Chipley to revamp sign ordinance after business owner input

CHIPLEY – The City of Chipley is revisiting the existing ordinance governing signage following input from business owners.

The 20-year-old ordinance prohibits several styles of commonly used advertising signs, including pennant flags and ground signs, a restriction some Chipley proprietors say impedes their ability to market and promote their business.

“We get a lot of out-of-town people coming through looking for somewhere to eat who stop because they see our flag,” said Gina Pippin, co-owner of Sister’s Sweets, Eats, and More located on Main Street. 

“It’s such a narrow building right there in the middle of those bigger buildings, and it was vacant for so long that we need the signage to help signal where we are.” “

By no means do I want to use any signage that isn’t tasteful,” she added, suggesting the City consider a color scheme or theme. “I think [the City] wants to redo [the ordinance] the right way, where it is beneficial to every business. I think we have seen over the last two and a half years that it is important for all businesses to help one another succeed.”

The City heard from businesses owners when City Council met Tuesday, October 11, and agreed not only to revisit the regulations, but also to place a moratorium on the enforcement of sign regulations from September to December while the ordinance is under review and rescind any complaints received during that same time period.

City Attorney Michelle Jordan said TuesdayÂ’s meeting was an example of how citizens and officials can work together to identify and effect needed changes in the community.

“This is how local government should work,” said Jordan. “Members of the public attended a meeting to express their concerns about existing sign regulations limiting their ability to advertise and market their businesses, and the Council thoughtfully considered their concerns and took action that night to enact a moratorium on the enforcement of the existing sign regulations while staff and council undertake a review and proposed modifications.”