Jul 30, 2014

County Sign Ordinance Not Enforced At SR 316 Intersection With Oconee Connector

County Sign Ordinance Not Enforced At SR 316 Intersection With Oconee Connector
Oconee County granted permits in August of last year for signs on two undeveloped pieces of land at the busy intersection of SR 316 and the Oconee Connector.

The signs are for land offered for sale by Boswell Properties, owned by Jamie Boswell, Athens real estate broker and, since early 2013, District 10 representative to the 14-member State Transportation Board.

The Transportation Board oversees the Georgia Department of Transportation, which is expected to let contracts in June for the widening of the Oconee Connector and Mars Hill Road to Butler’s Crossing, running more traffic past the properties Boswell is listing.

The county’s sign ordinance requires that temporary signs advertising property for sale be set back at least five feet from the edge of the property, but one of the Boswell signs is in the right of way of the state and the other does not appear to meet the five-foot-setback requirement.

Georgia code also specifies that signs cannot be in the state right of way.

Oconee County Director of Code Enforcement B.R. White said he is aware that one of the signs is in the state right of way and of the possible problem with the second. He said his office has informed Boswell of the issue.

Although the county has the right to remove the signs and even fine Boswell, it has not done either.

For more on this complicated story about signs and the decision of the county not to enforce the ordinance, go to Oconee County Observations.

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