A recent Supreme Court ruling, Reed v. Town of Gilbert (2015), changed the way cities can regulate signage. In particular, a city cannot regulate the content of a sign, only its placement, size, and materials. Meeting this content neutral standard is essential and requires some changes to the City of Norcross' existing sign regulations, which makes addressing sign regulations a top priority for the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) update. (Check out the current sign regulations here in the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 105 - Zoning, Article VI - Signs.)
The new proposed sign regulations are content neutral and address everything from temporary yard signs to large billboards. The Technical Committee for the UDO met in July to review and discuss draft changes. Take a look at the proposed sign regulations here. Because of the need to comply with the Supreme Court ruling, these new sign regulations will be adopted prior to the rest of the UDO. These sign regulations have been placed on the agenda for the Planning and Zoning Board review and consideration on September 5th.
What's next? The project team has begun work on the zoning district standards that regulate what land uses are allowed in each zoning category. These changes will address the future use of overlay districts throughout the city and, in particular, the regulation of uses along Buford Highway. These changes will be reviewed and discussed at the August UDO Technical Committee meeting and will be posted to this site at the end of the month. Unlike the sign ordinance, which needed to be addressed in the near term, changes to the districts are not likely to go into effect until the adoption of the UDO next year.