WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Some call it an icon standing strong for more than 50 years, but the City of Wilmington does not think this restaurant sign should stay up.
The owner of Flip's Bar-B-Que House on Oleander Drive received a notice from the city to take down his sign by tomorrow, but after we started making calls, the city says it made a mistake, and the sign can stay up a little longer.
Monday Flip's owner Bob Church was getting ready to tear his beloved sign down. After standing tall for more than half a century, the City of Wilmington told Church the sign is too big and too close to the road.
"I wouldn't complain, but since it's an antique sign, and I know they have regulations, I understand it, but they should have started it as of 2000, 2001, 2002 and regulate the signs," Church said. "But there's 180 signs that have to come down on Oleander Drive. I mean, it's crazy."
When we started working on this story Monday morning, we contacted the city for more information on the rules and regulations governing signs like the one at Flip's. Our inquiry led to the city finding paperwork allowing Church time to take his sign down had the wrong date. The documents said church had until Tuesday, but it turns out Flip's has until September 1, 2012.
Still, customers think the sign should stay up for good.
"It's a landmark," customer Matt White said. "It's been there for 50 years. You know, why continue to harass people over something that is so insignificant? It's a good ways off the street. Maybe 15 to 20 feet. They're just looking for something."
Church says the sign will stay for now. He's canceled the crane and crew to take it down. He says he plans to wait as long as possible to take it down, which should be August 31, 2012.
The city says the reason the sign must come down are rules that took effect when it annexed that stretch of Oleander in 2000. The sign changes were supposed to happen last year, but the city granted a two-year extension in August.