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Richmond Hill extends moratorium on permanent signs
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A moratorium on permanent signs in Richmond Hill will continue into May after a decision Tuesday from the Richmond Hill City Council.

During its regular meeting in City Hall, the council voted unanimously to extend until May 8 the current sign moratorium on permanent signs in the city. Council member Russ Carpenter noted temporary sign permits are still being issued.

The moratorium was originally intended to only last 60 days, but City Manager Chris Lovell said Thursday the council approved the extension due to requirements that must be taken when implementing a new ordinance.

Those requirements include advertising the changes and holding two public hearings and two readings of the changes. The first public hearing is at 7 p.m. Monday, the second is at 7 p.m. April 22. Both will be held at City Hall.

"It really doesn’t do any good to re-do the sign ordinance if you don’t extend the moratorium because we would be flooded with permit requests based on the old (ordinance) — assuming the people didn’t want the change," he said. "So in order to preserve the intent of cleaning up the sign ordinance, we extended the moratorium until we could get it in place."

The moratorium was put in place in February because city officials wanted to make the ordinance easier to understand and to better define what a sign is in the city.

Lovell said the council will hold a first reading of the ordinance at its April 16 meeting. A second reading and vote is scheduled for the May 7 meeting.

In other business:

* The council approved a bond resolution for the Richmond Hill City Center along with a new intergovernmental agreement between the city and the Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau.

* The council approved a request from Leon Saxon for a text amendment to include a jewelry store, at 8756 Ford Ave., in a commercial zone.

* A request for building elevations at the Suites at Station Exchange was approved.

* An alcohol beverage license request from William Edwards Jenkins was approved for on premises consumption of beer, wine and liquor at a proposed bar called Flashback.

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