Food Lion blasts proposed Raleigh sign rules

Posted by Colin Campbell on February 24, 2014 

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Food Lion worries that proposed new restrictions on window signs could harm sales at its Raleigh stores, including this one on Strickland Road.

TRAVIS LONG — tlong@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Food Lion is joining a number of small businesses in opposing new window sign restrictions that Raleigh leaders are considering.

In response to a controversial electronic sign on Glenwood Avenue, city officials are considering regulating signs inside storefront windows the same way they would with outdoor signs. A city planning study determined that 24.1 percent of businesses would likely be in violation of the new rules.

If the Raleigh City Council approves the new rules, businesses would have three months to take down temporary signs. But non-temporary signs like the electronic one in Glenwood South would be grandfathered for five years because they represent a costly investment.

The proposal – now under review by the Raleigh Planning Commission – elicited a letter from Food Lion to city council members.

“While we understand the council’s desire to limit egregious signage, such significant restrictions would negatively impact Food Lion’s ability to communicate with customers,” wrote Jennifer Gardner, the company’s government relations manager.

“With 26 locations in the city of Raleigh, Food Lion utilizes window signage to notify potential customers of advertised product specials and highlight our emphasis on low prices. If the proposed ordinance were adopted, we estimate that it would reduce our building signage by more than 35 percent.”

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