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An ordinance outlawing electronic lighting, banners and roof signs in La Grange was tossed out by city council members Monday. But the death of La Grange’s sign ordinance doesn’t mean business owners won’t face stringent sign regulations in certain sections of the city. La Grange City Council members voted unanimously Monday to repeal the sign and lighting regulations passed in May. Debbie Pollard was absent. La Grange business owners are awaiting revisions to the Oldham County Comprehensive Zoning Sign Regulations that will soon include additional sign and lighting rules for certain parts of the city. Last fall business owners complained to council members the sign ordinance discouraged business and development in La Grange, and that the enforcement of the ordinance was selective. The council passed the ordinance in May without opposition from business owners. At a special meeting Jan. 23, the council halted dispersal of sign permits in La Grange for 120 days. The special meeting was prompted by an outburst of frustration from business owners that began in October. Lucy Ricketts said the ordinance review committee is still discussing appropriate signs for different areas of the city, and that La Grange’s regulations will differ from the county’s ordinance. Ricketts said the original ordinance includes “strong language about signage” that wasn’t appropriate for all businesses in La Grange. Mayor Elsie Carter, who has said she wants to preserve the historic appearance of downtown La Grange, researched sign regulations in other historic cities to put together La Grange’s sign ordinance, modeling the ordinance after an regulations in Chapel Hill, N.C. The city’s ordinance review committee is working with Deana Epperly Karem, executive director of the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, to add regulations to the county’s sign ordinance that will apply to specific areas of La Grange. Karem and the committee are negotiating sign regulations that will keep La Grange business friendly while still maintaining the historic feel of the downtown district. Members of the ordinance review committee, including Ricketts, Tad Humble, Debbie Pollard and Wally Nay, planned to tour the city Tuesday, observing the size, placement and lighting of existing signs around the city.
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