Businesses in Woodstock may soon be expected to follow a new set of rules for signs, which loosens some restrictions but creates specific regulations in other areas, according to city staff.

The new ordinance, approved on first reading by city council Monday and awaiting a final vote on second reading July 22, removes a section that restricted materials to just a few categories: glass, masonry, wood, natural stone, ornamental metalwork, and ceramics. The section is replaced with a provision that signs cannot be more than 10% plastic or acrylic. According to a city planner, the change was made to allow aluminum composite material and high density urethane, which are commonly used but currently banned.

The update bans “flat panels” for wall signs, though painted signs are allowed. The ordinance also provides guidelines for dimensional signs with “at least two planes with deeply carved graphics or text or the graphics or text shall be considerably raised from the background.”

If approved, the ordinance will reduce the maximum size of drive-through signs that are 100% electronic to 32 square feet. Such signs are restricted to general commercial, neighborhood commercial, downtown-general commercial and downtown-commercial mixed use districts, on properties on Ga. Highway 92 and Ridgewalk Parkway. Planning commissioners have proposed a future update to regulations on electronic sign brightness.

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