Newington small business owners say a recent moratorium on temporary signs is costing them serious money.
On Wednesday, at a public meeting, more than 50 employers and the Chamber of Commerce urged the zoning commission to end a controversial ban.
"There's been a drastic drop off in walk-up traffic. I would say it's down 75 percent since we haven't been able to put our sign up,” said Fred Carter, who owns K.C.’s Collectibles.
He said the town forced him to move his sandwich board from the sidewalk to right outside his business. He says the sign doesn't do much good there and it technically still violates the ban.
“To be in the Newington business district and not be able to advertise our business properly is detrimental and upsetting and I hope they change their mind,” Carter said.
Zoning Board Chair Dominic Pane said he understands the complaints but the ban is necessary until the board comes up with a policy that protects businesses but also ensures the signs don't create any beautification or safety issues.
“Our intention is not to kill the temporary signs permanently our intentions are to make it a better sign system for all the businesses and the community,” Pane said.
But Carter said he doesn't understand why the ban, which will run until at least June 30, had to be enacted while they board hashed everything out.
Now Carter just pleads with town leaders to move quickly. His business depends on it.
“We enjoy what we do but we also want to let people know that we're here and when they restrict our advertising it's very difficult,” Carter said.
The Chamber of Commerce sent the board a letter with a list of recommendations including using identical a frame signs throughout the town.
Pane says city leaders will try and implement some of the suggestions.
Business owners say right now they could be fined up to $125 for putting up a temporary sign.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.