Raleigh Report

N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association blasts proposed Raleigh sign restrictions

The state’s main lobbying group for restaurants is the latest business interest to oppose Raleigh’s proposed new sign restrictions.

Lynn Minges, president and CEO of the N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association, asked the Raleigh City Council to vote against the measure in a recent letter.

“Our member restaurants in Raleigh rely on indoor window signs to publicize their products, their daily or weekly specials, and their holiday promotions,” Minges said. “While we understand the need to regulate the size and location of outdoor signs, NCRLA is not aware of any other jurisdiction that regulates indoor window signs. We see no public health, safety or welfare reason for doing so.”

Minges said that “hundreds if not thousands” of businesses would find themselves in violation because most are already using the maximum allowed outdoor signage.

“Adoption of this proposal will in effect eliminate indoor window signs and hurt the abilities of our members to sustain and grow their businesses,” she wrote.

Van Eure, owner of the Angus Barn on Glenwood Avenue, sent a similar message to the city council last week. “I firmly believe window signs have done more to grow businesses over the years than any other advertising medium, including television, radio and print,” she wrote.

The proposal that would force up to a quarter of Raleigh storefronts to take down signs by regulating what they put in windows. The push for stricter rules followed complaints about a flashy electronic sign at Glenwood South, but the current proposal would limit traditional unlit signs too.

Raleigh council members are planning to appoint a task force to review the proposal.