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Sign misses code by 2 feet, but zoning board forgives

By Melanie B. Smith 340-2468

The sign for a new restaurant in Decatur doesn't quite meet the code.

But the Board of Zoning Adjustment and Jimmy Brothers, director of the Building Department, decided not to punish Joe McCulloch, owner of the Subway on Sixth Avenue Southeast.

Brothers said at Tuesday's board meeting that the sign code for Decatur's new redevelopment zone didn't make things clear for McCulloch.

His sign ended up 2 feet too close to the property line, but he thought he was meeting the code.

McCulloch said he learned after the sign was placed 28 feet from the property line and in 21/2 yards of concrete that it should have been 30 feet from the line.

"I messed up," he said.

He told the board that moving the sign two feet could cost $10,000.

Brothers said McCulloch had tried to adhere to city codes and recommended approval for a variance, which the board approved.

The Subway is at 1409 Sixth Ave. S.E.

An amended sign code for the redevelopment zone will be presented to the City Council for approval Feb. 2, Brothers said.

In other business, the board denied a request from Wayne Freeman of 1506 Phillips Court S.W. to operate a lawn care business at his home.

On his application, he wrote that a tractor and two trailers would be stored at his house and other equipment would be stored in buildings on the property.

He also indicated on the form that an employee would be living in the home.

Freeman told board members Tuesday that mowers would be stored inside buildings but trailers would be behind the house inside a fence.

He also said no employees lived with him but sometimes one came to his house.

City attorney Herman Marks told Freeman that no employee could come even once, according to the city ordinance.

Freeman told the board that he would go pick up his employee.

Brothers and City Planner Karen Smith recommended denial, and a majority of the board agreed.

Also, the board elected John Phillips as chairman and Kent Lawrence as vice chairman.

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