Albion business owner says village too strict with signs

Photo by Tom Rivers: Vinny Navarra said this sign that says “Liquor” has resulted in a 50 percent boost in his business at Main Street Liquor & Wine in Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 April 2017 at 4:44 pm

ALBION – Last month Vinny Navarra said he put up a “flag” with the word “Liquor” to promote his business, Main Street Liquor & Wine, on Main Street.

The sign had a dramatic effect, boosting his sales by 50 percent in March, he said.

Village Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti said the flag shouldn’t be allowed because it is really a “fluttering device,” which is banned in the village code for signs.

He has sent Navarra a citation, saying the “Liquor” sign isn’t allowed. Navarra attended Wednesday’s Village Board meeting and said the sign has given his business a big boost.

“This is why everyone is moving out of the village,” Navarra told the board. “We’re picking on the damn signs.”

Vendetti said he is just doing his job, enforcing the codes. He referenced the village code, Section 290-95D, which states: “No sign or part thereof shall contain or consist of banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or similar fluttering devices.”

He suggested the Village Board look at the sign code, and make some revisions.

“My job as code enforcement officer is to enforce the code,” Vendetti said. “If the board wants to change the code, then change the code.”

Board members said they want to look at possibly making some revisions.

Trustee Pete Sidari said the village may need to make some modifications to stay current.

“I don’t want to see a lot of crazy stuff down there,” he said.

Board members said they will review the sign ordinance, and will seek input from the Historic Preservation Committee.

The general regulations of the sign ordiance also include:

A. No illuminated signs or outdoor illumination shall direct light in a way which would create a traffic hazard or nuisance or be unreasonably detrimental to adjoining or neighboring properties.

B. No sign shall be erected in such a manner as to confuse or obstruct the view of any traffic sign, signal or device.

C. Except for time and temperature signs, no sign shall be illuminated by or contain flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights.

E. No sign shall consist of animated or moving parts.

F. No sign shall be attached to fences, utility poles or trees.

G. No sign or sign support shall be erected or maintained above the peak of the roof of any building or structure.

H. No sign which obscures visibility at elevations between three and seven feet above street level shall be placed or maintained within 25 feet of the intersection of the street or highway lines.

I. No motor vehicle, mobile home or trailer on which is placed or painted any sign shall be parked or stationed in a manner primarily intended to display the sign.

J. No sound amplifiers, public address systems or other sound devices shall be used as a means of advertising or to attract attention to a sign.

K. No off-premises advertising signs shall be permitted other than as permitted under the exempt sign provisions of § 290-98 and directional signs as provided for in § 290-101A.

L. No advertising message shall be extended over more than one sign placed along a street or highway.

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