Vidalia looks to change current brick ordinance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

Vidalia&8212; The Vidalia board of alderman are continuing their plan to re-define a city ordinance which requires buildings on Carter Street to have a front made of brick.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6, aldermen Ricky Knapp proposed that the board look into changing or discontinuing the ordinance.

&8220;Should a new business, like a shopping center, want to come to Carter St., I don&8217;t want the business owners to be limited to just brick,&8221; Knapp said.

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Under the current ordinance, buildings are required to have some form of brick structure at the front, whether it is a skirting around the building, brick columns or the entire fa?ade.

Mayor Hiram Copeland said any existing buildings that did not adhere to the existing ordinance would be grandfathered in if and after a change in the ordinance is made.

&8220;Basically what we&8217;re trying to do is give existing owners and prospective builders some latitude on what they can have on Carter Street,&8221; Copeland said.

Knapp made a suggestion that businesses be allowed to use brick on the front of the buildings but also synthetic stucco, which he considers to be just as appealing.

&8220;I believe stucco is more cost effective than brick and in some cases more attractive,&8221; Knapp said.

Knapp also said he would like to discuss putting some restrictions on the types of colors business owners can paint their buildings.

&8220;We&8217;re not going to be as strict as say a historic society might be, but as of right now, a building owner could paint their building the most gaudy color they want to,&8221; Knapp said. &8220;I&8217;d like to see some limits as to what color they could use.&8221;

The board decided to have Vidalia City Attorney Jack McLemore revise the current ordinance to include stucco as a building material for the front of businesses.

The board will have a pre-file meeting on Sept. 12 then an open meeting in October for business owners to address the board.