Chris Van Horne, Fort Worth Reporter
Last fall the Fort Worth City Council approved new zoning rules for a portion of Camp Bowie Boulevard, but now those sign rules are being enforced and a few business owners aren't happy about it.
A Camp Bowie business owner said he isn't happy that zoning rules ban portable signs along the boulevard.
Last fall, the Fort Worth City Council approved new zoning rules for a portion of Camp Bowie Boulevard from Interstate 30 to Loop 820 to help foster redevelopment.
Rob Schlein, owner of Dan's Big & Tall, said the city told him two weeks ago that his portable sign by the sidewalk has to be taken down when his 30-day permit expires.
He said he was not aware that the signs are prohibited once permits expire and didn't understand why it took until now to take the signs away.
"If this was passed in November, why now are you just getting to us?" he asked.
Schlein said losing his portable sign out front would be bad for business.
"In a recession, it doesn't seem right that the city can now say, 'No, we don't want you to have the most valuable marketing tool you can have,'" he said.
The city said enforcement of the ban was likely initiated after complaints.
Lisa Powers, president of the Camp Bowie Historic District, said the rules are intended to make the nine-mile stretch of Camp Bowie a more walkable destination and urban village. Portable signs were not thought of as being part of a tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly village.
But the zoning can be changed if certain parts of the boulevard view the signs as a way to sustain business, Powers said.
"We find ways to always improve, just like we do with any ordinance, as we move along in the future, so it's not all said and done forever," she said. "It's something that will continue to evolve."
Schlein said he hopes for such an evolution.
"We think they should be grandfathered in for a time, at least until the bulldozers are out," he said, saying he supports revitalization, but not when it's decades away and could come at a cost to his business.
But he said he's not sure if it's worth his time to go back to the district and city to get the changes approved.
"It didn't sound like a very quick resolution for sure," Schlein said.