The saga of the Black Lives Matter sign continues.

The sign, which disappeared during construction of sidewalks along New Garden Road only to be found in the woods adjacent to New Garden Cemetery and reinstalled, has been dismantled. Here’s why.

Greensboro zoning inspectors, responding to a citizen complaint about the sign, made a site visit and found the sign to be out of compliance on two points. One post slightly exceeded the maximum height limit of 6 feet above ground level, and the size of the sign is larger than allowed for its category, called “philosophical” signs.

City ordinances allow fines to be levied for a sign found in violation, and the fines are progressive, increasing daily.

The issue was discussed at March Meeting for Business on March 5. A decision was made to remove the sign while options are explored. These include asking for a variance from the city, which – if granted – would allow the sign to be reinstalled without changes; or installing a new, smaller sign that complies with regulations.

The Black Lives Matter sign originally was erected in September 2020 by the Communications Committee at the direction of Monthly Meeting for Business. The dimensions were modeled on a similar sign at another Greensboro congregation.

The sign was designed so that the message could be changed from time to time. It is thought that the citizen complaint was filed by a person who took issue with the sign’s BLM sentiment. Now that the city has found that the sign is in violation of the zoning ordinance, simply replacing the message with another will not solve the problem.

The Communications Committee and other volunteers are working to find a resolution.

–– Tom Lassiter, Clerk, Communications Committee