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Sparks asks council to reconsider sign rules

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Discussions on a controversial downtown Wilmington sign ordinance are far from over. Tomorrow City Council will talk about possibly suspending enforcement of the law.

Councilman Ronald Sparks is bringing the ordinance back in front of council. He says the city needs to take a step back to hear from those affected.

We have heard from business owners and residents who all say the City of Wilmington’s sign ordinance, which prevents business owners from using more than 10 percent of their own window is hurting more than helping the Central Business District.

With all the outcry, City Council Tuesday will consider suspending the enforcement of the ordinance.

“I want to pull the sign ordinance section for downtown until we give the stakeholders a chance to get back at the table, staff to tell me why did we act on these particular items? What was the motivation?” Sparks said.

Sparks is spearheading the effort to take another look at the law. He admits he was part of the council that put it into effect back in 2008, but he admits much of the controversy at the time was about outdoor signs and not the signs and posters placed on businesses windows.

“When you put a set of rules on the table you have to have a reason for the rule,” Sparks said. “Then you have to ask the question does the rule achieve the goal that was set forth in that reason.”

Sparks says many business owners and citizens have contacted him saying the ordinance does not do much to make downtown any better. The councilman hopes a suspension will give the city and the community time to work together and “post” their concerns.

Sparks expects council to approve the suspension. He says if it passes the suspension could be in place for two to three months.

More: continued here

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