A-frame ‘sandwich board’ signs approved for all Fayetteville businesses

A “sandwich board” sign stands in front of the Himalayan Mountain Shop on Block Avenue Friday afternoon.

Todd Gill, Flyer staff

All business owners in Fayetteville can now legally display A-frame “sandwich board” signs in front of their stores, thanks to a recent tweak to the city’s sign ordinance.

The change was suggested by Alderman Matthew Petty at the request of a downtown shop owner.

“The way the ordinance is currently written, only restaurants – or eating establishments as it’s defined in the ordinance – can display a sandwich board or an A-frame board out on the sidewalk,” said Petty. “This is a very simple change. All it does is expand the allowance to all businesses.”

Petty said all existing restrictions about placement and handicap accessibility will remain in place.

According to city code:

  • Business owners may place one temporary sign on the adjacent public or private sidewalk in front of their business for the duration of the business’ hours of operation. The sign. must be placed inside after business hours.
  • The sign must not interfere with the sidewalk’s ADA compliance, meaning there must remain a minimum of five feet of sidewalk width free and clear to provide adequate and unobstructed pedestrian movement.
  • The sign must only advertise for the adjacent establishment, and may not be utilized for product placement or to advertise for other businesses.
  • The signs cannot be any larger than 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide.

The use of these types of temporary signs is fairly new. Aldermen several years ago voted to relax the sign ordinance a bit by allowing A-frame signs, but only for restaurants.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan said he was on the City Council at the time, and it took a couple of council meetings to get the ordinance passed.

“We were stepping into new territory there and we didn’t know how far to take it,” said Jordan. “So we struck a happy medium.”

Alderman Mark Kinion said A-frame signs are important for all small businesses, especially in high-pedestrian areas.

“When we have a very cluttered area for a festival like the Farmers’ Market or First Thursday, this gives the opportunity for someone to put a sign out so people can realize the merchant is there,” he said.

Alderman Petty was out of town on city business during the vote, but the new ordinance was approved 7-0 by aldermen Tuesday night.