Town Puts the Squeeze on Merchant Signs

Town wanted to ban these signs . . .

Town officials wanted to ban these signs next to the Coffee House on Mason Avenue . . .

. . . but the new 20-page ordinance goes a lot further, including restricting the Town's own new Harbor advertising.

. . . but the new 20-page ordinance goes a lot further, including restricting the Town’s own new Harbor advertising.

Cape Charles Wave

December 23, 2013

Cape Charles Town Council enacted a tough new sign ordinance December 19 that appears to place a number of local merchants, especially real estate agents, in violation of the law.

“This ordinance does not attempt to regulate what messages can be placed on signs, as that is a matter of free speech,” Town Planner Rob Testerman told Town Council. But the new 20-page ordinance (the old ordinance was 5 pages) goes into great detail about what messages can and cannot be on signs:

Another example of

Another “development complex sign” — or is it a “billboard”? Either way, it doesn’t appear to meet the new Town sign ordinance.

Signs posted inside storefront windows are limited to “advertising weekly specials or special services offered for a limited time by a business establishment.” This appears to be aimed at the storefront adjacent to the Cape Charles Coffee House,
which typically features signs protesting Town Council’s sale of the Old School in Central Park. (The signs have been replaced with Christmas greetings during the holiday season.) Signs inside store windows “shall not exceed 25 percent of the window area on which such signs are displayed,” which catches the large “Don’t Answer That” shown above. But it also catches the sign in the door of Brown Dog Ice Cream. [Read more…]