By ALICIA LEONARD
Leaders from the DeFuniak Springs business community, City Council and staff members met on Sept. 21 to discuss the culmination of several previous meetings’ work to try and find a balance between city codes and the need for local businesses to advertise with signs and other decorations to draw customers.
Local business owner Art Dees, from WZEP Radio, chaired the meetings and said, “We want to commend the staff for including us and inviting our comments. We had very, very good sessions. They were very productive and useful gatherings.” Dees said the staff’s beliefs were as strong as the business community’s stance, and the guidelines that the groups had reached were “a good compromise.”
DeFuniak Springs City Planner Greg Scoville said he was pleased with the outcome as well, “I appreciate that everyone took the time out of their busy schedules to attend these meetings. I think everyone is working towards the same goals. I’m pleased with the end result and I hope everyone else is too. I think our community is worth the effort.”
Scoville responded to questions from business leaders after reading the proposed changes to the sign code, and most seemed appeased with his responses. Scoville added, “We will try to work with everyone. If there is something we cannot agree upon, the business owner can always request a variance before the Council be granted, but we will make every effort to work with local business.”
This meeting was just one step in the proposed changes. There will be a first reading of the proposed changes during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Sept. 28 to request a publishing date and to set a public hearing date at which time the actual changes will be outlined for the Council and the public attending. The Herald will follow up and publish those actual changes before the first public hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Alicia Leonard can be reached at Alicia@defuniakherald.com
By ALICIA LEONARD