Local News

Covered Windows Could Be Costly For Cary Businesses

Posted February 7, 2002

— It is commonly known that Cary is one of the stricter towns when it comes to its appearance. Businesses that violate the town's sign ordinance could face a hefty fine.

Whether a store is promoting a new product or its speedy service, signs are an easy and cost-effective way to advertise.

In the town of Cary, commercial signs can only cover 25 percent of a store's window. Anything bigger violates the town's sign ordinance.

In the fall, monitors went through town to see who might be violating the sign ordinance. In January, the town sent out 443 letters warning businesses of possible violations.

"I think there are probably two issues we look at," said Walter Harris, Cary zoning supervisor. "One would be aesthetics and the other would be from a health and safety point of view. So that people could be seen inside, that any activity that was going on could be seen from the outside."

The ordinance applies to commercial signs only. Patriotic signs, flags and holiday decorations are allowed.

The monitors will be making a second sweep of the 443 businesses to make sure that they have complied.

According to the town, after notification of a violation businesses could face a fine of $100 for the first violation, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third.

The town said that the fines are a last resort to make business pay attention.

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