East Nashville: The neighborhood of the code-violating travelling sign

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An eight-foot plywood sign has been on the move in East Nashville in an effort to keep the message alive despite a codes violation.

Amie Thurber created it last February, saying she just wanted to send a message of support and affirmation, one neighbors have grown use to seeing—until recently.

A complaint was made to the Metro Codes Department, which told Thurber the sign doesn’t comply with the rules.

But instead of getting rid of it, the sign was moved to another home. A complaint was made again, and it moved to yet another home—and so on.

Thurber told News 2 on Wednesday she feels like the message behind it is what matters.

“I have to say, in the months that we’ve had this up, I’ve been blown away by the number of neighbors who have stopped by to tell us what it means to them,” she explained.

“We’ve had flowers and cards, they’ve come to our front door to tell us what it means to their children, their parents as gay families, as immigrant families, and it makes a difference to the people in the neighborhood and that feels more important than Metro’s ordinance,” she continued.

Now that the sign has moved on, Thurber has a new one that does comply with codes.

The codes department told News 2 it’s neutral on the content of the sign, but if a complaint is launched, the department investigates.

Bill Penn says he’s more worried some community members are taking advantage of the department.

“We have more important things to do. There are properties that are dangerous, there are properties that are substandard… Every time we have to go out and chase after this one particular thing, it’s time that we don’t have to go and do something else,” he explained to News 2.

Instead of continuing to move the sign, Penn asks the homeowners to just comply with the rules.

The codes regulations govern the size, material, and placement of signs. For residential areas, signs cannot be any larger than six square feet. They also can’t be too close to the road.

There are also specific materials required so that signs don’t endanger other people or destroy other property in the event a sign gets blown away in strong winds.

Most permanent signs require a permit.

if you have questions about codes, the Metro Nashville code violations hotline number is 615-862-6590.