City reminds business owners of sign ordinance regulations

The planning division is reminding business owners that although the city's sign ordinance has been relaxed to give merchants an edge in the down economy, it hasn't been thrown out the window.

A drive down Carson and East William streets shows a number of businesses that aren't complying with the regulations on banners, flags and A-frames.

Carson City Planning Director Lee Plemel said that although the 30-day limit has been suspended, the number of ads per business remains limited.

The regulations for Carson City code read in part: "Only one free-standing temporary sign device, including but not limited to banners, changeable promotional flags and A-frame signs may be used at any given time per business on a single street frontage."

Omitted from the regulations were clauses requiring that banners or flags be securely attached to the business' structure. The regulations are in effect through the end of 2012.

"These are pretty much the same regulations that have been in place for the past couple of years, but we're putting out a reminder," said Plemel.

Bobby Thind, owner and general manager of Mart Liquor on North Carson Street, says he knows he has a lot of banners on his store, but he tries to keep it tasteful.

"We try to make it look nice and not put up any funky signs," he said. "It attracts more people than if you put up 20 million signs."

Due to reduced staff, Plemel said, enforcement has been handled on a complaint basis only.

"We haven't had a chance to address a lot of others yet, but expect to do so in the next couple of months. We can't cite one without citing the rest of them. We have to be fair," he said.

"From a community standpoint, there is an aesthetic quality that the regulations address, but from a business standpoint, you want your sign to be occasional and to stand out," he said.

Steve Reynolds, who owns Sign Pro on North Carson Street, agrees.

"If it starts looking too cluttery, you don't see any one thing," Reynolds said.

"For some, it's the more the merrier, but I think that too many promotional signs clutter it up and people driving by don't see them or take time to read them," he said.

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