Those signs

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A while back in this space, it was suggested that the Cape Girardeau City Council use a six-month cooling-off period before considering any changes in its new sign ordinance. The restrictions in the ordinance have created quite a clamor, both in the business community and from residents who both hold and go to weekly garage sales.

But the council tentatively approved, at last week's meeting, changes that would ease sign restrictions for businesses. The action came at the request of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, which said the new rules were hurting business.

Absent an organization to lobby on their behalf, garage-sale aficionados saw their concerns put off for discussion until later this month. But they would be right to think that if changes can be made for businesses, the new restrictions on garage-sale signs could be eased a bit, too.

Since council members appear ready to take up this controversial -- and exasperating to some, even the mayor -- issue, perhaps they could consider a simpler approach rather than making their decision more complex than it needs to be.

For the most part, garage-sale enthusiasts want temporary signs to help them locate bargains. This means posting signs at intersections rather than just on the property where the sales are being held.

That's all. If signs are required to have the address of the garage sales they are promoting, it would be easy to track down malingerers who fail to promptly remove their signs in a timely fashion.

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