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'Walking signs' discussion moves back to planning commission

A proposal to regulate businesses’ “walking signs” is headed back for consideration by the Peachtree City Planning Commission.

The ordinance, however, has a good chance of passing, based on comments this week by Mayor Don Haddix.

Haddix said “there is a will” to bring the walking advertisements in line with the city’s character.

The last version of the walking sign ordinance did not get a warm welcome from the planning commission. It would allow business mascots to be along the city’s highways and roads, but they would not be allowed to display a sign of any kind.

Those with “walking signs” would also be forbidden from being visible from any part of a public street, under that ordinance proposal.

Currently the city requires sign holders working along roads to get a solicitor’s permit from the police department, which includes a fee and a criminal background check.

Several business owners at the July planning commission meeting said walking signs were vital to their business. They argued that a ban would hurt their business because walking signs are effective.

The commission suggested that the city instead work with local businesses to develop restrictions instead of a ban on walking business signs. Among the suggestions were a limit on the number of days a business can use walking signs, how far they must stand back from the road and perhaps standards for the quality of the sign.

Planning Commissioner Larry Sussberg, himself a business owner, has said he thought the walking signs were a backlash to the city’s restrictive sign ordinance.

The matter is expected to be discussed at the June 14 planning commission meeting. It would then be discussed at the June 17 city council meeting.



(1) Why are these "walking signs" necsssary??
(2) Why are they considered effective??
(...according to the business owners that use them)

Perhaps we should also inquire:
(3) Is the PTC 20-plus page sign ordnance a major hindrance to local commerce?

The extraordinary restrictions on size, type, placement, and visibility -- along with fees here and inspections there, all serve to make the "walking signs" more effective for promotion and location of the business enterprise.

I have to agree with Sussberg. The hyper-sensitive enforcers of local aesthetics need to take the hint. Let the sign-restrictions pendulum swing back from "draconian" thru "fascist" down the to "reasonable" center of practical promotional value.

Voila! The "walking signs" will disappear because the fixed signs are allowed to be effective in directing consumers to local businesses struggling to make ends meet in a downturn economy.

Hizzoner's concern about bringing the walking signs "in line with the city's character" -- is THE PROBLEM here.... not the solution. The city's character (reputation) is hyper-strict and bordering on "unfriendly" to local businesses.

No one wants the atrocious eyesores and sign circus of Clayton County.
If we want successful local enterprise (spelled "j-o-b-s" and for the mayor/council "t-a-x-b-a-s-e"), our fixed-sign regulations should be amended.

Last question:
Why not permit a splash of entrepreneurial creativity and sufficient promotional & directional content--- in order to bring potential customers across the threshold??

C ya Yogi...
Buh-bye, BigBird!

are not necessary. Nor are they wanted by the residents. Just because Peachtree City Jewelers took advantage of a loophole in the ordinances, now a few cheezy merchants (yes, these signs cheapen your business in the minds of the people who have to look at them) on the corner of 54/74 are using them. These businesses are going out of business. As they should. That is why they resort to these tactics. They have no market here (as Peachtree City Jewelers found the move from baby Kroger to The Avenue wasn't the reason his business failed) and/or give crappy service and/or are overpriced. Those are the reasons businesses fail. Think Swoozie's would still be open if they had signs on 74?

In the words of an infamous former president, "It's the economy, stupid!"

Peachtree City has thrived for it's fifty years without signs. It's one of our trademarks, like the paths and the greenspaces. We do not want more signs going up around this city. Customers find our stores, they always have.

It's a matter of customers having money to spend, having a good product to sell at a reasonable price, and the retailer budgeting for advertising that will reach the market they wish to sell to. That market is not out there on a street, stuck in traffic. And with this economy, alot of people don't have money to spend.

Council needs to ban these walking signs as eyesores and keep our city a pleasant sign-free community that has thrived for half a century.

No walking signs, no big lit signs, no big boxes, no new shopping centers or developers and plant trees to block the view for all of the shopping centers...
PTC is already considered an unfriendly place for new business, how do you propose to keep PTC around another 50 years???? Its already viewed as an retirement community, everyone's growing older, high school kids are moving away...this town is in BIG trouble with that attitude!

But, hey, you're happy! right!

You need to get your eyeglass prescription updated.

We have big boxes, we have new shopping centers, and we have walking signs. Tell me, where in this picture do walking signs improve business? How many times have you or anyone you know, turned off from 54 or 74 JUST because
of the eyesore walking signs? How much did you buy in those forward-thinking stores?

Unfriendly for new business? Gee, you better take another look. Name 10 new stores that have opened in Fayetteville or Tyrone or Brooks in the last 3 years. I can name 10 that have opened here.

Uh, last I looked, everyone's growing older. That's what happens when you look in the mirror. Gee, what city in Ga. can say that isn't true? Name 3 of them.

Funny, I thought we just added some college classes to our mix. Must be alot of bluehairs there.

Tell me, do you shop more or less in the last 2 years than you did in the 5 years before that? See, the moral of the story is, the economy runs in cycles--good years then bad years. This time around, we are in really, really bad years.

