Decatur City Council approves Fernihough’s sign request

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, October 28, 2017
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The Decatur City Council Monday approved a number of planning and zoning items, including granting a sign variance and approving an encroachment agreement with a local business in the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

Last month the council heard a request for a variance to the city’s sign ordinance by Chris and Micah Fernihough, who own several businesses including Wise Honda on a tract of property on U.S. 81/287 in the city’s ETJ in the south part of the city. The Fernihoughs had placed an electronic message board (EMB) sign underneath the Wise Honda sign without first getting a city permit.

Once the city’s planning and zoning department was notified by a citizen, staff found the sign did not meet the city’s specifications and denied the variance request.

At the Sept. 11 meeting, the council tabled action on granting the request until after the Fernihoughs signed an encroachment agreement (due to the sign being located in a platted easement), resolved concerns about electrical and building violations and presented the city with an engineered stamp drawing for a free standing sign greater than 8 feet in height.

City Planning Director Dedra Ragland reported Monday the Fernihoughs had done what the city had asked.

“They do meet all of the criteria that you all outlined to approve the variance application,” Ragland said.

Without more discussion, the council unanimously approved the sign variance application.

In separate action, the council approved the encroachment agreement that had been signed by the Fernihoughs.

In other planning and zoning-related agenda items, the council approved a sign variance request for Motel 6 for their replacement of a former Days Inn sign and two sign variance requests by the Fairfield Inn and Suites under construction next to the Decatur Conference Center for wall signs on the east and south sides of the building.

At the beginning of the meeting, a swearing in ceremony was held for three members of the Decatur Fire Department who received promotions. Eli Nobles was promoted to captain, and Chris Mercer and Levi Rust were both promoted to paid firefighters.

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