Some business owners in Old Saybrook claim the public works department went shopping for signs this week…by taking theirs.
Eyewitness News received several complaints from businesses in town saying their signs were all of a sudden taken by the Old Saybrook Public Works Department.
According to Planning and Zoning, they’ve been doing this for the past seven years because they’re illegal.
Interior designer Kathleen Atkinson just opened up her shop Kaki and Candy three-and-a-half months ago. She relied on the street signs to help direct her customers to the store that's a little difficult to find.
"We are in a difficult location but we are doing very well and it was disturbing having the signs being taken,” Atkinson said.
If you look around town, you will see plenty of sandwich boards and other signs promoting businesses.
But Planning and Zoning Director Christina Costa said every year they send warning letters to businesses that violate the zoning laws with illegal signs...signs on town or state property or signs that are blocking public access.
This year they notified more than 70 businesses back in July that they need to comply.
"They are a public safety hazard, they're put in parking spaces, and they’re put in pedestrian ways where people are walking. They have strollers, they are trip hazards. So, we're just enforcing the rules,” Costa said.
The truckload of signs that were picked up this week are being held at the town's recycling center for business owners to retrieve at some point.
Atkinson said the sign is an expense she can’t afford to lose.
"It’s very important to the sustainability of our business,” Atkinson said.
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