Planning board recommends adjustments
Henderson’s planning board approved three recommended adjustments to city rules on Monday.
City Planning Director Erris Dunston said the changes are part of a process to update certain city ordinance rules that have been unchanged for as long as 25 years.
The board voted in favor of recommending the City Council approve exceptions to a general restriction against advertising with signs away from business properties.
Planners also endorsed an ordinance that outlines the work of city code enforcers in the extraterritorial jurisdiction.
According to Dunston, the exceptions to sign rules apply to efforts by the city to partner with businesses on public projects or events that are open to the public. The hope is to include acknowledgment of help by businesses when involved.
Ordinances as worded now restrict against signs that include company logos and names, even though the city might be placing the signs as part of a campaign or event promotion.
“We are engaged in efforts now to try to develop more public-private partnerships,” Dunston said. “We would like to acknowledge that partnership, but right now we do not allow off-premises advertisement signs.”
Henderson Code Compliance Director Corey Williams said the lack of funding means it is unlikely he will be working much in the ETJ.
Still, one needed step is a clear explanation of what his enforcement office is supposed to do when doing it, Williams said. He said blight and foliage overgrowth with certain properties is literally growing worse.
Efforts to deal with ETJ blight stem from original ETJ ordinances on junk cars, weeded lots and abandoned housing structures approved in April 2006.
“The hope was as funding was available, we would deal with those,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, the funding hasn’t been available.”
Williams said a process has begun to include Vance County leaders in the discussion of how to organize responses to ETJ blight. In response to board member questions, Williams also acknowledged that a quest for grant funding is also in play.
“There is a kind of sidebar conversation with the county regarding funding issues,” Williams said.
Board member Phil Walters indicated his support for moving the cause against ETJ blight forward.
“There are a lot of areas that need our attention,” Walters said. “You don’t have to go very far to see that.”
The city council is slated to have the final say on ordinance changes at a future council session.
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