PIGEON FORGE — The public will get once last chance Monday to weigh in on proposed changes to the city’s sign ordinances before commissioners vote on final approval.
City Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall, and the public hearings typically lead off the agenda.
The commission has been discussing proposed wholesale changes to its sign ordinances for weeks, and issued a moratorium on new sign permits that started March 8 and is scheduled to end May 7.
Both moves followed a ruling by Chancellor Telford Forgety that essentially overturned the city’s billboard ordinances.
Forgety’s decision was based on federal court rulings that voided other billboard regulations like Pigeon Forge’s, which categorized signs based on whether they advertised on-site businesses or off-premise businesses.
The courts have found that those regulations don’t pass Constitutional muster because those designations are based on content, running afoul of the First Amendment.
Pigeon Forge’s new ordinances are designed to be content neutral, which means that billboards and other signs follow the same regulations.
Existing signs won’t have to follow the new regulations.