Sandy Springs’ billboard dilemma has been no fault of its own, according to city attorney Laurel Henderson. It was a problem inherited from Fulton County.
On Tuesday, City Council members approved a settlement agreement with four outdoor advertising companies.
“I think we have gone as far as we can go,” said Henderson, before the vote.
City officials and staff had been negotiating with the sign companies since June 2011 on the number of new signs to be erected and locations around town. In the settlement the companies reduced their initial demands to eight signs from 21. And all but one would be on Roswell Road. There are also height requirements.
“…You are not going to be looking at lollipop billboards 200 feet in the air like you are in some communities,” Henderson said.
Sandy Springs had battle unsuccessfully in court against Action Outdoor Advertising, KH Outdoor, LLC; Granit State Outdoor Advertising, Inc.; and Boardworks Outdoor Advertising Company Inc., since about 2007.
Fulton County was the defendant in one case that involved six suits against Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton and Alpharetta and lost, even on appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. Boardworks was an earlier lawsuit where the court ruled that Fulton County’s sign ordinance was unconstitutional and allowed the company to place signs at Roswell Road and I-285 and Roberts Drive and Colonial Place.
With only eight more signs to go up in specific locations around Sandy Springs, Henderson said, “This meets city policy as well as we can do so.”
New signs must go up within 42 months.
Additionally, twice a year, the city will have free use of sign space for up to seven day on five signs to promote event