Sign request may lead to city’s getting another street

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003

The new owner of the Vicksburg Ford Lincoln Mercury Mazda dealership had a favorable audience when he told city officials a restrictive sign ordinance is keeping him from competing with other local car dealers.

Wayne Thompson, owner of the dealership on North Frontage Road, asked the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday to overrule the Dec. 12 decision by the Zoning Board of Appeals denying his company’s request to put up new signs.

The application to install the new signs was rejected because the proposal exceeds size limits based on the square footage that fronts a city street.

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“In order for us to look like our competition we need these signs,” Thompson said.

The sign ordinance allows a business to have up to 100 square feet of sign for the first 50 feet of frontage to a city street and adds one square foot for every foot of frontage after that.

The dealership has 375 feet of frontage and can have up to 425 square feet of signs. Thompson asked to put up four signs that total 590 square feet in size.

“What I would like to do is to help this man compete without overlooking that the community has said they don’t want to be overwhelmed by signs,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens.

If a side road extending off North Frontage to a Waffle House, florist shop and motel is included, the dealership has more feet along a city street, but according to city officials, the road does not have a name and was not counted because it is not city-maintained.

Officials suggested to Thompson that he and the other businesses along that access road deed the property to the city so that it can add to the request.

“I think the zoning board did what it had to do based on the rules that we gave, but I also think the rules may be wrong,” said North Ward Alderman Sid Beauman.

The mayor and aldermen tabled the request until the next meeting to give Thompson time to look into turning the road over to the city.

In other matters the city board:

Allocated $26,000 to the 807 Clinic, which treats local HIV/AIDS patients and offers prevention information.

Approved the final subdivision plat for the Holiday Inn Express off Clay Street.

Set a hearing for March 3 for expanding the historic district.

Appointed Jo Wilson to the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Board.

Requested local and private legislation authorizing a donation to the United Way of West Central Mississippi.

Declared property surplus and authorized its sale at auction.

Approved the claims docket.

The city board will meet again at 10 a.m. Monday at City Hall Annex.