We have the most dense population in the whole county, and when the economy improves, people will start to spend again, and viola! stores and restaurants and hotels will thrive again. That's what will bring retailers to our shopping centers, as it has for the last 50 years, even without the ugly walking signs. You think over 8,000 households in this city might support these shopping centers without being uglified in the process? I'm not worried.

You have completely missed the point.

You complained and were against the big boxes and new shopping centers being built..There is not 1 new project involving growth that I have seen you support on this blog, only complain one you have supported.

In your comments you say that when the economy improves the stores and restauants and hotels will thrive again...what stores? CVS?, Walgreens?, Duane Reade? oh, I forgot the variety...Discount Tire? NAPA? Auto Zone? What restaurants? Chick-Fil-a? McDonalds?, and other fine culinary places. As for hotels...we have vertical motels.

We don't have the growth or population base to support better quality retailers, restaurants and hotels.

PTC is becoming known as a fixed income retirement area!

No, I haven't missed the point. Walking signs are ugly and detract from our city's overall image. Any more signage on the roadways will do the same.

What is your whining about the rest here? Yeah, I don't like the big box mess on 54 west. Who does like it? What new shopping centers being built?? On 54 west? Nope, don't want that either, the traffic nightmare over there is way beyond what that road can take. Walgreens at Ruby Tuesday site? Are you kidding???

This city model was founded on the village concept with shopping centers to support each village. 54 west has screwed that whole concept up. Totally. So has the economy, although temporarily. We don't have the growth?? Well, you see, we have a finite amount of land and when that is all built on......
You don't think a city of 40k can support retail???

Better quality retailers, rest. and hotels?? What the *&^% do you want here? Buckhead shopping? We have almost any type of rest. there is, too many to support. A Wyndham, Dolce and Hilton aren't good enough for us? What do you expect, a Four Seasons?

And will you give up the retirement area whine? You know what fixed income really means? It means stability, low crime, little use of govt. services, peace and quiet. You think one and two person households are going to fill up the 3 to 6 bedroom homes that take up the majority of this city? Never. Good schools will keep the families here, as well as the other amenities we have.

I haven't missed anything in this city for over 15 years. We have, and will continue to have, the most unique and attractive city in the metro Atlanta area for a long time to come. Planners need to NOT overreact to what is now a bad economy, and screw it up for the future.

Sorry PTCGOIL....but you obviously do not own a business in PTC. He is right, the sign ordinances are waaaaaaay too restrictive in this "bubble" of a city. No signs, no balloons, no flags, and on and never ends.
You are correct in that PTC DOES have big box stores, but compared to other locations, these stores perform very very poorly in PTC. The result?
Low tax revenues etc. As a business owner in PTC, do you really think that I really wish to pay an employee to stand by the street and hold a sign?? CMON! But this city with hiding all of its businesses may just require it! I have lived here for 11 years, and was aware of the Target shopping area, but you know what? For the FIRST TIME I went there last week! Out of sight, out of mind! This city's ordinances go against every marketing idea out there! Also, there were NOT enough cars in the lot to be paying the rent of ANY stores except Krogers. They will slowly slowly die.... This city needs to get a life. BTW, when my lease is up I will move out of the city, towards Newnan, like most others......

Another one misses the point. Now listen up, I'm GLAD the big boxes perform poorly. Let 'em move down the road to Sharpsburg. Probably will anyway, when Sam's opens. Either that or they will close cuz they can't compete.

If you've lived here for 11 years and had never been to Kedron shopping, that tells me more about your marketing skills as a retailer than I care to comment on here. And that you won't have a chance in %$## to survive in Newnan.

This city is hiding all of it's businesses? Gee, was PTC hiding your business when you opened it here, or did it just happen overnight?

You say this city's ordinances go against every marketing idea out there? Great! One of the many things we like about this city. As it should be and will continue to be.

Funny, last I checked it's not the function of city govt. to keep your business afloat. That's your job. And the risk you take when you open anywhere. Since your probably won't tell us what type of business you have, I can't let you know why I think you aren't making it here, other than I DO know PTC govt. is not the cause.

Too bad about your business. Just remember, if you sell what you have at a price that's affordable (economy) and is a product we need, we will buy it. Times change, heaven knows the economy has changed, and this cycle will not last forever. Unfortunately, many of us, and not just us who live here in PTC, really have to think twice before we spend anything than for the basics right now (food, clothes, gas...) We aren't unfriendly to retail, just are more cautious about how we spend.

