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New sign ordinance confuses some AM business owners

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Menu signs such as this one at Rudy’s, 9806 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, are allowed, building official Bob Welch said.

Building official Bob Welch said this sign at 9808 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, does not comply with the city’s sign ordinance.

This A-frame sign at 212 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, does not meet the recently passed signage ordinance, according to building official Bob Welch. Islander Photos: Rick Catlin

Anna Maria’s newest sign ordinance, passed Jan. 9, says A-frame signs may no longer be displayed at businesses.

“The owners get one sign for their business, but it can’t be an A-frame sign,” said city building official Bob Welch.

A menu sign for a restaurant is permitted under the ordinance, he said, although it can’t be an A-frame sign.

That’s got Markus Siegler, owner of Beach Fashion Boutique, 9908 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, confused.

“A-frame signs were permitted when we opened our business 14 months ago. I was negatively surprised that this ordinance did not allow the current A-frame signs,” he said.

Siegler, who also operates a concierge business and has a real estate license, said he agrees with the idea of uniformity for real estate signs in the city.

“But I don’t see the reason to take away an inexpensive form of advertising and marketing such as this small sign,” he said. It does not seem fair to penalize those few businesses that had A-frame signs before the ordinance passed, he added.

Without the sign pointing toward the boutique, Siegler said many visitors would not know the boutique exists.

Just a few doors south of Beach Fashion Boutique is Rudy’s Subs and More, 9806 Gulf Drive.

Co-owner Sally Woodward said a code enforcement officer told her the store’s menu sign was OK in its present location and size.

Welch said that A-frame signs were permitted under the old ordinance, but they were often placed inappropriately or were the wrong size. Enforcement became an issue and the commission decided to eliminate them.

Menu boards no higher than 4 feet are permitted, Welch noted.

Siegler said he might ask the commission to consider an amendment to grandfather A-frame signs that existed and were permitted at the time the ordinance was adopted.

Welch estimated 10-12 A-frame signs in the city do not conform with the new sign ordinance.

One Response to New sign ordinance confuses some AM business owners

  1. spery says:

    a few years ago, (3 or 4), the city of anna maria made me put up a white wooden pole for my sign. i complied. now they tell me to take it down and put up another kind of sign. i believe i should be grandfathered in since the city of anna maria loves to change their mind and make the people who pay their salaries miserable.
    a couple of commissioners must go to bed at night and wonder how they can think of something to get their names in the paper and aggravate us. next year, they might have a new sign they want me to put up. i am really sick and tired of some of these commissioners who want to get their name in the paper for free advertisement for their law practice and a mayor who has no idea that 30 day rental was voted in last year. duh?

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