Ward 5 Councilor Tick Bryan brought up the issue during the reports from aldermen section of the meeting.
“We have an ordinance, a sign ordinance, I think, that prevents campaign signs from being put in the right of way,” said Bryan. “I’ve been noticing a lot after I was made aware of this, especially in the western part of our city.”
City attorney Andy Wright said the city has a sign ordinance that prevents campaign signs in rights of way, but it’s difficult to enforce.
“During election season as city prosecutor, I’ve asked codes, I’ve said, ‘Look, if it’s not hurting anything, don’t bother them,’” said Wright. “Because afterward we get complaints that we’re pulling one candidate’s signs and not another’s. Even if you pull both candidates’ signs, one of them will come along to put it back, and all of the sudden the other one comes along and theirs isn’t there anymore.”
Wright said that if the signs became a traffic or safety issue, the city would take the signs out without hesitation. Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash reminded everyone election season will soon be over, and the signs will go away.
“We have two people in our codes department, we have a codes director, and we have one officer,” said Ash. “We could go out tomorrow and pick every one of them up and by nightfall, they’ll all be right back down. It’s a waste of energy to do that, unless it’s a hazard. Just five or six more weeks and this will be over.”
The council also discussed and approved several ordinances during the business portion of the agenda, including:
• an ordinance that amended the future land use plan of Lebanon by changing 617 Tater Peeler Road from commercial to high-density residential zoning.
• an ordinance that amended the official zoning atlas of Lebanon by changing 1743, 1751, 1755 and unaddressed West Main Street, as well as 110 Maple Hill Road, from low-density residential, medium-density residential and commercial general to commercial neighborhood.
• an ordinance that amended the official zoning atlas of Lebanon by changing unaddressed Leeville Pike from medium-density residential 12,000 to medium-density residential.
• an ordinance that amended the official zoning atlas of Lebanon by changing 1204 Murfreesboro Road from commercial general to Timberline Campground specific plan mixed use.
• an ordinance that authorized the purchase of one police vehicle for the Lebanon Police Department and the related budget amendment.
• a resolution that authorized easement or right-of-way for future extension of Dawson Lane from Meadow Lane to Leeville Pike.
• an ordinance to enter into an agreement with Wilson County Schools for the waiver of certain city fees in consideration of the satisfaction of the outstanding balance of the city related to back payments for liquor-by-the-drink taxes.
All of the ordinances and the resolution were passed unanimously. Councilors Rob Cesternino and Chris Crowell were not in attendance.