Adam Byrd just made big improvements to the outside of Byrd & Cook Paint & Decorating on Highway 80 in Pearl. Two weeks ago, it was a nondescript warehouse. Now it has a modernized facade.
"It is time," Byrd tells us. "They're trying to improve with the mall and the other buildings trying to improve... I hope to see the same (on other parts of Highway 80). Everybody kind of step up and do what we've done."
Byrd did it voluntarily, as some other Pearl businesses have done. But others are getting a visit from Pearl Code Enforcement. City leaders want to bring the older part of Highway 80 up to the same standard as the newer section, where Trustmark Park and the Outlets of Mississippi stand.
Among other things, it means cleaning up properties and getting rid of permanent banner signage.
"People can still have banners, they just have to get a permit and it's for a limited time, and we want to make sure when it's over and done with they take them down," says Mayor Brad Rogers. "We just don't want it to look as cluttered and, for lack of a better term, junky than it has in the past."
There's also a neutral color ordinance for all new buildings. Older buildings also have to comply if they sustained lots of damage; from the 2013 hail storm, for instance.
"That requires earth tone type colors as opposed to the wild bright colors that sometimes just isn't attractive," says Lieutenant Brian McGairty of the Pearl Police Dept. Code Enforcement Office.
Some property owners are resisting change, but Rogers says most are cooperating.
"We're not going out there beating them over the head, banging them over the head, flexing our muscles as a city. We are working with the businesses," Mayor Rogers says.
The City plans to hire two more Code Enforcement officers to help with the efforts.
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