Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oro Valley Council Votes To Give Businesses "Relief" With Signs

As reported in The Explorer, the Town Council voted unanimously to allow businesses to display banners and signs on their property for up to 6 months.

Here's the Explorer article.

The council also unanimously approved an item designed to provide relief to local, struggling businesses.

The idea is to allow businesses to display temporary banners and signage on their properties for an extended period of time — up to 180 days — with permits issued by the town.

"Signage is what brings in the vast majority of business," said Councilman Steve Solomon. "We have a very restrictive sign code."

Councilman Joe Hornat, although supportive of the change, questioned terminology in the proposal.

"What does 'under substantiated duress' mean?" Hornat asked. "Do they have to open their books and show us they're not making any money?"

A resident who spoke about the issue, Bill Adler, suggested the town not set an arbitrary time limit on the duration of time the temporary signs can be displayed.

"We're either in the business of showing compassion for these people or we're not," Adler said.

Oro Valley resident Zev Cywan also spoke in support of the temporary change to sign codes. He also said that Councilman Solomon should consider recusing himself from the discussion and vote because of his prior involvement in the issue as a builder and developer.

Solomon deferred the question to Town Attorney Tobin Rosen, who said state law only necessitates an elected official recuse himself if "proprietary or pecuniary interest" presents a clear conflict. That was not the case in this instance, Rosen said.


Pat Rogers said...

I was wondering if this new signage rule also applies to temporary signs for open houses and other advertisements on personal property. From what I understand this is a separate issue that is being addressed with numbers being assigned directly on the signs in Oro Valley. Am I correct that this new law does not apply to open houses or signs in yards? Pat

Victorian Cowgirl said...

"Signage is what brings in the vast majority of business" SAID COUNCILMAN STEVE SOLOMON.

Really? Well, I don't think Solomon has been paying attention to what others are saying.

I don't return to businesses when they have poor customer service (a young, inexperienced, couldn't-care less-attitude staff), when they have ridiculously loud music playing, when they have no air conditioning, and when they have uncomfortable seating (restaurants) SAID VICTORIAN COWGIRL.

Businesses fail because it was a bad idea to begin with, they chose a bad location, they had insufficient start-up cash, or they have lousy management, SAID ZEE MAN (on another thread).

Businesses fail because of inadequate staffing, ho-hum merchandise, sloppy displays, dirty premises, and restaurants not having dress codes, SAID ZEV CYWAN (on another thread).

I'll add to Zev's comment that I once had dinner at McMahon's Restaurant and was treated to a view of the armpit hair of the guy at the next table who arrived wearing a muscle shirt, shorts and flip-flops. This is a FINE DINING establishment where this type of dress should not be allowed!

Why do certain council members keep insisting that lack of business is never the fault of the business owner?

Zev Cywan said...

Pat, it appears to me that this article depicts an incomplete and therefor an inaccurate accounting of what was actually accomplished (or not) in this meeting. PLEASE, see and listen to the item as it actually occurred and progressed in the relative Council meeting. For example, I am paraphrased as being "in support of the temporary change to sign codes". What that statement does not relate is that [I was (am) for a change, on separate and individual basis to be approved upon application by an administrative decision and valid only for 30 day intervals (renewable) up to the point in time when our Sign Code Task Force recommendations for PERMANENT changes are presented to Council and finalized by same]; and yes, I did, in a letter to Council, request that "substantiated duress" be a condition.And no,I did not mean by "substantiated duress" that a business would have to present [financial statements, P&L statements, and the like] in order to prove such; there is a trait called 'common sense'. This issue was not meant to be a wildly executed free-for-all and is related primarily to commercial banners and signs that are already permitted but perhaps need a bit of VERY TEMPORARY restriction 'relaxation' as a temporary means of assistance.

As to the issue of asking for the recusal of Council Member Solomon, I asked for this as a 'point of order'. Town Attorney, Tobin Rosen, explained that this did not meet the standards of "proprietary or pecuniary interest" which could necessitate a recusal; as a non legal authority I would still debate that Council Member Solomon DOES have a proprietary and/or pecuniary interest and, given the scope of Council Member Soloman's
business interests, there are other attorneys that would also disagree with Attorney Rosen's interpretation; but, that's why we have courts within which judges make binding decisions after hearing arguments for both sides of an issue. However, as a matter of expediency and respect for Council Member Solomon as well as Attorney Rosen, I will leave this 'chip' alone. I would only add that 'what might be legally correct may not always be right'.

And, VC, you are so, so right, but business persons must have a scapegoat for their own weaknesses and right now that scapegoat is 'restriction'. I do like Council Member Solomon personally and, to a degree, intellectually, but, he is somewhat 'sign crazy' and that's ok as long as he can adjust to reality when reality shows up.

Pat Rogers said...

Thank you Zev for the extensive comment regarding clarification of the new law.

Pat Rogers

Pat Rogers said...

I agree with you, Victorian Cowgirl! I think that many business could use some training in customer service. No matter what era you are from, customer service makes me pay a little more than the guy next door. No matter how big the business is, signage is not, by far the reason that I come back to visit and purchase. Tangerine Crossing, so far is a good example of friendly people in the businesses that are there. Take the "In and Out Burger"! How much friendlier can you get! Those people are trained....

Zev Cywan said...

Pat, this is not really a "new law"; I deem it to be simply an 'exercise' in subjective flexibility, exercised by administrative review, until such time as the legal codes pertaining to in-depth signage applications are 'tweaked' and finalized pursuant to the findings of the Sign Code Task Force; only then might we have 'new law'. The "Force' was mandated to explore and recommend; it will be up to Council to adopt, reject, or whatever and that is supposed to take place in mid-September.

Zev Cywan said...

Oh, by the way, it is erroneous to have received information or to have had it implied that temporary measures or 'methods' have been approved by Council; this item for 'temporary relief' is on the agenda for NEXT Wednesday, regular Council meeting, July 21.