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Council tables parking proposal
georgewood color
George Wood - photo by Herald File
Wanting to take more time to look the potential impact, the Statesboro City Council voted Wednesday to table a proposed ordinance that would restrict parking in front yards
    The proposal would restrict parking to only paved areas of the front yard and limit the amount of the yard that could be paved to 25 percent.
    "The intent of the ordinance is to keep people from parking all over the front yard," said George Wood, Statesboro City Manager. "Our concern is people who park three or four cars in their front yard."
    Sara Neville Bennett applauded the council for tackling the issue, saying people parking their cars all over the yard "has a direct effect on property values and resales values."
    Statesboro Mayor Bill Hatcher said the issue was a difficult one to address as the council wants to balance the rights of property owners to do what they want on their property with the impact it has on others.
    "I think this council and administration has been reluctant to tell people what they can do at their homes," Hatcher said.
    Both the city's staff and the Statesboro Planning Commission recommended approval of the change.
    Also Wednesday, the council approved, again on first reading, an ordinance that would allow the Statesboro Mall to operate two electronic, or "animated," signs, one to be located on Northside Drive East and the other at the corner of Brannen Street and Lovett Road.
    Currently, animated signs are prohibited inside the city limits as they're thought to be a safety hazard by distracting drivers. According to Statesboro Planning Director Jim Shaw, there are studies showing no significant increase in accidents after animated signs have been installed.
    He also said in a memo to the council that other studies have shown such signs are a distraction to some drivers.
    Wood said the purpose of allowing the Statesboro Mall to use the signs is because there are stores in the mall that can't be seen from the road and this would allow them to advertise to passing motorists.
    Other action the council took included:
    - approved a request to rezone 2.96 acres on Gentilly Road to planned unit development with a commercial retail overlay;
    - denied a request to rezone three parcels at 300 Catherine Avenue and 104 Catherine Avenue to commercial retail to allow an Enmark station;
    - tabled a variance request for a reduction of the side-yard setback for property at 821 Robin Hood Trail;
    - approved a request to rezone 2.96 acres on Deloach Street to high density multi-family residential;
    - approved an annexation request for 87.3 acres on the south side of Highway 301 North with a zoning of Highway oriented commercial and R-10;
    - approved an ordinance on first reading regarding parking requirements for restaurants within shopping centers;
    - approved an ordinance to annex property on Cawana Road into the city limits;
    - approved a resolution to change the name of Grady Street Park to the Rev. W. D. Kent Park;
    - approved a motion to approve both a preliminary plat and subdivision infrastructure agreement for Bonielane Subdivision;
    - approved a motion to accept a bid in the amount of $10,434 to Melton Painting Company to paint the interior of the second and third floor of City Hall;
    -approved a motion to  award a bid in the amount of $64,274 to Ellis Wood Contracting Inc. for the West Gentilly Road and Landfill Road paving projects and a separate motion to award a bid in the amount of $20,312 for the Tillman Road paving project.
    - approved a motion to award a bid in the amount of $21,430 to Blount & Sons for the Tillman Road concrete curb and gutter.
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