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This casual Australian-themed restaurant is asking for a signage exception
Outback update 2023
Photo courtesy of Dawson County Planning and Development. - photo by Julia Hansen

An incoming Australian-themed eatery’s variance application is set to come before the Dawson County Planning Commission next Tuesday, according to agenda documents

This story continues below.

Planning commissioners are scheduled to hear Outback Steakhouse’s application for a signage variance at their March 21 meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center’s second-floor assembly room. 

Planning commission meetings are held every third Tuesday of the month. The Dawson County Government Center, also known as the new courthouse, is located at 25 Justice Way in downtown Dawsonville. 

Dawson County courthouse
The Dawson County Government Center is located at 25 Justice Way in downtown Dawsonville.

Outback’s variance application follows DCN’s February reporting about the restaurant’s forthcoming Dawson County location at 3862 Dawson Forest Road East.

The new Outback will be set on a 1.9-acre tract behind the Olive Garden and across from the planned Whataburger on Wallace Boulevard. 

If granted, a variance to the Dawson County Sign Ordinance would allow the chain location to place wall art shaped like the Australian continent on two facades and increase the allowable sign area, the application stated. 

Under current rules, the proposed wall signage would exceed 180 square feet on the building’s eastern and western facades if two Australia-shaped pieces and an additional primary “Outback” sign are also included. 

The county’s signage ordinance only allows three wall signs per building, with one sign per wall. Building signs are not allowed to “exceed one square feet per linear feet of building wall façade each and shall not exceed 180 square feet each,” according to Planning and Development comments on the application. 

“We are requesting the minimum possible variance to answer our concerns,” Outback stated in its variance application. “Our request will not be injurious or detrimental to the public welfare, will not interfere with the reasonable employment of nearby property owners, nor diminish property value or alter the essential character of the land of the developed area. Our intention is to maintain compatibility with surrounding properties.”

DCN will post an updated article after the March 21 Planning Commission meeting.