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Four Billboards Likely to Rise in Milton

A lawsuit against Fulton County that predates the North Fulton city's formation allows LED signs along GA 400, Hwy. 9 and Arnold Mill Road.

Milton wasn't even a city when outdoor sign companies filed suit against Fulton County over billboards. But now that a settlement agreement has been reached, four billboards most likely will be erected in several nodes around the city.

Milton City Attorney Ken Jarrard told City Council Wednesday night that permit applications were filed with Fulton County.

"There were applications for up to 16 billboards within the area that would in the future become the city of Milton," Jarrard said.

A judge struck down the Fulton County billboard regulations, which affected Milton.

"Milton is required to comply with that order and otherwise deal with the loss of that litigation," he said.

Now the city is liked to get four LED billboards, but Jarrard said that's much less than what the sign companies could have demanded.

Mayor Joe Lockwood said city staff and Jarrard negotiated with the outdoor sign companies, going down to about 25 percent of what the judge mandated.

The sign companies won't have to pay permits for these four applications, and the city will have to expedite the approval process in just these cases. The companies agreed to save as many trees as possible. Once the signs are erected, they are to be treated like any other sign in the city.

Five property "nodes" were picked as potential locations for up to four billboards. Only one sign per node is allowed under the agreement.

  • West and south of GA 400, north of Windward Parkway – 5 parcels, 3 fronting GA 400
  • Hwy. 9 north of Windward Parkway – formerly McMillan strip centers – 1 parcel
  • Hwy. 9 south of Windward Parkway – 3 parcels – vacant and closed buildings, lot, beverage business
  • Hwy. 9 south of Bethany Bend – 4 parcels, including 1 city-owned parcel, around Que
  • Hwy. 140  (Arnold Mill Road) – 3 parcels – vacant businesses & construction company
JParker January 25, 2013 at 08:47 PM
There is a very simple way to address these eyesores. Any company using these signs for advertising should be boycotted by North Fulton citizens. Vote with your money, and the advertising companies will have no revenue, no profits, no customers, and no incentive to put up these ugly things.
Travis Allen January 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM
I agree fully with JParker above. Another suggestion, why not just allow more than one sign in the node fronting GA 400? Out of sight, out of mind as far as I'm concerned.
Chris Lagerbloom January 27, 2013 at 05:56 AM
Travis, That is a great question and one we asked long ago when we started negotiating. The state requires, as a matter of law, a pre-existing and underlying commerial zoning AND at least 5000 feet between signs (on the same side of the road). Milton has only one small area which even qualifies over near SR400 for this type of signage. And, because of the distance requirements, if one fits, there simply isn't 5000 feet north or south of it to get a second. We tried, we really did. Hope this helps, Chris
Travis Allen January 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Thanks Chris, that makes more sense.

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