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City says no to pair of billboards
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The Richmond Hill City Council shot down two billboard requests during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Each request involved placing a fifth billboard in areas of the city that are only allowed three according to the billboard ordinance.

Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar said neither would set a precedent since council previously approved a fifth billboard in other areas of the city.

"Where do you draw the line? It’s starting to get a little crowded," said councilman and Mayor Pro-tem Floyd Hilliard, who initiated the motions to deny the requests. "We spent many hours on this billboard ordinance. It’s hard as a councilperson to set rules and then allow all these variances."

Hilliard said the other approvals were under different circumstances, such as allowing Page Printing to erect a sign on their own property, advertising their business.

Richmond Hill resident Steve Croy, who owns property where one of the proposed billboards would’ve been placed, stood up and expressed his disapproval of the council’s decision.

"I’m very disappointed in the actions that were done here tonight," Croy said. "I think this is flawed. The precedent has been set at five … I don’t know how you allow one person to have a fifth sign and not another."

Hilliard said Croy misinterpreted the ordinance, and council is not obligated to give variances to everyone.

In other business:

- The recently proposed changes to the alcohol ordinance were granted final approval. This will allow alcohol to be legally served in small outdoor gatherings with

or without having to hire a caterer. Also, it leaves room for restaurants to serve in an outdoor setting during special events. Each event must be approved on a case-by-case basis by council. In addition, spirits are now allowed at approved J.F. Gregory Park events, as opposed to just beer and wine.

- Permission was granted for Jalapeno’s Mexican restaurant, Subway sandwich shop and a pool supply store to come to the new Kroger shopping plaza.

- Council approved the clearing of 30 acres of land adjacent to Publix. The property owner, Bob Massey, said he is looking to prep the land to be sold and will keep a 50-foot buffer around the perimeter. One tract was originally planned for an apartment complex.

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