This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Sign Ordinance

I attended a meeting of our Beverage Association the other day where representatives from the County's Land Use and Growth Management briefed us on the new sign ordinance (click here) that just took effect on 1 January of this year.  Liquor stores and bars will be directly impacted by the new ordinance.

The ordinance prohibits all sorts of signs that are currently in use including electronic signs, rooftop signs and signs that advertise a product or service.   Buzzy's Country Store is currently in violation on 2 of the prohibitions.  First, because the open sign in the front window also advertises Miller Beer,  I have until the 31st of January to remove it and have already ordered a replacement Open sign.  No problem.

However, the rooftop prohibition means that my Buzzy's Country Store sign on the front porch has to come down within 5 years.
Since there are no grandfather policies nor any appeal process mentioned in the ordinance, it's pretty much a done deal.  However, I still have a problem with the rooftop prohibition as it pertains to a country store.  The front porch with the sign above it is one of the defining things about a country store.  I don't agree with having to take it down at all. 

The irony is, I could move the sign back 6 feet, and attach it to the building and it would be ok iaw the new ordinance.  (The Coke advertisement would have to go.  But there again, Coke on a country store sign is a defining feature which should be allowed.)  However, were I to try and relocate the sign to the side of the building, I then run into some logistical problems with the 2 windows there and how to situate the sign accordingly.   Guess I could always do like Boyd's did here and put the sign over the window(s.)
Good news is, I got 5 years to turn my Buzzy engineers loose on this problem and come up with a solution.  Stay tuned.

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