Stroud Township, Monroe County – Victor Sanks said he has had the same type of large signs in his Stroud’s Beauty Supply Shop window for ten years. "A nice canvas beautiful sign like we have out front, we paid $300 for that sign," he said. Sanks told Eyewitness News it was never a problem until last week when a codes enforcement officer stopped by with a warning memo. It showed township rules say signs can only take up 10% of space in a window. It also reminded him that business owners need permits for all signs. Sanks complained, "You're really messing up business for small business guys."
Stroud Township Supervisor Ed Cramer said the public has been complaining about sign-covered windows. He also said large signs distract drivers on busy Route 611. Township Planning Administrator John DeCusatis said when the codes officer went to check out a complaint on one business, she noticed other out-of-compliance businesses. DeCusatis said about 15 got the warning memos last week. He emphasized that this isn’t something new. He said the township has always enforced the sign rules.
Sanks disagreed saying he and many other business owners never received warnings in the past. He complained, "I can only think it's a money thing. I mean it could be nothing else."
Since last week’s warnings some businesses already took down their illegal signs. But many still have them. "I don't understand. I don't know why,” said Matthew Giddings who runs Esther’s General Beauty Supply with his wife. He said he wants to know why chain restaurants like Wendy’s and Popeye’s still have gull window signs. "If they're going to do it to us, let them do it to everybody, then that would be proper,” he said.
DeCusatis said the codes officer didn’t get to those businesses yet. He emphasized that this isn’t new and said the township has always enforced the sign rules.
If the businesses that got memos don’t comply by next Tuesday, they will get an official notice that they are out of compliance. If they don’t fix the signs or appeal, they can face fines of up to $500 a day. DeCusatis said that is not his goal.