Bend (Oregon) Sandwich-board Sign Code is Unfair, per Editorial

An editorial in the June 1 issue of The Bulletin newspaper cites inequitable allowances for sandwich-board signs. Attributed to the newspaper’s editorial board, the opinion piece states, “Use of sandwich board signs is far more restricted in their industrial neighborhood than it is downtown. . .

“While there are restrictions on downtown sandwich-board signs, they’re far fewer than those that apply elsewhere. Every public entrance may sport a sign, for example, and they can be placed outside every day of the year. They’re in the right-of-way downtown, because the city owns the sidewalks.

“Outside the downtown area, businesses may have sandwich board signs visible from the street, to be sure. Like downtowners, they must have a permit, and they can get up to two 90-day permits annually. Only. Not every day, like downtown.

“City officials have not been immune to requests for change from businesses over the years. The rules that now allow downtown sandwich board signs are proof of that. So, too, are relatively new rules that allow real estate agents to advertise open houses in the right-of-way when the houses actually are open.

“Some form of that same generosity should be spread citywide. Business owners should be given the same freedom to put signs up every day, just as downtowners are allowed to do.

Sign codes may well be one way of keeping a community looking nice, but they also have to be fair. Bend’s code isn’t fair right now, at least where sandwich board signs are concerned. It should be changed.”


Photo by I Bike Fresno

Wade Swormstedt

Wade Swormstedt

Wade is Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry. Formerly he was Editor and Publisher of Signs of the Times magazine.

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