CHIPLEY - The City of Chipley heard complaints about ordinances from local residents in recent days, including complaints about a proposed rule that never actually passed.
A video posted on social media by Ella Green of Chipley went viral this past week, netting about 12,000 views and raising questions about the city's restrictions on signage at home businesses.
The video details Green's account of a visit from Code Enforcement, in which Green was advised she could not have more than one 1x1' sign at her North Railroad Avenue beauty supply store.
Green, who owns Second Chance Beauty Supply, had three banners, as well as a framed sign and a small, flashing "open" sign displayed at her property at that time.
"I have all the permitting and paid for my business license," said Green. "I don't understand why I paid to have the proper things in place, but I am not allowed to advertise my business."
City Administrator Dan Miner says although Green's business is in a separate building from her home, it partly comes down to land use designation.
"Mrs. Green's business is located on her property, which is classified as low-density residential," said Miner. "Were the property zoned as commercial, that would make a difference."
According to Article XI of the City's zoning codes, home-based occupations are prohibited from displaying goods or advertising that are visible from the street
Green, who has only been in business for nine months, says she is looking for a solution.
"I respect that the code enforcement officer and Mr. Miner are just doing their job and following what is in place, but I plan to address the city council at the next meeting and see if we can get that [code] changed." she said. "How can I build my business if I am not allowed to tell folks it's there?"
Green states she will attend the council's October 10 meeting.
City Hall also received complaints this week regarding an iconic downtown building.
The Habitat ReStore, also located on North Railroad Avenue in Chipley, raised some eyebrows with its new, bright blue and green paint colors.
Although some residents called to complain that the colors did not line up with local ordinances, there are actually no ordinances in place that would prevent the color scheme.
The now defunct Landmark Commission proposed two ordinances in the early 1990s that would require downtown buildings to stay within a specific color scheme; however, those ordinances were never approved by the council.
ReStore owner, Habitat for Humanity, did not seek Chipley Redevelopment Agency (CRA) funds to pay for the paint, but according to the CRA, any color restrictions the agency may impose on improvements made through that agency are merely "suggestions."
One local resident criticized the new colors, stating they "came from the depths of hell."
Carmen D. Smith, Executive Director for Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity, says Habitat for Humanity researched local rules before beginning to paint.
"As a community-driven, community focused organization, we make sure everything we do is in line with any local codes, laws, rules or ordinances," said Smith. "Because we are one store with two locations, we want consistency, so the Chipley ReStore is being painted to match the Marianna store."
"We have remodeled our building on the inside and have given it a facelift on the outside," she continued. "We wait in anticipation for the other owners of the historic district's buildings to put some love and care into their buildings as well."