‘Every business probably has one’: Middletown could ban some temporary signs

Middletown City Council could soon change how businesses can use temporary signage.

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One of the proposed amendments the city is considering for its Development Code would prohibit blade signs, windblown devices as well as balloon or air-activated signs.

Zach Kettring who owns Rapid Fire Pizza and Hot Head Burritos at Ohio 122 and Dixie Highway, doesn’t like the idea.

“Personally, I think it’s a bad idea, especially during a time when businesses are struggling,” Kettring said.

He said years ago when the restaurants opened, the blade and flag signs put them up to let customers know they were open. Kettring said they put the signs out again to let people know the restaurants are open after the COVID-19 shutdown.

While he said he’s seen some blade signs not maintained well, Kettring said he has no problem getting permission or a permit to use these signs.

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“I don’t see what the big deal is. I put my flag out in the morning and bring it in at night,” said Mike Dunn, of Dunn’s Automotive and Tire Service on North Verity Parkway. “I don’t know if this will hurt my business but the sign has drawn some business in.”

Dunn said that “these types of signs are all over the city and every business probably has one.”

Once the new amendments receive final approval, they will not be grandfathered because they are temporary signs and already have time limit of 14 days, four times a year, said Shelby Quinlivan. If council approves the proposed amendments at its Oct. 6 meeting, it would become effective on Nov. 6.

“We will have public outreach effort (concerning these types of signs) and we will work with owners to be in compliance,” "Quinlivan said. “We have a flyer that will go out and let businesses know of the sign code updates.”

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In March 2018 the city a new, updated Development Code which all of Middletown’s zoning regulations were strengthened and the zoning districts were renamed to reflect modern zoning practices. The planing and zoning staff Development Code to ensure consistency with the Master Plan and adaptive land uses as well as protect the city’s resources and aesthetics, city officials said.

In addition to Planning Commission review, the proposed text amendments were also reviewed by the city’s outside legal counsel and the State Historic Preservation Office for compliance with the city’s Certified Local Government historic preservation status.

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