See the picture of our beautiful awning.  It’s not there anymore.  The City of Sanford made us take it down because it didn’t fit the new code.  It will cost us $2,000 to get it remade to code, but we can’t have it in green and white which have been our colors for 14 years.  They want the entire plaza to look the same.  The only other business in the plaza that has an awning has been there two years (compared to our 14) and has a black awning with gold letters.  They also have a greek key pattern on the bottom of their awning that we are told we MUST have too.  We don’t like their sign.  We also don’t understand why the city is suddenly cracking down on businesses, many of which are struggling and forcing them to spend money on redoing signage, or lose business because they have to take down existing signs.

We took our awning down and cut it up and hung it in the windows.  It doesn’t show quite as well, but it serves for the moment while we plan our sign strategy.  We did try to comply with a black and gold sign, but the city came back with the text all squished together and it looked very unappealing.  

Now we are looking at hanging a large wooden sign under the overhang.  Our next challenge is to convince our landlord this will look good as it is different from the other tenant way down at the other end of the plaza.  Everyone has had to make changes.  The new ordinances also decreed that signage and lettering in windows can’t be more that 50% of the total window.   The other three tenants all opted not to have awnings.  

I agree with not having plazas look trashy, but our plaza looked good, with individual businesses displaying their individual, neat, clean and appropriate signs.

Hopefully, our landlord and the city will sign on to our idea!