The city of Montgomery is cracking down on business signs - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

City cracks down on business signs

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Drue Fortune recently opened the Commerce Street Soda Shop and says signs outside his store and another at the corner help attract customers.

"A lot of people from the hotels, they see our sign out front with daily specials."

That won't be the case much longer.

"If we don't take a firm stance on this, it will proliferate and really end up as to littering our city," says Deputy Mayor, Jeff Downes.

He says when the city council adopted the Smart Code six years ago, it prohibited temporary signage in areas renovated to meet the new code.

Downtown, the stretch of Madison Avenue leading to downtown, and Maxwell Boulevard are examples. Since their renovation, the temporary sign restriction hasn't been enforced.

"Sandwich boards, flashing arrowed signs," says Downes.

Even banners and neon signs blanket the areas--resulting in what Downes says is a "cluttering of the fresh investment that just was made."

The city is now sending notices to business owners who are violating the ordinance.

Fortune could get one, but says he sees both sides.

"I can understand the city's point. There is a large beautification going on in downtown Montgomery. But if it's done tastefully I don't really see where the issue would lie."

Even city officials will have to practice what they preach when it comes to enforcing signage rules. They admit some of their portable sandwich signs and temporary ones will have to go, too."

"We have to clean up our act as well," says Downes.

Business owners will get a grace period to take down the signs. If they refuse, they could wind up in court.

City officials are also trying to clean up Montgomery by holding an Atlanta Highway charette.  It's starts at 7:00 Thursday night at Faulkner University.

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