Kelly Administration Shifts Sign Appeals To Zoning Appeals Board

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Chattanooga City Council voted Tuesday to adopt an ordinance change that officials said is the first component of a broader Kelly administration plan to modernize and streamline the city’s framework for regulating signs. The change will move all appeals of violations of the city’s sign ordinance to the Board of Zoning Appeals and dissolve the Board of Sign Appeals.

Mayor Tim Kelly said, “Part of my motivation to run for office was to fix the disheartening and unnecessarily cumbersome processes I kept running into as a businessman in the city.

The sign ordinance, which makes it needlessly difficult to do business in Chattanooga, is in desperate need of an update. This change is the first step of making that change happen. Having an entire board dedicated to regulating and overseeing signs was ridiculous and an example of unnecessary bureaucratic processes that impeded business growth. I’m glad that the City Council agreed that sometimes less is more when it comes to getting Chattanooga where we want it to be as a city which supports businesses the best we can - not stand in their way.”

Violation appeals and variances of Chattanooga’s sign ordinance will be handled in the same manner as a violation appeal or variance of Chattanooga’s zoning ordinance. The change simplifies the process, removes problematic red tape, and places violations into the hands of individuals who already make decisions in coordination with zoning laws.

All current members of the Board of Sign Appeals have been offered opportunities to serve the City of Chattanooga in other capacities.

In addition to the restructuring of responsibilities of the Board of Sign Appeals, Mayor Kelly also directed a reconfiguration of the city’s full sign ordinance to ease burdensome sign regulations. The Kelly administration is currently working on changes to the sign ordinance with businesses at top of mind. Those proposed changes will be announced publicly in the coming months and will be subject to approval by the City Council.

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