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Planning Bd. pulls back on sign recommendation

The Planning Board had recommended that the City Council make several changes to the sign law. Now the board is pulling back on that recommendation. City Council members had said previously they wanted a lot more discussion on the sign law before approving anything. The sign law recommendation had been part of several changes to the zoning law recommended by the Planning Board. City building official Dwain Elder said it makes sense now to go forward with those other changes to the zoning law and hold up on the sign law. He said the Planning Board really doesn’t deal with sign issues at all. Sign issues go to the Design Board. Mr. Elder suggested the sign law should be an ordinance on its own apart from the city zoning law. The city put a moratorium on new electronic message signs awhile back after citizens criticized the placement of one of the signs in Northtown. The Planning Board had proposed banning such signs from the river bridge to Highway 69, limiting them to text and no pictures in other parts of town and requiring automatic dimmers for nighttime.

The Planning Board wants the Council to go forward with a proposal to change how property is annexed into the city. Currently, all property is annexed into the city as RS-1 residential. The proposed change will allow the property owner to seek a particular zoning when he applies to be annexed. Mr. Elder said it would allow people to know what the owner has in mind up front and it will save developers time. “Now, the property comes before the Planning Board, then goes to the Council and is annexed in RS-1,” he said previously. “Then the owner has to jump through essentially the same hoops again, coming to us for a zoning change, then going to the Council for approval of that change. The process can take up to 9 months.” He said lots of developers are looking at Guntersville and the process needs to be streamlined. The board also wants the Council to amend the zoning law to allow RV parks as a “special exception” in areas zoned for business. Special exception zoning requests have to come before the Planning Board for approval on a case-by-case basis.

Subdivison OK’d
The Planning Board gave its contingent approval to a new subdivision on Creek Path Road called Creek Path Subdivision. It’s being developed by Scott Martin and Patrick Lawler. “It’s a simple subdivision of 16 acres into 9 lots,” Mr. Elder said. “Some of the lots are narrow and real deep. One is 738 feet deep, but only 145 feet wide.” The subdivision is near the old Crossroads school. The board approved the subdivision unanimously. It was a contigent approval because some typos and other errors on the plot have to be corrected.




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