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Fewer Signs On Raleigh Roadways Two Months After Crackdown

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh leaders say things are looking much neater across the city after it began enforcing a temporary sign ordinance in May.

After complaints about the city's messy appearance, Raleigh started enforcing an ordinance that banned temporary signs placed on a public right of way.

Since that time, inspectors have issued nearly 200 citations, with more than 60 written on the weekends. People continue to call City Hall daily to report the signs.

But the illegal signs are helpful to Mark Beelaert, the owner of Planet Fitness.

Beelaert says 60 percent of his business comes from the signs. Under the ordinance, he was allowed to get a 30-day permit to post a sign for his grand opening.

"After that, you could say Russian roulette for," Beelaert said. "If we put the signs out, do we get caught or not get caught? They are very valuable to us."

And they are a valuable part of Sign-A-Rama. Many temporary signs at the store sit blank. Mike Thigpen estimates 25 percent of his in-house work is now gone.

"It's definitely a concern," Thigpen said.

For some city leaders, the bigger concern is how the city looks.

"Any business would have to adjust to market conditions, and of course, this was a law that was previously passed," said Raleigh City Council member Thomas Crowder. "We're just enforcing the law."

The city vows to enforce the rules seven days a week.

Inspectors say they are not seeing a lot of new subdivision and realtor signs on weekends. They say most signs are from retail businesses that think the city only works five days a week.


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