At the Nov. 20, 2007 city council meeting there were three separate requests for variances for billboards 378 square feet and 50 foot high. Two of these billboards were to be located on Hwy. 17 – one at the Royal Oaks car wash, the other at Richmond Hill Carwash/Kwick Lube/Barber Shop. The third was to be located at 8800 Ford Ave., Lawn Mower Supply/Mini Storage. All are currently zoned C-3. Billboards are prohibited in a C-3 zone. The three requests were unanimously disapproved by city council, but not before the mayor lobbied for approval, especially at 8800 Ford Ave.
At the May 6 city council meeting, a request for a zoning change from C-3 to C-4 for 8800 Ford Avenue was made. Steve Scholar stated the change addressed sign requirements. He also said that the adjoining property owner will be requesting an identical change to keep their options open.
Councilwoman Bickley asked for a more specific reasons as to the zoning change initiation. The mayor loudly responded to her that she didn’t need to know. A motion was made by Councilman Hilliard to approve the zoning change. The motion was not seconded by either Councilwoman Bickley or Councilwoman Hodges. Councilman Hires was not in attendance. The motion was disapproved. The mayor followed by abruptly stating that the council would hear this request again.
It is obvious that the mayor is in favor of billboards throughout the city. The editor of this paper wrote an article recently stating that being silent on issues indicates approval of those issues.
Well, if you are not in favor of 50 foot high billboards (approximately four stories high) throughout the city, please call city hall and express your disapproval – or tell your council people at church, school or call them directly.
Editor's note: Petermann ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2007.