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Thread: Sign regulation in small towns

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    Blog entries

    Sign regulation in small towns

    Needing to strike a balance between fledgling businesses and a big city sign code, does anyone exercise some leeway in the temporary sign regulation?

    I have eradicated small temporary signs posted in much of the rights-of-way throughout town and have cleaned up some realtor signs (essentially posting a basic yard for sale sign at a subdivision's entrance as if to say "I am marketing a house somewhere in the neighborhood). However, some businesses have put up banners to attract people inside, nothing too unsightly though.

    Just wondering how many have used their sign codes as more of a guideline in this matter.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    I've done limits on the number/size of banners, which will be a more subjective discussion with your planning commission. One of the fun things I did was link font size to the speed limit on the road in front of the location, and used that to establish appropriate banner sizes. It's more technical, which may cause your small-towners to balk (small towns seem to like simpler solutions). Regardless, such a technical link can be helpful in justifying the sizes.

    One of the things we did was create standards for how to attach/display the banners in order to prevent them from getting tattered (appropriate use of anchor wires to stabilize the banner, appropriate vent size based on surface area of banner to keep winds from destroying it, etc.). I don't have a copy of the standards I wrote for that, as the town I wrote them for has since banned banners altogether (which had been my original recommendation). It shouldn't be hard to come up with something though. Talk to some of the banner manufacturers about the attachment standards... they should be cooperative since you are not talking about a ban, but rather a way to encourage their appropriate use & display.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Blog entries


    I would start by using this wonderful example in the new code, maybe use the image to get your point across:


    In reality, small towns should have small signs, but in practice, they have HUGE signs
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  4. #4
    May 2009
    Seabrook, New Hampshire
    Ralph Nader took an idea from the libertarians that I thought was good: tax what you don't like to cut taxes on things that you do like. I had suggested an "Ugly Tax." It raises revenue, discourages "bad" use, but doesn't specifically prevent something that a particular business might need in order to reach new customers.

    I love the sign, bud. Did YOU really approve that?

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