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Raleigh businesses concerned about proposed changes to city's sign rules

Posted March 1

Raleigh city leaders are considering a proposal that would further restrict the use of signs on store windows, and some business owners believe the measure would make it more difficult for them to advertise their products and services.
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— Raleigh city leaders are considering a proposal that would further restrict the use of signs in store windows, and some business owners believe the measure would make it more difficult for them to advertise their products and services. 

The proposed changes made their way to city leaders after several people complained about an electronic billboard in the window of a real estate office on Glenwood South. 

City Council member Thomas Crowder said the electronic billboard was distracting to drivers. 

"When you went by it was like the light of the sun," he said. 

The new sign regulations would be based on the size of the business. The bigger the business, the more opportunities owners would have to hang signs. 

Thomas Lashley, who co-owns the Leather and Wood Furniture Gallery on Glenwood Avenue with his brother, said the changes would hurt his business. 

"We're a small store trying to compete with large chains," he said. "(The) economy is slow. Everything we can get to get people in our store makes a difference for us."

Lashley said the signs in his store windows get people to stop while driving down Glenwood Avenue. 

Crowder said there are other ways to get people to visit Raleigh businesses.

"With this day and age, you have WRAL-TV, the newspaper, coupons in the mail, the Internet, there are plenty of ways to do it without advertising on the glass," Crowder said.

Lashley balked at that idea, saying his business can't compete with the budgets of bigger stores.

"We cannot compete with newspaper, television with the larger chains," he said. 

Crowder also said the proposed changes are designed to make Raleigh more attractive. 

"Our quality of life is what is very important to businesses who locate here, and it's what makes our retail community strong," he said.

Crowder also said the signs pose a safety risk if police cannot see within a business. 

The proposal is still being tweaked by the planning commission, but it will eventually go before the Raleigh City Council for a public hearing and final vote.

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  • ncprr1 Mar 3, 4:13 p.m.

    RGMTRocks - Where do you see he is a Leftie? Not to say he isn't, just don't see that anywhere.

    — Posted by wanderer

    I didn't see that there either, but I think it is pretty safe to assume, seeing that he is trying to screw-over small business owners. That's their calling card.

  • monkeyboy Mar 3, 3:24 p.m.

    horrible idea. this isn't cary.

    that said, if they do pass it, the first sign to go had better be that abc-11 ticker on fayetteville street.

  • Billy the Kid Mar 3, 3:02 p.m.

    Thank goodness we have liberals like the RCC looking out for us.

  • dmccall Mar 3, 2:52 p.m.

    So Crowder feels that it is more appropriate for a small business to PAY someone else to get the word out than to use a message on their OWN property? Talk about turning your back on the little guy!

  • wanderer Mar 3, 2:43 p.m.

    RGMTRocks - Where do you see he is a Leftie? Not to say he isn't, just don't see that anywhere.

  • RGMTRocks Mar 3, 2:11 p.m.

    Lefties again...............

  • momeeee Mar 3, 11:43 a.m.

    This is ridiculous! If you are paying the rent you can put whatever signage you want in your window!