7 PM @ Town Hall
Ordinance O-03-2012 Sign Ordinance
At 7 PM tonight, the Planning Commission is holding a public hearing to "hear from the public" on proposed sign regulations. The hearing is at the Town Hall.
What are the proposed regulations? I'm only going to highlight those that are important to our business., but they cover everything from yard sale signs to Billboards.
First off, NO "off-premise signs" whatsoever. (Well, non-profits, churches, and educational facilities can still put out "off-premise" temporary signs, but now ONLY 30 DAYS in advance, as opposed to 6 months.)
Portable Signs are still NOT ALLOWED.
When a special meeting was called last year, we were told that our violations were "off-premise" violations, and that the other violations in town were allowed because they were "on premise" violations. So, 7-11, Sheetz, and other large companies in Town are, unfortunately, still in violation., but "this okay, because this is a small Town," as we were told.
These amendments, under the umbrella of Town Beautification, will make it very difficult for many businesses to advertise, other than with very limited permitted signage. Those with building fronts right on the street can't put out portable signs. (Did you know that there was a coffee shop on Main Street for about two years? One of the reasons they failed was no one could see their sign.) Signage needs to be PERPENDICULAR to vehicular traffic, not simply pasted on the front wall of a building.
We are very concerned about this topic BECAUSE THIS IS A SMALL TOWN. Every week at the market we have new people say to us, "You need signs. We didn't know where King Street was, and we couldn't find you."
Please consider showing up tonight to voice your opinion.
Our Stance is simple, portable signs should be allowed, provided that,
- the size is regulated,
- they are not in a public right-of-way,
- they are removed at the close of business each day,
- and that special exceptions for businesses not located on Main Street be permitted "Off-Premise" signs located on Main Street.
The new language also propose the allowance of Freestanding, Monumental Signs, up to 8' tall, in the B-1 Zone.
We are generally supportive of Town Beautification, and VERY MUCH supportive of Economic Development of the whole COMMUNITY. However, there is no reason to have a beautiful Town if there are no businesses because signage is over-regulated.
Download the PDF file of the proposed Ordinances Here. (Sorry, these are upside down. That's the way they were sent, and I cannot change it. Your PDF reader should have a way to rotate the views.)
PostScript: I (Gerald) actually sat through an entire college Urban Planning Course on Signage - so I'm not speaking out of my, well, um, backside. The fact is that many similar small towns, in efforts to help their businesses compete with the Walmarts of the world, permit the use of off-premise and on-premise sandwich board signs.