SARALAND, Ala. (WALA) - An existing sign ordinance requires some posted signs, billboards and banners to meet certain standards. It has sparked a lot of debate among business owners. A public hearing is set for Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
When the ordinance was passed in 2007, dozens of businesses were grandfathered in. Now officials said they have about a year to get their signs up to standard. A number of business owners, however, told FOX10 News they don't want to bring their signs up to code. Many of them are still recovering from a sluggish economy.
Mayor Howard Rubenstein wants signs to be more uniform. He believes it would help revitalize Saraland's businesses districts.
"Daphne and Fairhope have passed similar ordinances. If you compared the cities, I think everyone will agree they are a lot more esthetically pleasing to consumers," said Rubenstein.
Some businesses will have to take down their signs and put up new ones.
"Basically, it depends on your size of business and your type in general. There are lots of exceptions. The signs will be smaller and lower," said Rubenstein.
The mayor wants more drivers to stop and shop in his city, but at what cost to business owners? A number of business owners, who asked not to be identified, told FOX10 News they simply can not afford to change their signage. One businesses owner cited costs has high as $30,000.
Rubenstein hopes business owners will view the ordinance as an investment in their business and their city. He also says, city officials will introduce some amendments to the ordinance that will loosen some of the restrictions. Some of the proposed ordinance revisions include:
- Reader Board signs may not exceed 75 percent of the overall signage.
- Off premise signs will be allowed, with regulations
- Billboards will only be allowed along I-65, must be electronic, with additional regulations
- Signs may not remain void of face plates if the tenant vacates the premises. They may be replaced with solid color blank face plates.
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