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Jun 16

LED Video Display Board Signs

Posted on June 16, 2015 at 5:47 PM by Darren Musselwhite

One of my priorities as Mayor of our City has been to review all of our ordinances and operations, along with the Board of Aldermen, with the ultimate goal of providing clarity, consistency, and fairness for all of our citizens.  One of the most challenging subjects with this process has been our sign ordinance.  Many of our citizens have questioned the purpose of this ordinance which is posted in italics below.  Signs are obviously necessary for effective communication, but must be regulated for the following two reasons:

1) To protect the public from traffic distractions and obstructions
2) To protect the City's aesthetic appearance and economic attractiveness 

More specifically, as technology has advanced there is a current trend towards the use of LED Video Display Board signs.  These signs offer a highly-effective means of communication, but a multitude of these throughout the City creates hazards and conflicts with the two reasons our sign ordinance exists, therefore creating the need to limit the use of such.

Our high schools in Southaven have been approached with a plan to use these signs as a way to communicate with the public regarding school events and public safety issues such as weather alerts and "Amber Alerts"; and to generate revenue for the schools with off-premises advertising.

The success of our schools will always be a top priority for me as I know it benefits our kids and our entire City in so many ways.  I want to help Southaven schools have the facilities and resources to be the best in our State and even further on a larger scale.  It is for this reason that I will initiate and encourage discussion with our Board for the potential use of variances to allow, but limit, the use of these signs.

City of Southaven Code of Ordinances Sec. 13-6(b). - General.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide comprehensive regulations for signs with the City of Southaven to eliminate confusing, distracting and unsafe signs; assure the efficient transfer of information; and, enhance the visual environment of the city. It is declared that the regulation of signs within the city is necessary and in the public interest:

(1)  To protect property values within the city;

(2)  To protect the general public from damage or injury caused by, or partially attributable to the distractions obstructions which result from improperly designed or situated signs;

(3)  To provide a pleasing overall environmental setting and community appearance which is deemed vital to the continued economic attractiveness of the city;

(4) To improve the legibility and effectiveness of commercial and governmental signs;

(5)  To allow signs appropriate to the planned character of each zoning district;

(6)  To promote the public safety, welfare, convenience and enjoyment of the unique character of the City of Southaven.