My $.02,
Peachtree City should remain the quite town that it is. There is plenty of shopping in Newnan, and Fayetteville. A 10 minute drive is all it takes. This community is unique and it is a very pleasant place to live. The traffic is bad enough all ready. Why would we need more stores? This town can be likened to a big neighborhood, i.e. would you want your subdivision crowded with needless stores and such. I for one am willing to pay the extra in taxes to live in peace.
Look at some of the businesses located here. The market for some of these simply is not here. This is poor planning on behalf of the business owner. Try a little research of demographics, that is a fundamental of marketing. Maybe a bad example but, why would I go into a vegetarian community to sell meat? Most people dont get it, PTC is a bedroom community, it is far from a metropolitan mecca. PTC is saturated with retail, there simply is no room.
The issue with walking signs is that they are loud and do not prove to bring in any business. Why? Because the business that is being advertised is not in the right location, nor does it cater to the community. Business is very much part of the Darwinian Theory, if you can not adapt to your market conditions, than move on.
With regards to expectations of this town continuing for the next 50 years, well let the folks who live here decide. Democracy decides our fate. Put it to a vote. I will support the people and their decision on governance. What is wrong with wanting a "bubble community"?

You guys keep the noise down.

Quiet towns usually are quite inordinario! If I had enough money to live in a QUIET town I would, but I don't have QUITE enough!

I quit a quiet town once due to quite good reasons! Queer as quiet towns seem quite noiseless, they do quite simply bore one with quietness!

Quintessenentialy though, quitters usually occupy quite quiet towns!

and be done with it.

Notice the new trash this topic attracts?

I agree with you.

escouts's picture

Wow can I just say thank you to all the people of Peachtree City for putting live signs on the pedestal it has gotten. This topic of live signs has pushed a certain button in our community getting the blood boiling. I understand we need to care for our environment and we as a community want to set Peachtree City apart from other civilization. There is no need for us to compare to any other town for this town is special and if we tinker with we might lose the mystique of the golf cart paths and trees and everything so many people have worked hard to produce. The production of just being a town of UN visible signs that is not a bad thing for some but for others it means… well it means no American Dream.
Yes many small businesses have chosen Un-wisely to venture into our town and set up shop thinking that a sign on the door and a phone number will drive in business. So they have turned to print ads and the internet and phone book and even some television to get there companies out there for the public. All to have it not work. Many business fail do to miss management and poor follow through. Others fail because they don’t know how to market. But no company should fail because they can’t advertise in the way that benefits growing a business and putting more people into jobs. Especially with the present state of our economy I would rather not take a job from anyone.
The questions I have are if the signs are so hideous why do they work? It’s funny to hear someone say they don’t work that doesn’t have business it must have worked you remembered it. They get 600 views an hour. Even if a person doesn’t drive in from the sign they still are now aware of that business and days later will have top of mind awareness from that sign because it stood out to them. I have on any given weekend 10 to 15 people out in Georgia holding signs and I get results.
I don’t want to be the bad guy. I would rather not find loop holes I want to work with our town not against it. There has to be a compromise.
Next question is on the look of the signs. Now I understand that the signs may be unattractive. So let’s say that the new fad in PTC is for everyone to buy a car that is ugly to a few people in town. Can we then put an ordinance on the town that we all have to have permission from the mayor or city council on what color of car to have or how about clothes we wear or the food we eat. When do we get or rations?
Is it safe to say are rights as business owners have to be restricted? Because if not then we would just devastate this town and there would be just no control over people who don’t think like we do.
In summary as I’m sure I have fired someone up to tell how wrong I am. Live signs maybe a new wave right now as banners where years ago. The simple fact is the signs work or there wouldn’t be any talk of them at all. If we as Americans want to limit what another person can and can’t do that is the right of the people. But to go overboard and want to ban them sounds like another civilization that didn’t work. The pursuit of happiness may be a town without any signs it maybe one of successful business in the pursuit of the American dream in the town they live in.


I look at these "walkers" or I don't. They don't bother me like the Shriners walking in the middle of the road do!
Might I suggest that we save the firecracker money this year and buy this fellow out? Only have Hooters girls as walkers!

If you had any idea of how much charitable good they do, perhaps they wouldn't bother you so much--just stop and drop $5!

I donate a great deal, just not in the road. Salvation Army and Goodwill is a much better investment in humanity!
Shriners drink, eat, gamble, and put on hoochie-koochie shows too much.
They are about 40% efficient.

You know of any hospitals run by the Salvation Army or Goodwill that provide free health care? The Shriners do that.

Explaining the Freemasons and the Shriners to someone is not worth your time. I never pass the Shriners without giving them what I have in cash.

You either get it or you don't. Thanks for being one who gets it.

hutch866's picture

Is heard from again.

I yam what I yam

Cyclist's picture

I think you're right. There is a certain "air" about that post.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

and get out of here.

Really, the planning commission and city council want to take this on again. Really.
The mayor wants something more in line with the character of the city? Sounds like Politian speak, say what you mean…you want to restrict our freedom of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness especially if you own a business in Peachtree City. Mayor Haddox wants a level playing field for everyone and split the market share equally. No one gets advertise more or better than anyone else does. Sounds like paradise, or tee ball where everybody gets to hit and nobody ever gets out.
Really, you folks on the planning commission and city council should be addressing the root problem…the over restrictive sign ordinance and the unimaginative city planner who continues to go down the same path of reverse channel back lit signs. Good job and I will bet he is one of the higher paid city employees. He is doing such a good job. Go look at his handy work at Braelinn Village. Same old same old. Once again…great job and go check out the sidewalks. They are a law suit waiting to happen.

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