Bonner Gaylord: Signs of the times

April 1, 2014 

National lists tout Raleigh’s bright and creative community of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Traveling through our community, evidence of these innovative businesses is strikingly absent. Why?

Raleigh’s signage regulations, originally written the year I was born (1977), prevent these businesses from establishing a public presence. Nobody wants our beautiful city blighted by huge billboards and obnoxious signs.

However, from the perspective of a Raleigh City Councilor, I am increasingly concerned about the lack of aesthetic diversity and unique character throughout our great city. As a board member of Shop Local Raleigh and general manager of North Hills, I see the severely detrimental impact that these regulations have on our small and locally owned businesses who lack massive national advertising budgets.

It is time for us to allow our local businesses to promote themselves within a new set of regulations appropriate for our growing metropolis. It is time for us to step back and rewrite our signage regulations from the ground up.

Bonner Gaylord

Raleigh

The writer is a member of the Raleigh City Council.

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