Vail sign code about to change |

Vail sign code about to change

Kaye FerryVail, CO, Colorado

There will be an important presentation to the Vail Town Council on the Vail Sign Code on March 20. In early 2007 the Vail Chamber & Business Association, along with Susie Huxford of the Vail Sign Code Enforcement Committee, sent a survey by e-mail, fax and in person to merchants about the code. This survey was designed to get input from merchants about the existing code, as well as to change the code in a way that is positive for the merchants and town officials. Perhaps the most interesting finding of the survey results was that while merchants agree that a change in the sign code is needed, merchants want a code that is clear, concise and fair and will aid their businesses. The most-mentioned issues in the survey involved restaurant specials boards and outdoor displays. If the merchants voices are heard, specials boards will be allowed to stand freely. Additionally, the majority of merchants have requested that in the case of most stores, a representative sample should be allowed for outdoor displays, except in the case of rental equipment such as bicycles, which should be on full display. What is most important is that now there exists a dialogue between merchants and the town government. There has been dissatisfaction with the sign code for some time, and this survey is the first step of many to ensure a satisfactory compromise. Of course, the most important questions will come when the sign code does change. These changes will not appease all merchants. But most important, whatever modifications are made will be based on the feedback received from the business community. The sign code is not being strictly enforced. With potential changes will come more enforcement because ideally the code will have been made by the merchants and will be enforced according to their specifications. Therefore, a greater degree of cooperation will be required of all merchants, who will hopefully be more amenable to newly enacted standards than before. But what if nothing changes? Some might maintain that Vail has been resistant to change in the past, and this is partially true. However, the sign code is an important issue to the business community, and the Chamber pledges to keep it a priority. Ignoring it will only cause more unrest among merchants and town officials and will persist until the code is altered in some way. Please attend the Town Council meeting March 20 and show your support for these changes. It is also your opportunity to participate in the final discussion before the sign code is given to the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission for review. Any changes will be reported in our weekly correspondence as well as our monthly newsletter.

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