Church fighting to keep “Support Our Troops” billboard up

Posted at 3:29 PM, Dec 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-31 16:37:09-05

Nevada County (KTXL) — Support our troops. A simple message posted by a church, now causing controversy and some say the sign must be taken down.

The red, white and blue billboard stands 20-feet tall and 8-feet wide and was put up by Simple Truth Church. The three-word message, ‘Support Our Troops’, is shared with drivers along busy Highway 49 in Nevada County.

“Nevada County is a very patriotic county, they love our troops,” Pastor Jeff Alaways with Simple Truth Church told FOX40.

But in fact, it’s the county who wants to take the sign down.

The church wanted to help the community, and painted the patriotic message when they re-did the run-down billboard.

However, county regulators say that’s the problem: no changes can be made to an existing sign without getting approval from the county planning department first.

“(It) Had nothing to do with what the sign is saying, what it has to do with is it’s out of compliance with county ordinance on signage,” Pastor Alaways said.

The County Planning Department sent Simple Truth Church a letter, asking the sign be taken down until a permit is acquired. The Planning Director, Brian Foss, told FOX40 they talked to the property owner a few months ago and told him he couldn’t re-make the sign without a new permit.

“We look forward to meeting with the church and getting everything legalized,” Foss told FOX40.

He said it takes about 30 days to get a permit, then the billboard can be put back up.