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City council signs off on taller signs

Joshua Baethge,
The Anna-Melissa Tribune

ANNA - The Anna City Council voted Sept. 22 to approve multiple tall signs at the northwest corner of White Street and US 75.

The tallest one will be a 75-foot sign for a new QuikTrip gas station and convenience store.

While it is much taller than typically allowed within the city limits, signs at the Pilot Flying J Travel Center and Loves Travel Stop locations at different corners of the same intersection are also well over those current limits.

QuikTrip will be part of the new Anna Crossing multi-use development along the expressway.

The council also authorized two 50-foot multi-usage signs along US 75 as well as a 30-foot multi-usage sign on West White Street.

The vote came just minutes after the council approved a measure giving it the power to grant sign variance requests. That authority previously resided with the Board of Adjustments.

In March 2008, Anna eliminated a sign board created in 2001 and gave authority to the board. At the time, final authority was supposed to be given to the council. However, for reasons that are not clear to city staff, that language was not included in the ordinance that was officially adopted.

Council member John Beazley noted that when Walmart came to town a few years ago, it was denied a variance for its own taller sign. It is a decision he opposed, citing the need for cars on the freeway to better see the supercenter.

“I suspect we may see some variance requests come back from previous folks who were denied a variance,” he said.

Beazley and Mayor Nate Pike also agreed that the city may need to find a way to be more consistent with future variance requests.

Demand to end mask mandate

At the end of the regular meeting, the Anna City Council approved a formal letter to Gov. Greg Abbott demanding that he revoke his executive order GA-29, which requires face coverings in public.

It states that due to the highly varied circumstances and incidences of COVID-19 in different areas of the state, the council members as local officials are more than capable of making decisions on local health issues.

“We are concerned about the level of transparency from the Governor’s Office and the Anna City Council lacks confidence in the State’s decision-making process and ability to fully account for an accurate case count throughout the State,” the letter reads. “We, the City Council of the City of Anna should have the authority on whether face coverings should be mandated within our community.”

The letter goes on to read that the council also believes the executive order is out of step with the values of Texans and those in Anna who “treasure their individual liberties, individual responsibilities and self-reliance.”

The letter is signed by Mayor Pike, Mayor Pro-Tem Lee Miller and the other four council members, John Beazley, Kevin Toten, Josh Vollmer and Nathan Bryan.