F’ville Council eases sign rules to help merchants during holidays

The Fayetteville City Council at the Nov. 18 meeting gave local businesses a better shot at increased sales during the holiday shopping season.

The council unanimously approved a resolution allowing businesses to display two additional display banners during the holiday season along with the two banners per year they are currently permitted under the sign ordinance.

“The request essentially asks for two more banners,” City Planner Linwood Robinson told the council, explaining that the request by business owners was in response to the continuing state of the local retail economy. “We’ve received business requests to be able to display additional banner signs through the holiday shopping season.”

Robinson said city planning staff recommended that the measure providing for two additional banner signs be approved with an expiration date of Jan. 18. The use of additional temporary banner signs expired in early September. The temporary measure approved Nov. 18 expires in mid-January.

Robinson in a recent memo said since the expiration of the measure in September that allowed the display of up to four temporary banner signs per year the city planning department had received a number of communications from businesses that reflected the need to find ways to enhance their sales.

“Since the expiration of the resolution, staff has received an overwhelming number of complaints and inquiries surrounding the continuation of the expanded provisions, particularly related to the display of additional banners,” Robinson said a Nov. 18 memo. “These complaints have been of a general nature and most who complain would like the expansion to continue until the economic situation has improved. But as the holidays approach many retailers and businesses have requested that they be allowed to display additional banners at least through the holiday season.”

Commenting on the issue, Mayor Ken Steele said the ability to display additional banner signs was worthwhile for the local economy.

“We’ve seen a bit of an uptick in the local economy. This would provide a good stimulus for helping business owners maximize their business efforts,” Steele said.