Barn Exemption Bill Passes Senate
ATLANTA (March 4, 2013) – Senate Bill 194, which would provide an exemption for barns used to promote Georgia tourist destinations, passed the Senate today by a vote of 49 to 0. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga).
“Barns painted with ‘See Rock City’ have been a highway staple in Northwest Georgia since the Depression era,” said Sen. Mullis. “However, these historic structures are disappearing rapidly. I’m proud to have sponsored this bill to keep part of our state’s history alive.”
Under SB 194, a person would be allowed to use personal funds to restore and use a barn or other agriculture structure which was erected prior to 1965 and which previously promoted Georgia tourist destinations or products to the traveling public.
In 1935, the first ‘See Rock City’ signs were painted on select barns along U.S. 41. Usually, farmers who allowed their barns to be painted received free passes to Rock City as well Rock City promotional materials such as thermometers. By 1969, over 900 barns encouraged travelers headed south to Florida on the ‘Snowbirds Route’ to stop by the attraction.
‘See Rock City’ barns were once found throughout 19 states and became famous throughout the country. However, federal legislation banning billboards meant that many barns had ‘See Rock City’ advertisements removed.
The bill will now transfer to the House of Representatives for consideration.