Mesquite hopes to make it easier for businesses to market themselves with a new ordinance on movable signs such as "teardrops" and "swooper" flags.
Previously, such signs were not permitted in the city.
"Mesquite is very pro-business, very business-friendly," city spokesman Wayne Larson said. "You can look at our project-renewal efforts and see us trying to create more business-friendly opportunities, and this movable-sign ordinance is just yet another example."
For new small businesses, such as Ray's Catfish, it's an opportunity to get noticed when not in a prime location.
"Our location is at a disadvantage because we're on the corner," owner Ray Smith said. "And if you're driving down the highway or the service road, you really can't see us. By the time you see us, it's too late, and you just keep going along."
The annual permit fee will be $200, payable to the city.
Some ground rules for businesses to follow under the new ordinance for signs:
- Must be a maximum size of 30 square feet and a maximum height of 15 feet.
- No more than two such signs per business per street frontage.
- May only be displayed Fridays through Sundays and official holidays.
- May not be used on street frontage where the business is using a banner.
- There must be a 10 feet separation between the movable signs.
Printing businesses such as Accurate Signs in Mesquite said the ordinance gives them one more item to sell. Accurate Signs said it receives calls about swooper flags or teardrops nearly every day.
But Frank Block of Accurate Signs said the price would discourage businesses.
"It's a baby step in the right direction," he said. "But it's still highly restrictive in the idea that the store owner has to pay $200 for a store permit, [which] is going to kill it."