Tyler's sign controversy may be at end - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tyler's sign controversy may be at end

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The sign controversy in Tyler appears to have finally come to an end.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, Tyler City Council voted to ease restrictions on commercial signs throughout the city. Both sides hope new laws bring new income.

"We're pleased with what the city's done," said Kevin Lewis.

"I think it's a happy medium," said Chris Harry, with Academy Homes and Transport. "There's not going to be a lot of trashy signs everywhere."

Vehicles speeding past Academy Homes in Tyler will soon see more than their lone sign.

"It was very difficult for the community to see us but I think we'll be able to put ourselves right back on the map now," said Harry.

The banners' owner Chris Harry was allowed by permit to show two months out of the year came down and so did his business - close to 75% of his clientele. So he took his problem to the city and found he wasn't alone.

"We also had a number of other small businesses that indicated they were being impacted particularly in this downed economy that we have had," said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass.

More East Texans shared their thoughts online. A city survey shed light on the controversial sign issue, prompting the city council to act.

"I think this is very positive for small business owners," said Bass. "They can have a business focused banner promoting themselves year-round without having to have a permit or pay a fee."

The revised ordinance now allows businesses to display one temporary sign for every 500 feet of lot space. No permit. No 30 day limit.

For Chris Harry, the new version opens up close to 1200 feet of fence.

Businesses are not wasting any time. At Cutter Equipment, Kevin Lewis tied down a brand new banner.

"I think with the state of the economy that we need to be able to do anything we can signs or banners to be able to draw the customers in," said Lewis.

"I think it's a win for the public for the business community and for the city as a whole all the way around," said Harry.

They are striking the balance between beauty and the bottom line.

The city council encourages feedback and says citizens should share their concerns or complaints. Rules such as the sign ordinance come under review annually, giving residents a chance to contribute their thoughts to any changes.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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