Tips for Dealing with Sign Zoning Issues
There are no easy answers if communities choose to look at digital signage as a detriment that must be tightly regulated. Your local sign company can help educate communities and convey the message of digital signs as an advertising method producing great results for business owners, but you’ll also need to be a part of the process. Here are four things to remember when it comes to dealing with zoning issues:
First, ask for help. Get involved with a local sign company who knows the code and perhaps knows city officials. It’s going to take more than relationships to improve the situation, but starting off with a partner who is familiar with the local government can help you gain common ground more quickly.
Second, have a plan. Know what kind of sign you want and how you’ll use it. Request a traffic study and project the impact the sign will have on your business. There is an abundance of material available on the economic benefits of signage and digital signage. City planners want local businesses to grow, so show a realistic plan that demonstrates what the addition of the sign will mean for your business and your tax contribution.
Third, talk to neighbors. Not every location is well suited to an LED sign. It’s important to talk to neighbors about their concerns. Work with your sign company or Watchfire representatives to see how those concerns might be addressed. Many times the sign’s design, along with brightness or hold time settings, can be managed in a way that soothes apprehension or upholds aesthetic requirements.
Finally, be willing to make concessions along the way, especially at hearings and with sign zoning codes. Remembering that you are dealing with people and emotions so don’t take things personally. Your sign company partner and if possible a Watchfire representative should attend meetings with you. Calmly describe your project and present your plan, and be prepared to listen to objections. You may need to agree to certain modifications to the sign in order to proceed with the project. It’s important to demonstrate that you are flexible and willing to adapt in order to find a solution.
When it comes to zoning and permitting, if you have gathered facts, talked to neighbors, and have a solid understanding of the impact to your business, you should be able to alleviate fears. Questions and objections are often born out of a lack of understanding, so it may take more than one hearing or presentation, but be patient, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.