Niagara Gazette

Local News

August 20, 2013

Sign law comes up for discussion in the Village of Lewiston


Niagara Gazette — But the new proposal eliminates this. It eliminates the signs altogether. And some Lewiston business owners, Simon included, don't like the proposal.

"There should be some sort of regulation," Simon said. "Like a fee every time a sign's left out. If I had to pay $50 every time I forgot to pull my sign in, you better bet I'm bringing my sign in. Money talks."

A complete ban on A-frame signs, which are usually obstructing sidewalks for effectiveness in advertising, would also have an adverse effect on the village government itself.

Marianne Gittermann, director of the village's recreation department, said getting rid of the signs would hurt her department's ability to advertise events the day they're happening. She said she puts her sign out at the start of her events and is quick to bring it in as soon as it's over. But the sign's still being used, which would break the law if the ban is adopted.

So she pleaded with the five-member village board to leave the signs alone or find a more inclusive way of regulating their use.

"As a part of the village, we would definitely follow the law," she said. "But as a part of the village, we also don't have any money to advertise. We rely on our sign. I'd like you to reconsider 'sandwich board' signs."

A final law isn't expected until at least September, as Slagenhoupt finishes his work on it. But finding a way to regulate signs to keep them out of the public right-of-way while allowing businesses and event planners to advertise is a tricky task.

Board members were concerned of any law's effectiveness, questioning how allowing A-frame signs would accomplish what needs to be done.

"It's a fine line between business friendly and trying to maintain the ambiance of the village," Trustee Bruce Sutherland said.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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