interaction.

fluffybear
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Thank You for proving my

Thank You for proving my point. I'm already a distracted driver so the last thing I need is some clown holding a sign of the road distracting me further.

BHH
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Entertaining

These sign holders are more often than not entertaining. They tend to brighten my day when I see someone smiling and jumping and waving.
What about election times when the politicians themselves do the same thing.
Stop your arrogance and don't think you have to regulate everything that some idiot badmouths or has a complaint about. Just manage the city's business and let people live their lives.

fluffybear
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Personally, I find it a

Personally, I find it a nuisance. Most of the time places that use this type of advertising are shady and less then honorable and I refuse to do business with them.
As for politicians, I can not recall the last time I saw one standing on a public street dressed up like Uncle Sam & throwing a sign in the air.

BHH
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Uninforcible Regulation

Why does anyone even feel the need to regulate human signs? It's freedom of speech. What about all the ridiculous messages on t-shirts and bumper stickers.
No, you are over stepping your bounds by restricting this. It's already covered by the U S constitution.
Businesses are having a terrible time getting by and people need the jobs.
How about requiring every business to have a human sign for 4 days a week.
Now that's proactive and worth pursuing in this economy.

fluffybear
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Why do we not have Neon signs

Why do we not have Neon signs standing 60 feet tall in Peachtree City? Is it because there is a city ordinance which prevents it? By your logic, I should be able to have one in front of my business. yes, you may have the right to own a sign which says "I Pay Little to Nothing For Your Gold" but no where does it say that you have the right to stand on the street corner distracting traffic.
Hmm, I wonder if an accident were to occur and someone died as a result of being entertained by "the barker" if they or the store owner could be held liable.
Peachtree City is not unique as there are cities all over the US where the rules are even more restricted then here when it comes to handheld signs. I lived in a city for a number of years where not only you were not allowed Handheld signs but Sandwich Board signs and even banners could only be displayed for 72 hours.

BHH
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Some fluffybear you are.

You are more of a nuisance than these people are.

fluffybear
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That's what I get for going

That's what I get for going to battle of wits with an unarmed person!

BHH
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Forgive me fuzybear

I'm sorry I didn't recognize there was a battle of wits occurring. When will my competition arrive to assist you?

fluffybear
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I'll let you know when you

I'll let you know when you finally figure out where the war is. Last thing I heard you were still on the corner with your sign!

fay79isus
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David Conner says that you

David Conner says that you should not be allowed to used signs because it is against the "core values and virtues of Peachtree City". Apparently those same "core values" allow Mr. Conner, on the other hand, to vote to allow his own church to cut down trees in the tree save area because "it's not a big deal."

roundabout
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Advertising by humans

Frankly, it pleases me more to see someone with a job doing a service than any stupid ads I see on TV or in the newspaper!

Couldn't this banning be put off until more people have a job?

Some of these ads however, including newspapers, magazines, etc., who want my "gold" ought to be investigated just as are pawn shops occasionally!

Don't they know this is a ploy to take in stolen gold, as well as owned gold?

Who sells their own gold anyway for a pittance? This is one job we can do without.

bladderq
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Walking Signs & I Don't Care

Do these work? I think the pay $8/hr for this. Has anyone actually gone to one of the advertised biz's? I pass "Free Coffee til 9" & "2 Subs for ?" twice a day & have never darkened the door. It doesn't bother me that they are there but does it work?

roundabout
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bladder

If it didn't work, they would stop spending the money.

One wouldn't expect every one who passes to buy!

I wonder just how the cops or whomever, are going to keep up with who has used their four days and who haven't? Stupid, unenforceable rule!
It is all the time or none of the time!

I am fed up with the non-profit bunches walking in the road begging and eye-balling everyone for a donation! Maybe the Salvation Army and others ought to also walk the road!

I really hate those extremely loud TV commercials. That is even illegal!

fluffybear
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Actually the The Commercial

Actually the The Commercial Advertisement Mitigation Act has only made it's way through congress but I do not believe yet has been signed by the President. Even if I missed something and it has been signed, it gave the FCC a full year to set the standards (that would be sometime in early 2012) so technically loud commercials are not yet really illegal.

Actually, depending on how the law is written this law would be no harder to check then a parking maid checking meters. I'm sure the city would write the law to state that the 4 days must be consecutive so if a city official see's the barker on the corner on Monday and finds him there agin on Friday, the store would be in violation.

People were saying that a leash law was unenforceable but yet it seems to be working. Most people are good decent folks who will obey the law. It won't be hard to identify those dirtbags who refuse to.

roundabout
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fluffy

You are a positive dreamer.

I have seen 3 loose dogs and several cats recently! If no fines are made it will get worse again.

Checking dudes on the road with signs and determine their legality is about like checking illegal aliens, only more difficult. Anyway they are guilty of nothing---just the owner!

As to loud commercials, there has been a law on the books for many, many years.

fluffybear
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Oh my goodness, 3 loose dogs

Oh my goodness, 3 loose dogs and several cats.. Guess the leash law was a complete bust - NOT!
I have to wonder why it works in other cities and has for many many years but unless PTC starts aggressively ticketing people, it won't work here (or at least in your mind)?

I am amazed at how hard you think it would be to check and enforce such a law (provided it is written correctly). It's no more difficult then checking cars in a limited parking zone. See the guy on the corner on Monday - note the date, time, & business. Return anytime after Thursday and if you find the same business advertising (not the same person) they confiscate the signs and send a citation to the owner.

Another simple way to deal with this is to require the business to apply for a permit for a specific period (4 consecutive days or 2 consecutive weekends, etc.). The barker must have the permit on them while working. You then confiscate the signs and cite the business if they are outside their permitted window or do not have a permit.

Not to get in a war with you about loud commercials but several bills have been introduced since the mid-90's regarding volume on commercials but none have ever made it on the books. The last such bill, The Commercial Advertisement Mitigation Act has passed through congress a few weeks back and was sent to the President for his signature but I have not seen anything indicating he has signed or vetoed the bill.

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