Sunday, July 27, 2014

AJC Winefest Billboard - totally hip, or not so much?

The AJC wants to bring "hip" to the expansive vista seen by Marta riders at the Dunwoody Station and for drivers and pedestrians traveling on Hammond Drive, or up the Perimeter Center West corridor near Perimeter Mall.  

They want to place a "temporary" sign on the outside of their building, which effectively allows the building to function as a billboard for a month and a half.  They've applied to City Council for a variance to the Temporary Sign ordinance and appear before Council for a second time tomorrow night with 2 options for their requested variance. 

For those of you not familiar with the ordinance it provides for temporary signs of up to 60 sq. ft.  The AJC is asking to push the maximum square footage allowed just a little bit.  Just about "like"40 to 58 times the limit.  So, like you know, like not too much!  

Option 1 - a 70 x 50, 3,500 sq. ft. sign 
Option 2 - a 60 x 40, 2,400 sq. ft. sign 

So below is what we'd be treated to for a month a and a half.  Tasteful, sure (no pun intended).  Cool....perhaps.

Is this a "hip" and trendy way to promote the event or a dangerous precedent for the sign ordinance?  Council gets to decide tomorrow night.  

I'm Just Sayin' - the last time I checked there weren't too many folks happy about the billboard on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, at the Georgetown Shopping Center, that DeKalb County approved just prior to the incorporation of the City of Dunwoody.  I understand that this is different from a temporary sign, but my point is billboards are not endangered, so we don't need to add more - temporary or not.  And forgive me if I seem skeptical that this will really be a one time variance.

Perhaps if the AJC was a little more in touch with the community their circulation in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs wouldn't be so poor and they wouldn't feel the need to drape their building with a large freaking sign. Instead they could have used their Pulitzer Prize winning (NOT) newspaper and a circulation of a couple of hundred subscriptions to deliver THIER message electronically to their readers. Heck, they could advertise this event in their urban rag on the front page everyday for free, but they understand their challenge.  

I think they recognize that they can get more eyes and "views" from a billboard on their building from one Marta train passing by than from their total print and electronic circulation from now until Oct 11th when the event happens.

I urge Council to DENY this request.  It sets a dangerous precedent and I guarantee other nearby companies will take note.  Then it becomes a question of not only allowing for more signs, but also opens the door to the content in the signs.  More importantly we don't need to spend City money defending Council's decisions on what is "tasteful" and what is not on signs hanging on buildings.  

Anyone remember the "urban contemporary" signs Marta allowed to have installed at their bus stops on Ashford Dunwoody?  Want to see it in a 3,500 square foot version?