Changes Expected To Clayton’s Sign Ordinance

The Town of Clayton will consider making a number of changes to their Sign Ordinance during a meeting Tuesday night. The proposed changes to their Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is designed to make rules and codes easier on new and existing businesses.

Town staff have proposed making sign regulations easier to understand and less burdensome on the applicants, all to make the rules more business friendly. According to a town email,  the biggest change would be eliminating the Master Sign Plan process, which regulates the signs at multi-tenant buildings, such as strip malls. The Master Sign Plan process was designed to make all of the signs in these developments look consistent, but the staff has found the process cumbersome and, in some cases, unworkable.

Under the new rules, any tenant of a strip mall could have a sign using any one color of his choice – regardless of the colors chosen by his or her neighbors. Businesses could still display a full-color 12-square-foot reproductions of their state- or federally-registered logo. Staff believes the new rules would continue to make multi-tenant buildings have a consistent look, and they would greatly reduce the burden placed on staff and business owners.

Other proposed changes include prohibiting rope/string lighting and update codes on flags and flagpoles.

The Clayton Planning Board took a first look at the proposal on Oct. 24, and voted Nov. 28 to recommend the Council approve the changes. A few minor changes were to the proposal after a Dec. 19 work session by the town council.  Clayton town leaders will vote on the changes Tuesday night.

Last month, the Town of Selma stripped a burdensome regulation from their UDO to make parking and landscaping requirements much easier on new businesses. The Town of Smithfield, which has the toughest business regulations in Johnston County, is conducting a 12 to 18 month review of their UDO.