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Downtown sign amendment proposed, will go to City Council

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s a tug of war over window signs at Wilmington businesses. The City of Wilmington held a public meeting Thursday on downtown regulations for window signs, unveiling an amendment to the current ordinance.

The new plan allows for signs, which includes temporary signs, to cover up to 50 percent of a window. The current rule only allows for 10 percent.

“I think that will really meet the needs of a lot of the businesses, especially the ones that may have what was considered excessive signage,” said Chris Andrews, a manager at Front Street Brewery and member of the Downtown Business Alliance. “We’re very appreciative that the city has been willing to work with the businesses in downtown.”

But to some business owners, the resolution is not good enough.

“I just think this is just a way to control the way things look too much,” said Hunter Ford, the owner of Momentum Surf and Skate. “What we rent inside of these spaces and what we own inside of these spaces should be up to us.”

“It was a smoke and mirrors show and I didn’t fall for it,” said Justin LaNasa, who owns Hardwire Tattoo.

Thursday was the third public meeting held, where downtown stakeholders came together to share ideas on how to improve the sign regulation.

“This has really shown that they city is willing to listen to stake holders, be it downtown, midtown, bordering the town,” Andrews said.

Ford says the meetings did nothing to solve the problem.

“I went to several of them and it was the same people talking about the same things,” Ford said. “The city has already made their mind up on what they want to happen.”

It seems the debate will not be settled any time soon, so for now the signs are not clear.

The draft recommendation will be presented to the Planning Committee in April and then to City Council in May.

More: continued here

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