WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– An ongoing problem plaguing the city of Wilmington is what city leaders are going to do about sign regulations. With recent enforcement of the current ordinance, business owners have been up in arms. Thursday night the city held a public meeting in which they received feedback from those stakeholders.
“I think we all want an attractive city,” said Jim Bitto, President of the Downtown Business Alliance. “I think we all want the same things and it’s a matter of how we work together to get there.”
The results from the meeting seemed pretty clear. In a survey done by the Downtown Business Alliance polling 100 shops, the highest percentage of business owners said 50% of window coverage would be a reasonable balance.
In the city’s makeshift poll, the response was overwhelming that the public wants an increase to the allotted 10%.
“I will not agree to a percentage of what’s acceptable and not acceptable,” said Hunter Ford, a downtown business owner. “I will on the outside of my window, but on the inside of my window, I pay way to much money in rent to compromise what we are doing. I was told by one of the code enforcement officers that my sunglass display case is considered a sign and that’s totally inappropriate.”
The city is acknowledging that past changes in the ordinance were not communicated well. To make sure that doesn’t happen again, this public forum was held.
“They need to know that we are here just to take their input,” said Deputy City Manager Tony Caudle. “We’ve reached out to them, but I will guarantee you that somebody somewhere down the line will tell us I didn’t know about this.”
The results from Thursday nights meeting will be presented to city council and then discussed further at next Tuesday’s Wilmington City Council meeting.