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Chatham County temporary sign ordinance exception

By Tina Meeks
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - I sent the e-mail below on the afternoon of October 3. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic (especially business owners). I know this has been discussed before in great detail, but needs to be discussed again since this is an election year. With Chatham County stressing the importance of being business-friendly, this type of ordinance is what greatly impacts a businesses success.

From: Tina Meeks
Sent: Monday, October 3, 2011 12:59 PM
Subject: Temporary Sign Ordinance exception

Good Afternoon Town and Chatham County Board of Commissioners,

Not sure which one of you this needs to be directly addressed to so I felt I'd send it to everyone.

We received a visit today from the Enforcement Officer regarding our "open" directional signs. One is placed on Business 64 and the other on Sanford Rd (15/501 South). I understand the policy regarding the Temporary Sign Ordinance that restricts businesses from grossly advertising, litter problems because they don't pick them up, too big of a sign, town employees can't mow around them, etc. etc., but common sense needs to be used when enforcing this ordinance.

With our new location, it is very difficult for anyone to see us without these signs. Removing them is going to greatly hinder our ability to do business and grow in this location. Also, our signs are put out every morning and picked up every evening. They are neatly designed and are just the right size to be seen by the general public. We have had many customers comment on them. Thanking us because even with the address info on the website and other public sites I've put it, they still don't know where we are. You would not believe how many people do NOT know where the Pittsboro Fire Department is located.

History of why we moved from the Old Pittsboro Ford lot - it was in negotiations a few times to be sold and we were told to find another location. We tried for over a year to get a permanent lease of our own and because we couldn't, we weren't able to grow our business plans. With our current location, we plan to eventually have an inside coffee shop. I have contacted every possible location that was more visible to the general public and for various reasons, could not find one.

Could you please reconsider your enforcement of our signs if we continue to put them out and pick them up every day? If not, can you please give me a reason why. Not just for us, but for all businesses that may be doing the same thing.

I will post this on the Chatlist for those running for election can also see it since I know this is an election year and many of you are not re-running.

Thank you for your time and I hope all of you are enjoying the cooler temps.

Thank you,
Tina Meeks
Shot of 'Spro Mobile Espresso

Update to recent post - it was a town employee enforcing the ordinance and he was super nice about it and is allowing us to put them out until the end of the week. They were NOT confiscated. The ordinance is a county-wide thing, but the county is not enforcing the off-premise signs in the right-of-way, which is what we have, until they get more information from the state regarding authority to do so (per Sally Kost via reply e-mail). Per William Terry, town manager, they are enforcing the ordinance.

My only concern is why our two signs are such an issue. We put them out and pick them up everday. They are neatly done and small enough for commuters to see. I am sure the ordinance was not put in place for the reason we have them so why can't our signs be an exception?

FYI...we do plan on getting a permanent sign in conjunction with the business that is opening up where we are located, but that isn't for a few months or more.

 
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