Reprrinted here with permssion of Ms. Handley:
Dear Editor (Nisqually Valley News’ Keven Graves):
I am glad to see that signage is on the agenda in the city of Yelm. Without the Mayor defining business friendly I have to question where this discussion is going. How far is the Community Development Department and the Yelm City Council going to go allowing this scourge to litter our streets with business friendly signage? Are they going to continue to play favorites?
Retail businesses have made a large investment in Yelm already. It is important to allow them flexibility in outdoor advertising. Special events, including the ones the city sponsors, local real estate agents, garage sales and political campaigns cannot be immune from signage rules. What has blanketed Yelm exponentially these past many months has been the signage that developers have accosted us with. Our main streets and side streets, sometimes more than five in an intersection by the same company, sometimes with people bouncing them up and down, are an affront to every driver and resident.
These signs are bunched together regularly at the intersections of 507/510, Yelm Highway at Longmire and at Five Corners. What an insult to our retailers who established businesses here, play by the rules and who have to compete with this offensive sales tactic right under their noses! Why do home owners have to tolerate looking out their windows only to have these signs staring back at them?
I would have fees and fines levied by _each_ sign, not each sandwich board or each location, with qualifying levels playing a factor. The cost of a garage sale sign would be one fee/fine. Real estate companies should pay another level along with special events. Political and other campaign signs smear the city whether they stick in the ground or are pasted like bumper stickers to anything that stands up straight. Each sign that is left beyond noon following voting day should be fined and paid by the campaign. Developers fall into another level unto themselves and should be thought of more along the lines of signage impact fees. Just because they can afford it, should not mean that we have to live with their signs for years to come in some cases, blistering our eyes until all their tens, hundreds and thousands of houses are sold!
The city employee that is in charge of signage should have a workweek that includes the weekend. More signs of every variety spring up Friday through Sunday than appear during the weekdays. These should not go unchallenged. He/she can collect them after validating their location with a digital camera.
We may be growing, becoming more like a big city each week, but we should not have to look like one.