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Sidewalk Sign Enforcement Rattles Some Wayne Business Owners

A Radnor Township ordinance against the use of signs like sandwich boards used by many retailers has been enforced in recent weeks.

Radnor Township has received complaints about portable signs on the sidewalks of downtown Wayne prompting it to start enforcing its code, which prohibits them.

Many of the signs, commonly called “sandwich boards” alert passers-by of sales and daily offerings. At the end of 2012, many retailers in Wayne received a warning from Radnor code officials that the signs are not allowed.

Jaime Whitcomb, owner of Red Mango, told Radnor Patch that the signs drive much-needed impulse traffic to small businesses. She puts her stand-along sign right next to the parking meter in front of her store.

“Small business owners need to promote their businesses in many different ways… Signage is one of them,” Whitcomb said.

Radnor has extensive regulations for the signage within its borders. Kevin Kochanski, director of Radnor’s community development department, said that over the summer the township received several complaints about the signs. 

Just recently, Kochanski also said he received two voicemails from a man claiming he was a business owner, but did not leave his name, complaining about signage. His issue, Kochanski paraphrased, was the visual clutter (as opposed to any safety hazard) of the signs.

He said that code officials are not aggressively enforcing the sign ordinance, but rather are notifying businesses when they see an illegal signs. No citations have been issued, despite that some continue to put out signs.

“We do our best to work the residents and business within the limitations of the code to achieve compliance and only issue citations as a last resort,” Kochanski said. Any movement to change the code would have to come from the township’s Board of Commissioners.

What do you think about this? Are these signs visual pollution or a necessity for small businesses? Tell us by commenting below.

I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out January 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Once again, Radnor Township has over-regulated business in Wayne. Nothing wrong with Sandwich Boards.
Larry Mazis January 08, 2013 at 01:56 PM
I agree with Charlie, as long as they are not blocking the sidewalk. When the sandwich boards are put up, the Wayne business owners make sure that they are visually appealing.
Lisa Warner January 08, 2013 at 06:34 PM
I totally agree with the above comments. Signs are helpful to consumers too -- alerting them to specials, upcoming events, etc. As long as they don't impede traffic I say let all the businesses put up signs if they want.
Margie Rosenberg January 08, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Absolutely sandwich board signs are necessary in a small community with small businesses. During these tough financial times, every little bit helps. Bah humbug to those who want to eliminate them.
Bob Adams January 09, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Why not charge the businessess to have them they nickel and dime the residents for everything
Lisa whitney January 09, 2013 at 12:39 PM
A place I have really noticed sign pollution is in my residential neighborhood! In a .4 /mile stretch between Houston Rd and Chamonix, there are 55 street signs (counting fronts and backs). 55 in .4/mile!! "Speed hump", "watch children", "no outlet ", "private road", "stop" ETC ETC. Who makes these decisions/expenditures? Complete overkill and unattractive.
Catherine January 09, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Lisa, I imagine you have your neighbors to thank for all of those signs. Nag the township enough, get your commissioner on your side and you're golden. Case in point: we're without sidewalks on curvy, dangerous Chamounix Road because some property owners didn't want to lose frontage. Another recent example: that pointless, confusing redirection of traffic on South Wayne. Squeaky- wheeled neighbors got the grease there, too. Bravo to them, I guess.
Annie Webb January 09, 2013 at 04:22 PM
I'm pro sandwich board, too. In fact, I'm just pro sandwich, in general! ;)
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out January 09, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I hope the Commissioners are reading these comments! The patrons of downtown Wayne businesses truly enjoy shopping there and are very accepting of sandwich board advertising. Look at the Village sidewalks in Europe...beautiful sandwich boards outside the cafe's, restaurants and shops. Not suggesting we need to be Europe, but they do have beautiful Villages that local patrons frequent.
Catherine January 10, 2013 at 02:32 AM
I can't agree with your comments, Charlie D. Most European villages are beautiful and charming because they don't have a mishmash of signage. Does everybody here really think the black plastic sign at the blind store is attractive? Or that laundromat banner? It's an eyesore to me. I do love the Petits Delices chef, but it's all personal taste and you can't regulate that.
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out January 10, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Anyone notice the Dunkin Donuts "sandwich boards" taped to the rear of a car parked in front of the store? I guess that's one creative way to get around the Radnor regulations :)
Catherine January 10, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Not very neighborly of Dunkin Donuts, doing what nearby businesses have gotten in trouble for ... but even worse, they shouldn't be taking up a parking space all day that is supposed to be for customers of all Lancaster Ave stores
Luke Castle January 15, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Luke I own a small business in Wayne just off Lancaster Ave. We need our sandwich board sign to let our customers know exactly where we are located. It definately drives customers into our showroom. Radnor Township "nickel & dimes" us to death as it is!

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