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By Lisa Loomis
A Waitsfield business owner asked the Waitsfield Select Board to work with local businesses on how to better utilize and regulate sandwich board signs rather than simply creating an easier way to enforce existing sign ordinances.
Troy Kingsbury, owner of the Village Grocery in Waitsfield Village, came to the board on July 23 and, during the board's public forum, asked if the board would consider a less draconian measure than enhancing its ability to levy fines and enforce its ordinance.
He said that local businesses were struggling this summer and lacked the money to pursue traditional advertising and marketing. He said that for some, signage, banners and sandwich boards at their businesses were their best bet. He asked the board if the town would consider creating a town-sanctioned sandwich board which could be used a certain number of times per year.
Business owners, he said, could be required to apply for permits for such boards and meet standards in terms of size, readability and length of time they are out in front of businesses. Board members discussed the idea with him but did not make any decisions. His visit came as a result of a July 9 discussion of the board wherein they talked about how to better enforce the sign ordinance -- which prohibits sandwich boards. At that meeting, board member Sal Spinosa brought to the board his frustration with people not obeying the sign ordinance. In particular, he said, sandwich board signs appeared regularly throughout the town, in violation of the ordinance.
He told the board that he was interested in removing enforcement of the sign ordinance from the town's zoning administrator and have it enforced through the municipality instead.