The Dothan City Schools system can move forward with plans to install an electronic messaging sign on the former Honeysuckle Middle School campus.

Dothan’s Board of Zoning Adjustment unanimously approved the request during its monthly meeting Wednesday. School officials asked to convert the message board on the current sign into the digital sign – a request that required BZA approval because of the effect the lighting could have on nearby residential areas.

Shane Jeter of FASTSIGNS presented the request on the school’s behalf and said the brightness of the sign will adjust to the sun’s brightness. He added the school system will comply with the city’s request to turn the sign off between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Dothan City Schools has recently realigned several of its schools, closing four of them. Honeysuckle Middle School no longer exists, but its building will serve as the school system’s central office and the home of Dothan Early Education Center (pre-K program).

In other action, BZA members approved a special exception request from Agri-AFC to store and mix hazardous materials needed for fertilizer production at its location on Inez Road.

The location has served as a business since 1975, predating some current zoning regulations. Agri-AFC has plans to nearly triple the size of the current warehouse facility, and the new construction triggered the need to file the request.

Jody Solomon, vice-president of Praestare Engineering, presented the appeal alongside Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce president Matt Parker. Solomon said the company will continue to operate similarly to what it does now, but in a larger and modernized facility.

Solomon added Agri-AFC will be relocating some of the jobs it offers in Columbia to the new facility.

BZA’s approval officially hinges on the Dothan Planning Commission’s approval of development plans on Aug. 21 and the Dothan City Commission’s endorsement of a request to rezone the property from L-I (light industrial) to H-I (heavy industrial). The city commission will likely consider that request at its Sept. 17 meeting, Dothan Planning Director Todd McDonald said.

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