02/19/04 — Ugly business signs

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Ugly business signs

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on February 19, 2004 2:00 PM

The city's appearance continued to dominate a zoning discussion this week, as Goldsboro council members recommended imposing stricter standards for business signs.

City Councilman Chuck Allen said that even though the city has regulations on the size of a sign, it doesn't tell how the sign should be built.

"They could throw up a piece of plywood," Allen said.

Councilman Jimmy Bryan was surprised that the city didn't have regulations governing the quality of business signs.

"So you're saying that if I had put up two pieces of plyboard and spray-painted the name of my business on Ash Street, that would have been OK?" he asked.

Allen said that it would have been, under the city ordinance.

"Then we've got a problem," Bryan said. "I think we need to address that issue and look at not only the size, but the quality."

City Attorney Harrell Everett agreed.

Allen said that more regulations could create a hardship on smaller businesses, so the city needed to be reasonable in its requirements.

Bryan said that the city had landscape requirements for businesses because of its concern for appearance, and he thought some requirements for signs should be explored.

Assistant City Planning Director Jimmy Rowe said that there were only a few businesses in the city with "tacky signs."

Bryan said he was glad there were only a few, but wondered when the city wanted to deal with it.

City Councilman Charles Williams asked if businesses were allowed to use homemade signs, and City Manager Richard Slozak said they were.

Slozak suggested drawing up specifications and a materials list for signs, but the council nixed that idea.

"I don't care what it's made of," Allen said. "It just should be professionally made."

Allen said that approving the sign should be part of the site plan approval process.

Slozak recommended requiring that "no sign can be erected if not done by a commercial sign company."

The board agreed, except for Councilman William Goodman.

"This is getting ready to get out of control," Goodman said. "What about the Farmer's Market?"

Williams responded that the vendor signs at the Farmer's Market had no bearing on business signs, because they were off the street.