By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Aug. 7, 2013 — The Grayson Planning and Zoning Committee held a public hearing Monday night to discuss changes to city regulations regarding signage and approved zones for alcohol sales.
Local businesses previously have only been allowed one free standing sign measuring no larger than 25 square feet in size.
With the changes, however, the permitted size for signs will double to 50 square feet – with the exception of businesses located in the Main Street Renaissance Area. Those shops will be held to the current limit of 25 square feet.
The Main Street Renaissance Area includes the Grayson Area Tourism Cabin, Grayson City Hall, and all businesses along Main Street extending westward from Carol Malone Boulevard to South Hill Street and Veteran's Square.
In addition to the size requirements, the committee also discussed new regulations pertaining to wall and window signs.
Wall signs now will be computed in the total allowed surface area for business signage.
For example, a business outside the Main Street area that builds a new free standing sign measuring 35 square feet would only be allowed wall signs totaling 15 square feet or less.
The same regulations also apply to Main Street businesses, even though they are only allowed half of the square footage for signs as compared with other businesses.
Signs on windows, including temporary signs and signs drawn or painted directly on a window, now are limited to only 20 percent of the total window surface as well.
Discussion then turned to the regulations regarding alcohol sales within specific city zones. Shops in both the central business and highway business zones will be permitted to sell alcohol. Sales will not be allowed in residential and agricultural zones.
This restriction also applies to businesses currently operating in residential zones that were “grandfathered in” when the city's zoning laws were implemented.
The committee then discussed the benefits and drawbacks of allowing packaged alcohol sales in the Main Street area.
The original proposal sought to limit this area to only allow sales by the drink but the committee unanimously agreed to allow package sales to be conducted downtown, as well.
“If you limit package sales, you eliminate the possibility of a wine shop opening downtown, which is exactly the kind of business you want in the renaissance area,” said Mignon Colley, who attended the meeting as a representative of the Grayson Tourism Commission.
“It's just not right to tell these businesses that they aren't allowed to do things that every other business in town is allowed to do,” added Mike Malone, planning and zoning committee member.
Grayson City Council must approve the committee’s recommendations before they become official.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.