LED sign battle put on hold, again

Monday, November 2, 2009 at 11:45pm

Schools and churches that want to install LED signs will have to wait a little longer for the final battle in Metro Council over when, where and how they can put up the bright Light Emitting Diode signs.

A bill on Council’s agenda tonight will be deferred until early next year, according to its sponsor.

Councilman Charlie Tygard, a member of the LED Task Force, said the committee knew there were still some problems with the bill and that they intend to take up their proposal with the Planning Commission — which unanimously disapproved the legislation — in January or February.

The Task Force is discussing an “Electronic Sign Overlay District,” which would create a process where, for example, a church that’s not situated within a zone that allows electronic signage could potentially obtain one. Of course, it would depend upon whether a sign would be compatible with the existing and proposed development — a determination that would rest with the Planning Commission. This would still present two opportunities — before the Planning Commission and Metro Council — for the public to express its concern over any proposed sign.

The regulations, as proposed, include very specific restrictions on distances from other signs, colors of lettering, how messages change and how often they change. The sign also must be installed low to the ground in a monument style.

“The only purpose is schools and churches have multiple events and a conventional sign only allows them to put one message up a week or a day, because that’s a lot of trouble to go out and manually change,” Tygard said.

This controvery began nearly two years ago when Harpeth Heights Baptist Church off Highway 100 wanted a sign to compete with the YMCA sign and the Kroger sign nearby, but was denied by the Board of Zoning Appeals despite the fact that there was no opposition. So they went to Tygard for a solution.

Filed under: City News

3 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 11/3/09 at 8:17

No one serves Special Interest like Charlie Tygard. His
doggedness will continue on this visual pollution bill
until he prevails. Council needs to not continue but
go ahead and vote down this garbage legislation!

By: localboy on 11/3/09 at 10:26

I can see some merit in the bill, but if the schools and churchs don't have enough signage, can they just move in portable non-LEDd signs now?

By: yank283 on 11/3/09 at 11:46

Okay I know when I see a bright led sign outside a church that makes me want to join the congresion. Why would the church think it's competing against the YMCA? There is no merit to this bill, just like skeptic said it's special interest legislation that hurts the neighborhoods they are in by creating even more visual pollution than there already is and is a big step backwards. Lamar advertising (Tygard's buddies) snuck one of these things up in the middle of the night on Gallatin Road. There's neighborhood houses less than 30 yards away from this monstrosity. Here's to neighborhoods regaining control of their environment.