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Cary council agrees to review sign ordinance

Posted July 23, 2009
Updated July 24, 2009

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— Cary's town council voted Thursday night to undertake a comprehensive review of its sign ordinance. The move came after some business owners asked the town to relax it rules regarding signs.

More public meetings and hearings on the subject are expected.

The town regulates the color, font, size and number of signs for businesses. There are also regulations about where they can be placed.

“That’s one of the things that makes Cary the beautiful community that it is,” Councilman Don Frantz said.

Some business owners say the sign rules make it tough to advertise in a down economy. Retail real estate agent Stan Lisle said it's even discouraging some new business from opening in the area.

Cary businesses request change in sign policy Cary businesses want changes to sign ordinance

Lisle said he has a client who has decided not to relocate to Cary because “they can’t use their trademarks.”

Officials last overhauled the sign ordinance 10 years ago. Some council members said they think it may be time again.

“Given the recession, there may be a little bit we can do to be a little more flexible and help our business community,” Frantz said.

Officials told WRAL News that they are open to considering changes in open house signs and allowing other businesses to have more signs.

Right now, Cary allows two open houses per house, per year. Also, real estate agents and homeowners can put up no more than three directional signs to point prospective buyers to an open house.

Some real estate agents want to see those caps lifted.

Real estate agent Kelly Cobb said it may take “multiple open houses” to sell a property. “You want to have the opportunity for as much exposure as possible,” she said.

Others would like more freedom for temporary signs.

Fines for signs the violate Cary's ordinance can amount to hundreds of dollars.

“I think loosening those rules would help a lot of merchants,” Lisle said.

Town planners hope to form a task force made up of business owners, sign companies and citizens to come up with ways to make the sign ordinance more flexible.

“If we feel we can do better, we’re more than happy to try,” Frantz said.

38 Comments

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  • LuvLivingInCary Jul 24, 2009

    i've got it...i'll buy that house in brier creek and put a bright red roof on it with a big motor home on the driveway with a rebel flag on the side of it and see how all the raleigh folks react.

    raleigh folks are quite jealous of the cary way of life...enough said..

  • ladybug467 Jul 24, 2009

    If you do not live in Cary, or own a business in Cary, please "step aside". The bashing Cary thing was getting old years ago. I promise to not bash your town, or really care what signs are too big in your town.

  • mewubbau Jul 24, 2009

    bottom line is: there are some very passionate arguments why Cary is so wrong from people who don't live here. I am passionate because I do live here. I don't live in a big house or make tons of $$--I am a single mom living in a 1 BR apt. and I make less then $30k a year. I like it here and have a variety a friends (from all different backgrounds) who all enjoy Cary for the overall atmosphere (not just the appearance) the town tries to maintain. I guess, like it's been stated, people move if they don't like it.

  • mewubbau Jul 24, 2009

    the only reason I write that people should preface if they live in Cary or not is b/c I wonder how others have so much time to argue about the town if they dont' live here?! It would be like me complaining about Angier b/c of cars parked out on the lawn, rebel flags being hung, tree stands in my neighbors trees, and toys in the front lawn. I am stereotyping just like the majority of the people on here who do not live in Cary. We have a very vast array of citizens, from all economic backgrounds and cultures. We enjoy living here because of that diversity and we still are one of the safest towns to live in the U.S. If you prefer not to live here, that is fine, but it doesn't make it a bad place, just a place that doesn't fit your life. And I don't think I would fit in your town, but that doen't make it bad either.

  • doghousebrewery Jul 24, 2009

    doghouse- you have contradicted yourself? you say that in Cary they are hard to distinguish b/c everything is the same and then you say when businesses use different colors like the rest of the planet it is difficult?! and by the way, you need to slow down if you are "cruising" by a mall at 45mph?!!
    mewubbau

    Sorry ...I left out a word."not"...are "not" difficult to distinguish from one another...do you understand now?

  • doghousebrewery Jul 24, 2009

    Try a visit to beautiful Hilton Head Is. to to see landscaping hiding storefronts, gas price signs, and just about any commercial thing. Cary has a role model, for sure. ;-)
    K4GPB

    This is why my family sold our property on HHI...Both my parents and my aunt/uncle owned property in Sea Pines and Palmeto Dunes from 1972- 1986....suddenly HHI had turned into a mega-resort....we sold...I'm not defending Cary at all, but if you live there and complain...MOVE. Plain and simple...there are obviously plenty of people out there willing to have every aspect of their lives dictated for them..plenty of mindless zombies to purchase your Cary homes.

  • mewubbau Jul 24, 2009

    doghouse- you have contradicted yourself? you say that in Cary they are hard to distinguish b/c everything is the same and then you say when businesses use different colors like the rest of the planet it is difficult?! and by the way, you need to slow down if you are "cruising" by a mall at 45mph?!!

  • Adelinthe Jul 24, 2009

    mewubbau - "from here on out--how about anyone that comments shoudl preface with if they live in Cary or not."

    Sounds like something a Cary resident would say, trying to curtail someone else's right to free speech.

    For the record, I lived in Cary for years. One of the last of the town's founders living, Ray "Dad" Dunham, was appalled at the direction Cary had taken. He said (directly to me) that it was never the intention of the town's founders for Cary to become so restrictive.

    Do I live there now??? Absolutely not!!! I moved from there because the egos of the residents squeezed me out.

    Now I live in the country outside of Angier where people are truly free-like the US Constitution and Bill of Rights sets forth.

    Do I care that my neighbor has horses or a gray mailbox with red letters instead of a black one with white letters? Does it matter that some folks live in trailers?

    Gracious no! Who has time for that. I'm busy living my own life and minding my own business.

  • doghousebrewery Jul 24, 2009

    from here on out--how about anyone that comments shoudl preface with if they live in Cary or not---mewubbau

    Sounds like another Cary "Ordinence Nazi" at work....

  • doghousebrewery Jul 24, 2009

    A prime reason why my family DOES NOT SHOP IN CARY....all thde businesses look the same from the front, especially in strip malls....you can't easliy spot one business over another. Businesses that use certain colors in their branding everywhere else on the planet are difficult to distinguish from one another when you are crusising by a mall at 45mph.

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