Interior Business Signs May Soon Change

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A proposed change to the sign ordinance could force business owners to remove signs from inside their windows.

Councilors are considering a change to the city’s sign ordinance that would alter the definition of a sign to include those that are placed on the inside of windows. An old interpretation of the current law states anything on the inside of a window is not considered a sign. This change would clear up the language and specify that a sign is either placed on the inside or the outside of the glass.

The city already regulates the square footage of wall signage in a business, and signs inside windows would be considered wall signs.

An interior sign just off Glenwood Avenue.

Staff / Raleigh Public Record

An interior sign just off Glenwood Avenue.

Members of the Law and Public Safety Committee this week voted 2-1 for the proposed change to be heard at a public hearing in February. Meanwhile, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance will work with business owners to find out how many would be adversely affected by the change.

Councilor John Odom voted against.

Along Glenwood South, a staff analysis showed that 51 of 75 properties had window signs. Of those signs, 39 were considered permanent and 12 were not. Staff found that seven businesses wouldn’t be in compliance with the new law.

If approved by the full Council in January, businesses would have more than five years to come into compliance.

The issue came to the Council after complaints from residents about a lit window sign in a realty office at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Peace Street.

While the sign would not be in compliance with the new code because of its size, city staff found that the amount of light emitted was well below the city’s allowed limits.

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