Atascadero’s crackdown on nonconforming signs and banners is working. Over the past two months most of them have disappeared along El Camino Real. We’re looking better already.
I applaud the city’s effort, backed with support from the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, which has resulted in vinyl banners, A-frame signs and more to be pulled from storefronts, sidewalks, light poles and trees.
It isn’t an easy task enforcing local ordinances. In fact, no sooner did the city get rid of an illegal sign in the landscaping in front of the Vons commercial center than a fast-food restaurant plopped another in just about the same place. It is still there.
Do we have to start counting how long it will take to remove this newest violation?
The rest of us could help by filing complaints with the city. Forms to report sign violations are available at the bottom floor “public counter” in city hall.
I’m going to drop in and pick up a few of those forms myself.
And I’m going to attend the sign symposium on Thursday.
The symposium will he held in the City Council’s fourth-floor chambers from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The theme is “Improve Atascadero Signage Campaign” and will feature Alfredo Castillo, community development department, with a sign ordinance Q&A; Tim Bauman, All Signs and Graphics, on best sign practices for your business; and Linda Hendy, the chamber’s executive director.
I know from talking with members of the City Council and staff that everyone is bending over backward to make conformance a reality by providing information on what the ordinance (on signs) does and does not allow. There have not been any heavy-handed approaches so far other than informing those businesses displaying nonconforming signs and providing them time to remove and replace them.
I’d rather just go rip the sign out of the ground, which I have done numerous times over the past 20 years. But the city’s “nice guy” approach appears to be working as well.
There will always exist that 10 percent, that percentage of the population that never gets the word, or if it does, ignores it.
Let’s applaud the 90 percent who are working to make Atascadero a more attractive place in which to live and do business, and keep the full press on those who think the city’s zoning restrictions (can you say “sign ordinance”?) is not for them.