Downtown business owners hope for middle ground with Council on signage
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- For months now Wilmington City Council has looked at regulating signage in business storefronts. At tonight's City Council meeting, business owners hope they can find some kind of middle ground with city leaders.

Through an online survey and multiple public meetings, downtown stakeholders said they would compromise with 50 percent window coverage. At a recent public hearing the city's planning commission recommended 25 percent coverage.

Small business owners we spoke with today say there will be some backlash at tonights council meeting because of that number. They say the signage should be based on the needs of each individual retailer.

Terry Espy, who owns an art gallery downtown, says she does not need the 50 percent coverage, but she supports the downtown business owners who do.

"We're here standing behind the rest of the retailers down here," Espy said. "The goal is to get people down here that feel good about being downtown and reflect a really good image."

We called multiple members of Wilmington City Council to see how they feel about the sign ordinance, but we either did not get calls back or they were unavailable.

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I wish they'd focus on all the campaign signs that litter the roadside for months. Nothing more picturesque than an intersection or median filled with 30 campaign signs for the same person.

Campaign signs are litter. Period.

They create a chaotic environment that encourages others to litter.

Laws must be passed to prevent these signs from blighting our streets and roads.

My suggestion to the public: When you see these signs, pull your car over, snatch them up, and take them to a waste disposal facility.

And here's a message for all you politician litterbugs: Don't litter!

Unfortunately, NC law allows election signs to be placed up to thirty days before early voting begins.

Of course they are unavailable. They might face some tough questions. You can bet that if some merchant held a news conference telling us how wonderful they are, every one of them would suddenly become availible.