Dallas Businesses Refuse to Remove Signs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Numerous Dallas businesses are refusing to comply with a city ordinance regulating signs.

    The ordinance, which has been on the books for more than two years, prohibits signs from covering more than 15 percent of a business' windows or glass doors and from being placed in the upper two-thirds of the glass. Signs also must not cover more than 25 percent of a building's facade.

    Keep the Signs to a Minimum

    [DFW] Keep the Signs to a Minimum
    Some Dallas businesses say a city ordinance is hurting their bottom line. (Published Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011)

    Business owners say signs in the bottom third of the window cannot be seen from the parking lot or street if cars parked in front of their business.

    "You know the old saying, a business without a sign is a sign of no business," said Mark Thomi, owner of AAA Vacuum. "It's like so many things that happen at City Hall -- it doesn't get thought through."

    Interim Mayor Dwaine Caraway was a City Council member in 2008 when he supported the ordinance, saying less signage would look better and allow police to see into a convenience store if there was a robbery going on.

    "This is trash," he said. "This is over-proliferation of an advertisement. It's something that's also not safe."

    Chris Heinbaugh, Caraway's chief of staff, said Wednesday that the city wanted to revise unclear language in the ordinance so it will only apply to convenience stores and not other businesses.

    But the city halted the amendment process while a lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice on behalf of several businesses is pending.

    "If we have to remove our signage, then that removes our ability to compete," said Fernando Cerra, owner of Cerra Insurance. "I think it's a gross violation of my right to communicate with the community, just advertising my business."

    Many business owners are holding out on removing their signs. They have put up posters on their glass windows in protest and are hoping their citations will be thrown out.